Christmas came early for two shocked triathletes at yesterday’s final Mudgee Triathlon Club race for the year.
Teenagers Emmett Karstrom and Rose Vassel were dominant in their respective races at Lawson Park – Karstrom in the men’s long course and Vassel in the women’s equivalent.
Karstrom capped off his most successful year in the sport while Vassel ensured she would be a triathlete to watch out for in 2013.
“I felt good but I didn’t know I was going to go that good because I haven’t raced in a while,” the 19-year-old said.
The Cooks Gap resident only took up the sport last season and recorded her maiden win in only her second race for the year.
“I enjoy it all. It is a great well-rounded sport and there is definitely a sense of achievement at the end even if you don’t do well.”
Vassel was second out of the water behind Mel Kastelein but the pair, as well as Angela Fittler, were neck-and-neck when the competitors came back to transition to change from the bike leg to the run.
Vassel had plenty of fuel left in the tank as she put a nice gap between her and her nearest rivals.
She finished 90 seconds ahead of Kastelein with Fittler only a minute further behind.
Meanwhile it was Karstrom’s race from the moment the starter said “go”.
The Australian representative made his way to the front during the swim and he held his position for the entire race.
He finished the 300m swim, 10km bike and 3km run event in a time of 33 minutes and 28 seconds, beating the likes of Guyren Atkinson (35.48), Nick Kastelein (36.18) and Adam Mort.
“That swim was a bit of a surprise,” Karstrom said.
“I went out as hard as I could and I ended up a fair way ahead of the field than I thought I would.
“The bike I just went out as hard as I could and I felt really good.
“The run was a bit of a struggle, it was a bit hot out there but the last race I was really happy, it is a real plus for me.”
Karstrom has worked hard at improving his fitness, triathlon times and ability.
His highlight for the year was when he raced for Australia at the world championships in Auckland in October.
“This race today caps off a great year, I just wanted to have some fun,” he said.
“The swim and the bike definitely [have improved], my run was a little bit slower but I am actually a little bit faster than what I used to be.
“I start uni next year and I am going to be applying for elite athlete consideration so I will see what happens.”
In other results, Amelia Coombes won the junior long course for women, Adam Lucas won the senior men’s short course and Alison Wilson took out the women’s short course.
In the juniors short course brother and sister Joshua and Hannah Jones won the boys’ and girls’ events respectively.
Ella Hawes won the female midgets, Melissa Wisbey was victorious in the female minis, and Fraser and Lachie Burke took out the boys midgets and minis respectively.
THE WINNING PATH: Rose Vassel won her first women’s long course race at yesterday’s Mudgee Triathlon Club event at Lawson Park. Photo: BEN HARRIS
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