2015 Australian Triathlon Youth Champs

12/03/2015 by Steve Knowles

The heat was on and spoils were shared across four States when Australia’s finest young triathletes strutted their stuff at Twins Waters on the Sunshine Coast today at the 2015 Australian Triathlon Youth Championships.

Queensland won three of the six age groups with Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia also topping the podium.

There were big celebrations for the Sheldon College Talent Development Academy and coach Chris Lang.

Katina Von Elsner-Wellsteed and Joanne Barnes

Photo Tri Aus

The College notched the quinella in 17/18 years girls race through Katinka Von Elsner-Wellsteed and National Duathlon champion Joanne Miller with Alex Barnes (NSW) third.

It was the College’s first gold medal since the specialist program kicked off three years ago in Redlands.

Von Elsner-Wellsteed came into the program two years ago from the Queensland country town of Nanango, 200km north west of Brisbane.

“Katinka has done a great job since coming into the program and certainly deserves the win and it was another solid performance from Joanne, who won the National Age Duathlon Championships and will compete in the ITU World Championships in Adelaide later in the year,” said Lang.

“These results are great for the program and a credit to the girls.”

The 17/18 years boys race went to Brisbane State High Year 12 student Nick Free, the latest recruit from the talented coach Josh White’s QAS program to break through for a “well deserved victory.”

“It was hot out there alright and I made sure I took in plenty of fluids before and during then race; that was the key,” said Free, who was excited to break through to win after a disappointing second race of the Australian Youth Series race in Penrith.

“I was up there in the swim and had a strong bike ride and pushed hard to break away on the run and I’m very happy with that.”

Free raced away to beat Liam Burton from the ACT with the consistent Queenslander Kye Wylde third.

There was success for the White stable earlier in the day with a victory to Tahlia Fletcher in the 13/14 years girls race ahead of Keely Whittaker and Bianca Jones in an all Queensland finish.

The 13/14 years boys race went to former champion surf lifesaver from South Australia Sam Tierney who proved too strong for Queensland pair Lachlan Solinski and Ryan Roberts.

Meanwhile Victorian Kurt McDonald’s decision to arrive onto the Sunshine Coast on Monday gave the boy from Camperdown in country Victoria the perfect preparation.

“I don’t think it’s been this hot in Victoria all year – thank goodness we came in early to get used to it,” said McDonald, who is coached by his father Deiter McDonald.

“I am certainly not used to this kind of heat, that’s for sure but I was happy to get the victory in what is the most competitive age group here – there were 40 of us on the start line so to get the win was very pleasing.”

The girls 15/16 years gold went to talented Western Australian Jess Claxton who held on beat Australian Series winner Ellie Hoitink from the ACT with Emily Jamgotchian (NSW) third.


 Australian Triathlon Youth Championships, Twin Waters:



13/14 years (400m; 12km; 3km) T Fletcher (QLD) 37:25 K Whittaker (QLD) 38:18 Bianca Jones (QLD) 38:51

15/16 years (600m;16km; 4km): J Claxton (WA) 50:44 E Hoitink (ACT) 50:54 E Jamgotchian (NSW) 50:58

17/18 years (750m; 20km;5km) K Von Elsner-Wellsteed (QLD) 51:06 J Miller (QLD) 51:20 A Barnes (NSW) 51:23


13/14 years (400m; 12km; 3km) S Tierney (SA) 36.01 L Sosinski (QLD) 36:30 R Roberts (QLD) 36:35

15/16 years (600m;16km; 4km): K McDonald (VIC) 36:29 J Grant (QLD) 36:38 L Bate (WA) 36:41

17/18 years (750m; 20km;5km): N Free (QLD) 44:56 L Burton (ACT) 45:09 K Wylde (QLD) 45.28