Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Alright...back to the Bird's Hill Race with a long rambling post. By now, faithful PTC blog readers have seen the race reports from NTC-Victoria and the Manitoba NTC. The reports from the other coaches sum things up well. It was a cold morning, with cold water. I didn't hear any complaints from any athletes however - they are a tough crowd, and they came to race.

Here's how things looked from the Ontario perspective:

Both races played out in a similar manner. A lone lead swimmer was out first (Matt Sharpe for the men, Christine Ridenour for the women) and by the end of the first 10k bike lap, there was a solid front pack of 7 (men) or 8 (women) athletes who maintained their lead into T2. A foot race sorted out the finishing order, with a few athletes running up from the chase packs in each race to factor into the top 10. This race was a good reminder that while running wins races, swimming, biking & transitions can make or break a race. In both races, strong swims, quick transitions and decent pack riding decided the top 5-7 places.

I wrote in an earlier post that we took a beating at the hands of TeamBC. I think anytime one province takes 5 of the 6 medals on the podium, that qualifies as a thumpin'. Congrats to coaches Patrick Kelly & Mark Bates, and the BC team on a dominant performance - they are a strong team, and they will continue to be a force in the Junior Series and at the Can Games. We need this sort of quality competition in order to raise our game and help more juniors become internationally competitive. And just to be clear, I'm not saying that our athletes didn't deliver their best effort on the day, or that they raced poorly. Everyone raced hard, the potential is certainly there, and there was something positive that every athlete can take from the race. In fact, Ontario was represented by a great group of athletes.

First off, the rookie junior men really put on a great show, with the top Ontario finishes in 7th (David Mackie), 8th (Zorian Maksymec) and 9th (Tristan Woodfine). This was the first junior draft legal race for David and Tristan, and one of the first for Zorian. David swam well to make the front pack, rode strong, and ran well; 7th in a junior race is a good result for anyone, and remarkable for a junior debut against a good field. Zorian was solid across the disciplines, and ran really well (5th fastest split) to push David to the line. David and Zorian missed the automatic selection criteria (top 6) for the Canada Summer Games by a mere 6 seconds! Tristan Woodfine scorched the run with a race best 15:22, which was 70 seconds faster than the second fastest run split, to run himself into the top 10. wow. These three guys turned a lot of heads, and will definitely factor into the upcoming Coteau du Lac race and Nationals.

Matt Vierula made it four Ontario athletes in the top 10, with a strong race after a big crash just weeks ago at PATCO, and the scars and roadrash to prove it. Taylor Reid (13th), Karsten Madsen (16th) and Alexander Hinton (17th) posted top run times off of good rides. Alexander actually had his best swim ever, and was well positioned to make the front pack, but his chain got stuck against his chainstay, and he dropped approximately 15 places at the mount line before he could work it free. Karsten raced sick, and Taylor was perhaps the smartest athlete on the course - rather than tape up the vents on his helmet due to the cold, he just kept his swim camp on for the bike. Ian Donald and Travis Goron put themselves in good position with a solid swim and bike, but had a rough day on the run. Look for both of them to be in the thick of things at Coteau du Lac.

In the womens' race, Dorelle Hinton had her best run to date, managing to be the only athlete to run up from the chase pack into the top 6. Dorelle's finish qualifies her for Ontario's Canada Games Triathlon Team, with the remaining two spots yet to be decided. Joanna Brown swam well, made a bike pack, and worked through the field with a strong run. Domi Jamnicky, fresh off the plane from OFSAA, had a rough swim, but rode well and moved through the field on the run, too. Angela Quick made the main swim pack, and rode in the second chase pack. On the run she worked hard despite severe breathing problems - that's probably the hardest I've seen Ang race since Edmonton Junior Nationals - a great effort on a tough day. Jade Gregory was caught between packs for part of the bike, and put on a cornering clinic through transition as she gave chase.

The race was very well organized, with great support from the Manitoba parents, athletes and coaches. A special thanks to the families who offered homestays to our athletes, and drove them around. More than one official/volunteer/parent/coach commented on how impressed they were with the Ontario athletes and the way they raced and conducted themselves - great job guys. Finally, thanks to the parents and coaches who support and guide the Ontario crew in this crazy sport.

There were some problems with the results, but they should be sorted out soon, so check back for updated splits.

See you at Provincials in less than two weeks.

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