Young Bermudian triathletes impress in Florida
Jackson Langley and Fenella Wightman were the best-placed Bermudians in their respective categories at the season’s opening junior triathlon event, the Clermont Draft Legal Challenge in Florida.
Several top youth triathletes from the United States and the Caribbean took part in the event, which saw Langley placing an impressive tenth in the Youth Boys division after gaining ground with a strong performance on his bike.
Langley completed his swim in 6min 6sec, his bike in 16:40 and his run in 9:28 for a combined time of 34:08.3, with the Youth Boys Development event going to American Wills Gillis, 32:11.6.
Luke McIntyre, 32:41.4 took second place, while third went to Cooper Chesser, 32:47.5.
The other Bermudians in the division, Callum MacFarlane (34:59.2) finished fourteenth, while Jacob Wright (36:52.2) crossed the line in 21st position, Jake Smith (38:21.7) in 27th and Ollie Hayward (38:52.6) in 30th out of the 43 competitors.
In the Youth Girls Division, Fenella Wightman, who posted 37:01.6, placed fifteenth out of the 41 competitors despite picking up a penalty after the bike.
Jaeda Grant clocked 40:52.4 for her 28th-place finish and S’Nya Cumbermack managed a time of 42:07.2 which gave her a 30th-position finish in their first overseas triathlon as both girls finished the race with an excellent running leg.
The Youth Girls Development division was won by Emily Knopfle in 33:48.8 ahead of Charlotte Chang, 34:12.0 and Charlotte Joseph, 34:19.2.
Manning Smith and Jauza James competed in the under-25 development event over the sprint distance. In a strong field both were lapped out on the bike leg and were forced to retire.
Head coach Neil de Ste Croix commented that the performances of the athletes was testament to the training and dedication shown be the athletes, who have spent the past three months on a training plan specifically tailored towards the event.
Clive Langley, who has also been working with the group, stated that the performances set a solid foundation for Bermuda to field an extremely competitive team on home soil as the country gets set to host the 2022 Carifta Triathlon, Aquathlon and Mixed Relay Championships on September 24 and 25.
Meanwhile, Caroline Wright, speaking on behalf of the Bermuda Triathlon Association is expecting the experience to serve the youngsters well in the future.
“The children have gotten a taste of international competition and are ready to [build] in the work to prepare for the Carifta Games later this year and show that Bermuda will be a team to look out for,” she said.
• UPDATE: this article has been amended to correct S’Nya Cumbermack’s finishing time