June 14,2014(ISN) – PIKE LAKE, Sask.—Alberta’s Russell Pennock and Quebec’s Emy Legault captured the
first men’s and women’s titles of the four-race 2014 National Junior Triathlon
Series in Pike Lake, Saskatchewan on Saturday.
The 19-year-old Pennock, brother of National Development Team athlete, Ellen,
battled through difficult windy prairie weather conditions to win the opening junior
men’s title with a time of 55 minutes, 54 seconds. Legault, 17, stomped the junior
women’s field to post a golden time of 1:02:59. National Junior Series athletes
complete a sprint distance race consisting of 750-metres swim, 20-kilometre bike and
five-kilometre run course.
“It was so cold today. I couldn’t feel my feet which made it very difficult,” said
Recovering from a challenging swim in the frigid waters of Pike Lake located just
outside Saskatoon, Calgary’s Pennock worked hard on the bike with Jeremy Briand, of
Sainte-Julie, Que., and Regina’s Brennan Smith to bridge the gap on three athletes
who stayed away from the pack until the 18 kilometre mark of the bike course.
With the lead group setting themselves up for a five-kilometre showdown on the run,
Pennock pulled away from Briand and Xavier Grenier-Talavera, of Vaudreuil, Que., to
capture the gold medal.
Grenier-Talavera settled for second spot at 56:17, while Briand locked up the bronze
medal after clocking-in at 56:26.
“The conditions were so hard to race in today,” said Grenier-Talavera. “I worked
hard to stay away on the break on the bike, but we got caught with two kilometres to
go. There was cross and headwinds all day on the bike. My legs were cooked, and the
winds just made the run harder for everyone.”
Meanwhile, Emy Legault of Ile Perrot, Que., also survived the mental and physical
test along with a difficult swim to win the women’s race.
“It was a weird swim because I stayed wide on the right,” said Legault. “I felt
really good on the run for the first time this season. The hill was so tough on the
final lap of the run, but I knew that was it. It was cold and difficult, but I
worked hard at turning as many things into positives today.”
Fellow-Quebecer, Elizabeth Boutin, was the next best junior woman, claiming the
silver with a time of 1:03:20. Samantha Klus, of Kanata, Ont., rounded out the
women’s podium in third at 1:04:04.
A group of Canada’s youth-level athletes also hit the start line on Saturday for a
500-metre swim, 10-kilometre bike and 2.5-kilometre run course. Pavlos Antoniade, of
Trois-Rivieres, Que., won the youth men’s division with a time of 32:18, while
Kaycee Schroeder, of Dundurn, Sask., finished on top of the youth women’s race after
stopping the clock at 35:49.
The National Junior Series is the nation’s premier development race circuit, which
allows athletes and coaches the appropriate focal points for training and monitoring
athlete progression. The annual four-race series, which also includes two stops in
Quebec and one in British Columbia, is used by Triathlon Canada for World Junior
Team and Canada Games selections. The National Junior Series has produced a crop of
rising stars for Canada on the international stage including: Joanna Brown; Ellen
Pennock; Amelie Kretz; Paula Findlay; and Sarah-Anne Brault.
Canada’s top junior triathletes will now head to Quebec City for the second stop of
the Tour set for July 12-13.