Challenge Wanaka Schools’ Triathlon 2023 (incorporating Otago Secondary Schools’ Triathlon)

By Andrew Willmott | Posted: Friday February 17, 2023

It was another early start for a fresh-faced team of Otago Boys’ triathletes travelling through to contest the Challenge Wanaka Schools’ triathlon.

After missing last year due to Covid, and with a number of seasoned triathletes leaving, there was a lot of anticipation around how they would fare.

The squad was made up of a number of individual athletes who hopefully will continue to develop their craft and continue the legacy of Otago Boys’ Triathlon.

One of these individuals, is Henry Hodgson. Henry delivered a strong performance to win the U-14 Boys Individual title in both the Otago and Challenge Wanaka events. Supporting him was Leo Garden, who placed 3rd in the Otago Secondary Schools’ U-14 Boys event. However, the most encouraging performance came from Lawrence Bielski-Cook, who exited the water last but then biked (on a mountain bike!) and ran his way to finish in the top half of the field.

In the U-16s, Hostels Ruie Hyslop and Angus Perkins represented the School well. Ruie got on the podium, coming 3rd in both the Challenge Wanaka and Otago Secondary Schools’ events. Angus finished 8th.

Also in the U-16 category was the team of Toby Orchiston (swimmer), Lochie Ing-aram (cyclist) and Gabe Murphy (runner). New to triathlon the team did well to place 3rd in the Otago Secondary Schools’ section.

In the U-19s we were represented by just the single team. After the late withdrawal of cyclist, Sam Hughes (illness), we were fortunate enough to have Javara Clark put his hand up to step in. Together with swimmer, JJ King, and runner, Matt Bolter, they finished a commendable 2nd, less than a minute behind the winning team.

This was one of the best supported events I have been to. With a number of students’ parents competing themselves in the weekend, there were a number of them present to cheer the boys on (and take photos - Thanks Tim and Jen). It will be a chance for the boys to repay your support in the weekend! Particular mention, too, for the School’s Property Manager, Russell Pope, who is competing as a cyclist in a team at the weekend’s event. It was great to have Russ in transition with the boys.

Looking forward, we have the South Island Secondary Schools’ Triathlon and Duathlon event up next. This is on Sunday 5 March, in Oamaru.  

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