School Sport State Championships, Tommaso and Lottie

School Sport State Championships, Tommaso Puccini



Heading into the Intermediate race at School Sport State Championships, I had no idea what to expect. Seeing all the big year 10 boys lined up at the start threw me off a bit. My only objective was to arrive in the top 6 and qualify for nationals later. This race was the biggest I’d ever been in. 61 boys made for a very rough start, and I stood no chance against the wall of flesh surrounding me in to the first buoy. Once the pack straightened out, I was able to work my way through slowly, and hit the halfway point in 7th place. To begin the second lap, I had to run around a flag on the beach, which allowed me to see where my competition was. I was quite a while behind the leaders, but I stayed strong in the second half of the swim and came out 5th. As I was running to my bike, I slipped on the grass and took a tumble, which was met with a variety of “Oooh’s” from the crowd. I had a decent transition and was about 30 seconds behind the leaders at the start of the bike. It was time to put my new carbon wheels to the test.

My first lap was excellent; I overtook two athletes almost immediately and was keeping up with the leaders. Nick Thompson confirmed that I was third as I passed by, and I accelerated heading into the second lap. The headwind hit me hard there, and I began to slowly lag behind the leaders, all while contemplating the possibility that Carbon Wheels don’t actually make you an instant god on the bike. Seeing Ethan and Reece slowly edge away from me in the last 10k certainly sapped my motivation, and I came into T2 about a minute behind, but with a strong lead on the rest of the field. I almost fell again while running my bike into transition, but managed to get to my shoes and slipped them on quickly, forgetting to tighten them.

I was quite certain I would get a medal at this point, and I was quite certain it would be bronze. A minute is a lot of ground to make up in 4k of running. The run course was straight and flat, so I could see Ethan and Reece in the distance. I was feeling great at the 1km turn around, and I saw that Ethan had hit the wall. He had fallen far behind Reece and was running a lot slower than me. I crept up to him through the second kilometre and caught him right at the 2km turnaround. I forgot to collect my red wristband and lost about 10 seconds at the turn. Ethan followed my lead and also forgot, so I didn’t lose any ground. I crossed the footbridge and realised how close I was to Reece, I knew I was running a lot faster than him and as I passed him at 3k, I felt comfortable knowing I would stay ahead. I pushed on to the finish, putting 25 seconds between me and Reece. As I crossed the line I raised my arms up – and tripped right on the finish.

It was a great race and definitely increased my confidence for the rest of the season. I went into the race thinking there was no way I could beat the two boys, but now I know where I stand and hopefully I will have continued success up to the School Sport race in the Gold Coast this May.


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School Sport State Championships, Lottie Thompson



Going into the race I was pretty nervous as I had some tough competition this year and wasn’t sure if I would make the team. My warm up consisted of a lap of the bike course and a 1.5km run plus a little swim warm up before the start which ideally would have been longer but time didn’t allow for that. 

The swim start was pretty hectic as there were quite a few girls in my race. I was lucky to be at the end so I got out of the scrimmage pretty quickly and was leading and in clear water by the the second boy. I was a bit confused as I was expecting one of my competitors to be ahead of me but after a few minutes of the swim she still wasn’t with me so I decided to try and keep my lead for as long as I could. 

T1 was pretty smooth with my magnetic buckle helmet and still couldn’t see any one else from my race. Throughout most of the bike leg I was pretty strong and kept the pace on for as long as I could (a bit difficult at times when there was a head wind) because I knew the other girls in my age group can out run me. I ended up catching some of my friends on the bike from the age group above who started earlier and sped up going past them so they thought I was zoomy. 

I took a few extra seconds in T2 making sure my racing flats were comfortable so I could run well which paid off. 

I was really happy with my run averaging a pace of 3:51 which is a big improvement from the 4:15 pace I ran last year. I also ran past a really good senior girl (again I sped up to look more impressive than I really am). Having Grant out there watching on the run really helped me keep up the pace and hang on to grab the win by about a minute.

Was overall really happy with my race especially as I didn’t need the toilet half way through. ðŸ‘