Podiums aplenty for tri team

Gus Marfell competes in Wanaka. Photo: Mark Grammer Photography.

A 12-strong Marlborough multisport contingent picked up six podium finishes at Challenge Wanaka and the New Zealand Secondary School Triathlon Championships staged last weekend in Central Otago.

Saturday’s events were the Half (swim of 1.9km, bike 90km, run 21km) and the Aquabike (3km swim, 120km bike).

In the Half, local multisport coach Mark Grammer made an impressive return to longer distance triathlon, winning the M55-59 category, while Jeremy McKenzie – fresh off a win in the Coast to Coast teams event the previous weekend – finished second in the M40-44 grade and 13th overall.

Paul Sell placed second in the M50-54 division, and fourth overall in the Aquabike, sandwiched between a former Aquabike world champion and a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympic cyclist.  Other Marlburians who competed in the Half were Sandy O’Connell, 11th M55-59, Andrew Hill, 17th M35-39 and Paul Beckett,  29th M30-34.

On Sunday, it was the kids’ turn, cheered on by some of their parents and their coach, the aforementioned Grammer.

Following their father’s lead, two of McKenzie’s kids were on the podium, Neve winning the U12G and Finn coming third in the U14B.

In the U19B, Gus Marfell and Fergus Greer were 10th and 16threspectively in a very strong field while, in the equally competitive U16B section, Ryan Marfell and Joe Coldwell were sixth and 25th respectively.

The final podium of the weekend came when Greer, both Marfells and Coldwell combining to take second place for Marlborough Boys’ College in the Tag Team Relay, where all the athletes had to complete a triathlon of their own before handing on to the next competitor.

Next on the competition calendar is qualification for the World Championships Sprint Triathlon in New Plymouth at the end of March.

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