It was a stunning afternoon that saw our convoy of multi-national, multi-age, multi-talented triathletes and crew depart Mount Aspiring College for Omarama and then Oamaru for the South Island Secondary Schools’ Triathlon competition. Our caravan made its way over the tussock covered slopes of the Lindis pass and on to Omarama for the night. A dinner of excessive size ensued in the golden light that left us warmed and ready for sleep.
Sunday was the morning of the event and, while our German contingent were up and ready on the dot of departure time, some of our local boys ‘accidentally’ fell asleep after wake-up and as a result had an extra transition practice – transition from bed to van.
Arriving in Oamaru meant the crew meeting up with the independent travellers who together comprised a contingent of 28 athletes from Mount Aspiring College. The gazebo went up and the preparation was underway. No important gear was forgotten, tyres were pumped and transition set-ups were carefully laid out before briefing.
A sea swim started the event and all our athletes made good time in the open water – no doubt helped along by the extra buoyancy of the salt. Seamless transitions moved everyone on to a very fast and tight road ride and then a highly scenic run along the Oamaru Esplanade.
College finishers came in thick and fast, and achieved some outstanding results – moreover the entire team conducted themselves with the utmost sportsmanship. Even when Zach missed the finish chute, twice, he still crossed the line with a smile on his face.
Leo Staufenberg was both the winner of his category and the over-all first place-getter of the event and presented to everyone a role model sportsman in both attitude and performance. The excellent results didn’t end there:
SENIOR BOYS: Laurie Watson 5th, Campbell Wright 6th
INTERMEDIATE BOYS: Leo Staufenberg 1st, Jack Findlay 3rd, Zach Smith 4th, McKay Watson 6th, Jack Liddell 8th, Oliver Haines 12th
INTERMEDIATE GIRLS: Olivia Jones 6th, Piper Cavanagh 7th
JUNIOR GIRLS: Rose Armstrong 7th
JUNIOR BOYS: Tom Sides 2nd, Zavier Taylor 5th, Cooper Mills 6th, Hugo Sinclair 7th, Sam Beale 9th, James Watson 11th and Jack Sandford 13th
SENIOR BOYS TEAM: Team Germany 4th
INTERMEDIATE GIRLS TEAM: EBO 3rd
JUNIOR GIRLS TEAM: The Bestestest 1st
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the athletes’ preparation for and competing in this event. They ought to feel proud of themselves, as should you.