by Chris Dornan
March 9, 2014, SARASOTA, Fla. (ISN) – Pegged on the calendar during the dark days of winter as a must-win race, four rising stars in Canadian triathlon from the Guelph, Ont. Regional Training Centre joined forces on Sunday to win the Pan American Team Relay Championships in Sarasota, Florida.
Amelie Kretz, of Blainville, Que., Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., Joanna Brown, of Carp, Ont., and Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., combined to win the relatively newly-instituted mixed relay format after clocking a golden time of one hour, 25 minutes, 56.7 seconds.
“Training in the winter on trainers inside because of the snow in Canada can often be long, hot and a touch boring. One training session, we used this race as a source of inspiration during a tough ride speculating about strategy and bringing a team that could reach the top of the podium,” said Brown. “Today, we executed our race plan and worked well as a team.”
The mixed relay brings a unique twist to a relatively individual sport, albeit all wearing the same Canadian uniform. Each athlete completes a spectator-friendly mini-triathlon with lots of transitions, that includes 350 metres of swimming, 6.4-kilometres on the bike, and a two-kilometre run. Athletes tag to their teammate following the run to send the next member of the team member into the water.
“Being a member of a relay team, you realize the pressures of racing for your teammates and there is a certain indescribable motivation that comes with wanting to perform to your very best to give each member of the team the biggest advantage possible,” added Brown. “This victory is one of accumulated efforts, and sharing it with a team that is like family makes it even more special.”
Saturday’s silver-medal winning pint-sized Canadian, Kretz, got the Canadians off to a blistering start before tagging off to Yorke, in second spot. Yorke, who won Saturday’s men’s race, wasted little time hunting down the American, Jarrod Shoemaker, in the water, and then jumped into the lead on the bike and never looked back, giving the Canadians a 20 second lead onto the run. Brown opened that lead to just over a minute in the third leg before handing off to Hinton, who sealed the deal for the young Canucks.
“I was a bit sore and tired from the day before, but I pressed hard because I knew my team was counting on me. It was good that I was able to give Joanna an advantage going into her leg,” said Yorke. “All I was thinking about was just wanting to help the team out as much as possible and give them as much advantage as possible.”
The Americans hung on for the silver medal at 1:26:32.0. Another team of Canadians joined forces to secure the bronze. Calgary’s Alex Coates, Quebec’s Gab Legault, Victoria’s Alison Hooper, and junior race winner, Xavier Talavera-Grenier, of Vauldreuil-Dorion, Que., combined to clock a third-place time of 1:28:47.0.
Canada had a solid group of 47 athletes in Florida. For a complete list of results, please visit http://allsportsevents.com/Results/triathlon_results/SarasotaBradentonTriathlon2014.html#/results::1394316528565
The World Triathlon Series gets underway in Auckland, New Zealand, April 6-7, 2014.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.