Each year before the start of the triathlon season a Performance Assessment Weekend takes place to rank all the best Youth and Junior triathletes in the country with the top ranked gaining entry into the season long Super Series Races that are held around the country.
This year the swim trial was on the Saturday in Nottingham with the combined bike/run on the Sunday in Loughborough.
WaldenJNR had 6 representatives. Innes Dunlop, Ethan Reilly and Joshua Vail in the Youth A (15/16 year old) category and Helena Dyce, Jack Stanton-Stock and Ben Allen in the Youth B (17 year old) category.
Day one started with an 400m pool swim for the Youth As and an 800m swim, for the Youth Bs.
In the Youth A Category Ethan had a strong swim to put himself nicely in amongst the stronger competitors whilst Innes and Josh were a little further back.
Jack and Ben had almost identical 800m swim times to be well placed. Helena struggled a little and was towards the back of the Youth B girls.
On the Sunday the athletes were set off into T1 based on their swim times...the faster swimmers going first. The Youth As had a 10km bike and 2.5km run to contend with. Innes had her usual fast T1 transition and a really strong bike to move her nicely up the field. Unfortunately she then developed a stitch during her run which meant that she eventually finished in 65th place...still an excellent performance at her first Assessment. Ethan did himself proud with really competitive bike and run legs to finish a superb 28th. Josh pushed hard all the way and eventually came in 88th.
The Youth Bs had double the distance to tackle, a 20km bike and 5km run. Helena moved steadily through the field on her stronger two disciplines and finally placed 15th. Jack hunted down the leaders on the bike and with his superb transition skills and solid run came in 4th. Ben, in his first Assessment, worked really well on the bike and just faded a little on the final run, but can be delighted with his final 34th place.
Based on their performances, Ethan, Jack and Helena are guaranteed starts in the initial Super Series races and there is a very good chance that Innes and Ben will also get some races slightly later in the season.
To have 6 children from one Club competing at this National level is brilliant for WaldenJNR and we'll hopefully have more in future years.
All in all a very promising weekend!