It was a cold, wet start to the 2018 Scottish Youth Championships but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits with athlete’s and supporters braving the wet conditions with smiles all around! It brightened up in the afternoon, just in time for the final races of the day to enjoy a much drier course.

Hosted by Fusion Triathlon Club with support from Triathlon Scotland, this popular annual event attracted over 300 youngsters between 8 and 16 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, TriStar Start (8 years) athletes completed a 50m swim, 1.4km bike and 600m run course, whilst TriStar 1 (9-10 years) raced 150m > 4km > 1200m, TriStar 2 (11-12) 200m > 6km > 1800m with TriStar 3 (13-14) completing 300m > 8km > 2400m.  The Youth Championship race was a super sprint distance race of 400m > 10km > 3km and featured a number of the Triathlon Scotland Academy Squad members.

The TriStar Start boys kicked off the event where Rory MacMillan (Stirling Triathlon Club) came out the pool first with Harrison MacMillan (Stirling Triathlon Club) and Finlay Duffin (Edinburgh RC) hot on his heels. A quick transition for all athletes and it was out onto the wet bike course! Lorcan Morrisson powered through the bike lap, recording the fastest bike split to see him take the lead. Rory MacMillan ran himself to the title, taking the lead back from Morrisson who took the silver medal. Grangemouth Triathlon Club’s Luke Sedman completed the race in third place with the bronze medal going to Harrison MacMillan.

In the TriStar Start girls race, Fusion Triathlon Club’s Rebecca Marsh lead out of the swim with Ferryn Stewart (Grangemouth Triathlon Club) and Nara Wood (Isle of Arran Junior Triathlon Club) close behind. Out of T1 and onto the bike leg, Isla Cameron had a strong ride recording the fastest split of her age group by seven seconds. The effort on the bike paid off for Cameron as she catapulted into second position, which she successfully held on the run to claim her championship silver medal. The gold medal went to Stewart who held her lead from the bike through to the finish. A consistent effort from Marsh saw her finish with a bronze medal after a fantastic race in challenging conditions.

Onto the TriStar 1 age group. Great swims from Israel Noble (Brosch ASC) and Dean Fearn (Lathallan School) saw them leave the pool first with Tristan Robin (Fusion Triathlon Club), Aidan Turner (North Shields Poly) and Finlay Barr (Clydesdale Colts) chasing them into T1. Out onto the bike and it was Fearn who put in a great effort to record the fastest bike split, moving him into first place with Barr just six seconds behind. Onto the run and Fearn was passed by Turner who took the race win but was not a part of the Championship. The Championship win went to Fearn with Noble running through to take the silver medal. Barr’s effort on the bike paid off as it was enough to put him in bronze medal position.

In the TriStar 1 girls race, it was a very close swim with Anna Lee (Stirling Triathlon Club), Maddie Barr (Newton Stewart Triathlon Club) and Hazel Welsh (Stirling Triathlon Club) all coming out of the pool within a second of each other. Onto the bike and Lee lost her lead from the swim to Zara Kidd (Monifieth Triathlon Club) who had a swift transition which saw her move from fourth into the lead. Joscelyn Kennedy (Clydesdale Colts)had an outstanding bike leg, recording the fastest split of the race by over 10 seconds, putting her in second place going into the run. Kennedy then recorded the fastest run split of the race which was good enough for her to take the Championship! Kidd had a consistent effort throughout which got her the silver medal while Leya Gibb (Stirling Triathlon Club) secured the Bronze medal for the second year in a row!

Onto the TriStar 2 Boys and the weather improved slightly which meant the boys enjoyed a slightly drier race! Alex Robin (Fusion Triathlon Club) had an outstanding race which saw him lead from start to finish, recording the fastest swim, second fastest bike and third fastest run split of the race to be crowned Champion. The silver medal was won by Oliver Patton (Fusion Triathlon Club) who was in third place going into the run and managed to run past Charlie Treharne (Glasgow Triathlon Club) who took the bronze medal, crossing the line less than three seconds behind Patton.

In the TriStar 2 girls race, it was Melissa Turnbull (Fusion Triathlon Club) who dominated the racing and successfully defended her championship title for the second year running. Turnbull was second out of the pool but quickly took the lead from teammate Coryn MacLean who stayed close to Mirren Stewart (Grangemouth Triathlon Club), riding hard to make up time from the swim. Stewart recorded the fastest run split of the day which catapulted her past MacLean and into the silver medal position. MacLean had a solid run to secure the bronze medal.

It was a dominant performance from the 2018 Schools Aquathlon Champion Struan Bennet in the TriStar 3 boys race as he took the lead coming out of T1 and held it all the way through to claim his championship title. The fastest swim time of the day was posted by Sam Glass (Edinburgh #3), however, after a slow transition, Glass was unable to make it back into the lead, starting the run in second place but finishing just outside the podium positions in fourth place. Cameron MacMillan (Stirling Triathlon Club) and Fergus Currie (Fusion Triathlon Club) came out of the water in 9thand 8threspectively and worked hard to close the gap to the front with MacMillan posting the second fastest bike split of the day and securing his silver medal place with a strong run. Currie worked consistently through the bike and run and was able to run through to claim the Bronze medal.

In the TriStar 3 Girls race, East Fife Triathlon Club’s Anna Hedley lead from the start to finish, recording the fastest swim and run times of the race and finishing almost two minutes ahead of second place. Even more impressive, Hedley’s run split of 00:9:21.5 was identical to that of the TriStar 3 Boys fastest run! Performing consistently well across all disciplines, Johanna MacKenzie ran through to secure the silver medal while Anya MacLean (Fusion Triathlon Club) held on in the run to take the bronze.

Both youth races were dominated by Triathlon Scotland Academy athletes. In the Youth Boys race, Struan Kingdom (Ren 96 Swim Team) was the first out of the pool with William Taylor (Borders Triathlete’s), Callum Byrne (Fusion Triathlon Club) and Hamish Armitt (Tri G72) close behind. Onto the bikes and Taylor, Byrne and Armitt quickly moved to the front of the race. It was neck and neck between Taylor and Armitt through T2 with Armitt posting a fast run that secured him the Championship with a gap of 53 seconds to Taylor who held on to the silver medal position. Byrne completed the podium finishing just 10 seconds later.

The Youth Girls closed the day’s racing. Dominated by the academy athlete’s again, Jessica Turnbull (Fusion Triathlon Club), Sarah Fyffe (Edinburgh #3), Emma Calder (Fleet Feet Triathlete’s) and Isla Britton (Fusion Triathlon Club) were first out of the pool with Britton moving swiftly into the lead on the bike course. Kate Richardson worked hard to close the gap to Britton, staying with her for the majority of the bike course before the gap widened again moving into T2. Britton then extended her lead with a dominant run that was over 40 seconds faster than the rest of the field and saw her secure the championship title by over a minute. Richardson stayed strong through the run, taking the silver medal with Turnbull crossing the line almost a minute later to take the bronze. A fantastic race to finish the day.

A brilliant event where young athletes showed grit and determination to battle through tough conditions that would have provided a challenge even for experienced triathletes. There were lots of smiles and incredible skills on show all day from the beginners all the way through to the experienced participants which makes us very excited about the future triathlon in Scotland! Thank you to the incredibly hard-working volunteers and to all the supporters who braved the rain to support the participants!

The next events in the Championship series are the Mixed Team Relay Championships and the Sprint Championships at Monikie on July 7th and 8th. For more information visit our Championship page, here.

For photos visit our Facebook gallery.

More photos can be found on Chris Wallard Photography’s page here!