What a day at the Scottish National Youth Championships ! Slightly overcast on set up, the sun soon bathed the park creating perhaps a different challenge for our young athletes – with high temperatures and windy conditions.
Run by Fusion Triathlon Club with support from Triathlon Scotland this popular annual event attracted around 300 kids of all ages to race for the Scottish National Youth Championship title in their age group. Bellahouston Park once again proved to be an excellent venue, providing a pool based swim and closed road bike and run sections.
Racing varying distances according to age group, TriStars Start (8 years) athletes completed a 50m swim, 1.4km bike and 600m run course, whilst TriStars 1 (9-10 years) raced 150m > 4km > 1200m, TriStars 2 (11-12) 200m > 6km > 1800m with TriStars 3 (13-14) completing 300m > 8km > 2400m. The youth category comprised the super sprint (also known as novice) distance of 400m > 10km > 3km and featured a number of the Triathlon Scotland Academy Squad members.
The TriStar Start boys kicked off the event where Harris Holmes came out the pool with a clear lead over Kai Fearn with Joe Crawford and Fraser Gemmell hot on Fearn’s heels. A swift transition for Holmes, and it was out on the bike where he recorded the fastest bike split to see him take a comfortable lead going in to the run. Holmes ran himself to the title with Kai Fearn holding that silver medal spot throughout and it was Fraser Gemmell who put in a great bike leg to help him to the bronze medal.
In the TriStar Start girls, it was a close swim between Juliette Kidd (Monifieth), Ciara Middleton (Stirling Tri) and Anna Phillips (Fusion Tri). Out of T1 and on to the bike leg Bethan Read (Stirling Tri) had an incredible bike leg, recording the fastest split of her age group by seven seconds! The effort on the bike paid off for Read as she catapulted into second position, and a great run saw her just miss out on the gold medal. That went to Grace Popplewell (Isle of Arran Junior Tri) who had a solid bike and an amazing run to see herself crowned Scottish National Youth Champion. A consistent effort from Ciara Middleton, where she was rewarded with the bronze medal.
On to the TriStar 1 age group. Great swims from Rory Stobie (Edinburgh RC) who exited the pool with a 14 second lead (!), Fraser Donaldson (Glasgow Tri), Alex Read (Stirling Tri) and Euan Mitchell (Fusion Tri) who all came out together. Out on to the leg and it was Innes McDonald who after the swim had work to do, had an excellent transition, gaining four seconds before flying on his bike to catapult himself into the gold medal position where he had a bike time that was 40 seconds faster than the rest of the field. Another excellent transition and fastest run split saw him crowned the Champion. A hard fought solid race from Fraser Donaldson saw him take silver and Rory Stobie the third place.
In the TriStar 1 girls it was consistency for Mirren Stewart (Grangemouth Triathlon) who after coming out the pool in second, gained the lead from Betty Fischer-Keogh with a great transition on to the bike. From there her lead was never in doubt. A great display from Stewart saw her take a comfortable win and Championship title. Freya Hedley (East Fife Tri) showed that consistency really pays off. Always in the top five for her splits, she put a smooth race together to win the silver medal, ahead of Laya Gibb who posted the second fastest run split to secure that well-earned bronze medal.
In the TriStar 2 girls it was tight racing for that gold medal between Johanna MacKenzie and Melissa Turnbull (Fusion Tri), who were fighting hard to take the gold. MacKenzie was racing well and leading throughout, keeping her cool while Turnbull was in pursuit. Such a close race, a great run where Turnbull had enough in her legs to sprint to that finish, and pip MacKenzie on the line taking the gold medal. With MacKenzie in second, Isla Hedley (East Fife Tri) kept her position, winning the bronze medal.
It was a gun to tape victory in the TriStar 3 boys for Daniel Saunders whose title was never in doubt. Looking strong from the whistle he took the fastest swim, run and bike splits to seal the gold medal. Kinross High School’s Struan Bennet had a great swim, and then saw himself needing to work hard on the run after a challenging bike section. That he did, making up lots of ground and sealing his silver ahead of Callum Byrne who was very consistent across all disciplines.
It was an exciting race in the TriStar 3 Girls between Schools Champion Isla Britton and Fusion Triathlon’s Lily-Jane Evans-Haggerty who were battling to take that Youth title. Coming in to T2, it was Britton who had the edge after great biking, with Evans-Haggerty out in pursuit on the run. Known as a strong runner Evans-Haggerty kept her cool to eat away the ground, closing the distance to take the victory ahead of Britton. A well-deserved silver medal for Isla Britton who worked hard throughout the race. It was third place for Anna Hedley (East Fife Tri) who also had an incredible run to chase down that bronze.
Both youth races were dominated by Triathlon Scotland Academy (formerly The Foundation Squad) athletes. An incredible swim saw Calum Young come out the pool with a 14 second lead ahead of Peter Holmes (Aztec Jersey) and 22 seconds ahead of Andrew Rolland (Edinburgh #3). Young kept his composure on the bike, maintaining the lead out of T2 ahead of Rolland, who had put in an incredible effort on the bike to move up into second place. So it was all down to the run, where Young began to fade a little and Rolland dug deep to take the win. With Young in second, it was Hamish Armitt (Fusion) who used his second fastest run split of the day to secure that bronze medal.
The youth females closed the day’s racing. Dominated by Academy athletes as well, Clare Wallace (Fusion Tri), Emma Calder (Fleet Feet) and Heather Barnes came out the pool in quick succession, with Kate Richardson (Fusion Tri) left with a bit of work to do. Struggling a little with the windy, hot conditions on the bike Wallace began to drop back and it was Kate Richardson who ate up the bike course clocking the fastest bike split of the day by over 1 minute! Out on to the run Richardson maintained her position, using the work on the bike to secure that title win. A hard battle for second and third between Barnes, Calder and Wallace, Barnes used her run (taking the fastest split by over 1 minute) to take the second place ahead of Emma Calder who faded but secured a well earned bronze none-the-less.
A great event where the young athletes battled what were tough conditions due to the wind and heat, to display passion, enjoyment and incredible skills from the most novice participants to the more experienced – what an encouraging future for the sport.
Thanks as always to the hard working volunteers who were out in force to provide great support to all the participants!
The next event in the Championship series in the Scottish Sprint Championships on Monikie on 9 July. For more information visit our Championship page.
Your 2017 Scottish National Youth Championships are:
Youth Female (15-16):
- Kate Richardson (Fusion), 37:19
- Heather Barnes (Unattached), 37:36
- Emma Calder (Fleet Feet), 38:39
Youth Male (15-16):
- Andrew Rolland (Edinburgh #3), 33:00
- Calum Young (Unattached), 33:24
- Hamish Armitt (Fusion), 34:19
TriStar 3 Female (13-14):
- Lily Jane Evans-Haggerty (Fusion), 28:39
- Isla Britton (Unattached), 29:36
- Anna Hedley (East Fife Tri), 30:02
TriStar 3 Male (13-14):
- Daniel Saunders (Unattached), 27:48
- Struan Bennet (Kinross High School), 29:38
- Callum Byrne (Fusion), 30:05
TriStar 2 Female (11-12):
- Melissa Turnbull (Unattached), 24:19
- Johanna MacKenzie (Unattached), 24:20
- Isla Hedley (East Fife Tri), 25:17
TriStar 2 Male (11-12):
- Cameron MacMillan (Stirling Tri), 22:47
- Fergus Currie (Fusion), 23:18
- Bruce Evans (Forres Harriers), 23:32
TriStar 1 Female (9-10):
- Mirren Stewart (Grangemouth Tri), 18:37
- Freya Hedley (East Fife Tri), 19:49
- Leya Gibb (Stirling Tri), 20:16
TriStar 1 Male (9-10):
- Innes McDonald (Unattached), 17:20
- Fraser Donaldson (Glasgow Tri), 18:15
- Rory Stobie (Edinburgh RC), 18:23
TriStar Start Female (8):
- Grace Popplewell (Isle of Arran Junior Tri), 10:59
- Bethan Read (Stirling Triathlon), 11:00
- Ciara Middleton (Stirling Triathlon), 11:14
TriStar Start Male (8):
- Harris Holmes (Unattached), 9:16
- Kai Fearn (Unattached), 9:49
- Fraser Gemmell (Unattached), 9:56
Full results can be find on What’s My Time.