Under 23 athletes shine in open elite company

Monday 3 February 2014, 1:45PM
By Triathlon NZ

Cooper Rand took out the ITU Oceania U23 Sprint Triathlon championship at Kinloch yesterday, winning by just 8 seconds from Dan Hoy (Auckland) and Jay Wallwork (Auckland). All three raced strongly in a race dominated by the elite open favourites Ryan Sissons, Tony Dodds and Brendan Sexton (Australia).

In the U23 elite women’s race it was Sophie Corbidge winning the day in spectacular fashion as the Auckland athlete won the overall event, defeating Ellen Pennock (Canada) in the process. Second and third went to two hugely promising young triathletes with Nicole van der Kaay (Taupo) thrilling the locals and her watching family with second while Jaimee Leader (Palmerston North) again showed her immense potential with third place. Both van der Kaay (17 years) and Leader (16 years) were amongst the youngest in the field but raced superbly against their older opponents.

Both van der Kaay and Leader featured strongly on the bike in the race with the open elites, riding strongly in the lead group along with Maddie Dillon (Auckland) and Rebecca Clarke (Auckland). Dillon was also in the U23 category but was disqualified post race for a transition penalty that was not taken during the race.

The U23’s raced in the same field as the open elites and took their chances superbly, not just holding on to their older and more experienced rivals but at times racing at or near the front of the field, in particular in the women’s race.

.kiwi Tri Series
Kinloch, Taupo
ITU Oceania Sprint Championships

NZ Sprint Championships
U23 Men
1 Cooper Rand             Auckland                        1:04:10
2 Dan Hoy                      Auckland                       1:04:18
3 Jay Wallwork                                                     1:04:36

U23 Women
1 Sophie Corbidge              Auckland                   1:11:51
2 Nicole van der Kaay         Taupo                         1:13:04
3 Jaimee Leader                  Palmerston Nth          1:14:03

The event is run by Triathlon New Zealand with the support of the Tūwharetoa Maori Trust Board, Taupo District Council and Tri-Sport Taupo.