Nelson swimmers and triathletes get busy in the capital at national events

Luke Kelly finished third in his age-group in the Capital Classic round of the national Ocean Swim series.

Luke Kelly finished third in his age-group in the Capital Classic round of the national Ocean Swim series.

It was a busy weekend for Nelson swimmers and triathletes in Wellington during the weekend, with national events on both Saturday and Sunday.

Triathlon New Zealand's championship event over the standard (Olympic) distance was the first event on Saturday morning, with Jon Linyard starting fast, covering the opening 1500m swim in 22min 3sec.

The still, overcast conditions gave way to rain during the race, making the 40km bike ride over four circuits between Oriental Bay and Evans Bay a bit tricky on the corners.

The rain cooled things down though, making for a pleasant 10km run, with Linyard coming through for second in M40-44 in a time of 2hrs 7min 10sec.

Competing in her first-ever race over the distance, Carolyn Squance was consistent, taking the silver medal in F50-54 in a time of 2hr 37min 47sec.

The feature race of the day was the junior (under-19) championship over the sprint distance.

Hayden Squance was an outsider in the 55-strong field, stacked with talent from Triathlon New Zealand high performance groups.

Strong early on, Squance led on occasion in the 750m swim, coming out in the lead bunch - officially fourth as they ran to transition for the crucial move on to the bike.

Wet grass was his undoing as he took a tight corner and "fell right on my arse" before stripping off the wetsuit and running to the bike mount line.

Those critical seconds made all the difference, as a lead bunch of six strong cyclists made a tiny break, enough to open up a gap over the second bunch of 10-12 riders.

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The second bunch never managed to bridge that gap over the 20km bike ride, giving the leaders a critical lead of nearly half a minute as they set up on a high speed run over 5km.

Squance's run of 16min 12sec was the eleventh quickest, giving him 10th place overall - an excellent result in a top field and a good start to his next fortnight of racing in the North Island.

On Sunday, 20 swimmers from Nelson took on events in the Capital Classic round of the national Ocean Swim Series.

Luke Kelly and Hayden Squance settled into the second bunch in the 3.3km swim from Frank KItts Park to the Pt Jerningham lighthouse, then back to the Freyberg Pool via the Oriental Bay fountain.

Kelly led out the bunch at the finish to be 5th overall in a time of 39min 57sec, earning him the bronze medal in M15-19.

Squance was six seconds back for ninth place.

Terry Bone (42.54) finished 25th in the field of nearly 800 for bronze in M40-44, with Jon Linyard (45.35) seventh in the same age group.

Kerry Mathieson (46.54) took the Nelson contingent's only gold medal with a win in F45-49, ahead of Christina Harris (48.52), who took bronze in F50-54.

Other medals came the way of Dick Bennison (50.07), second in M60.64 and Janis Crampton (53.03), third in F55-59.

The tightness of racing didn't go the way of Stuart Hebberd (54.06), who missed a medal in M65-69 by seven seconds and Margaret Johnston (54.34), who missed a F60-64 medal by the narrow margin of two seconds.


 - Stuff

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