July 12,2014(ISN) – LAC DELAGE, Que.—Alberta’s Russell Pennock and Quebec’s Emy Legault remained unbeaten in 2014 on the National Junior Series, each capturing their second-straight titles on Saturday in Lac Delage, Que.
Emy Legault, of Lile-Perrot, Que., thrilled the hometown crowd after shattering the 40-athlete junior women’s field with a time of one hour, six minutes, 26 seconds (1:06:26.0) on the highly technical 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and 5 kilometre run course.
“It was tough out there today,” said the 17-year-old Legault. “The hills on the bike broke up the packs a bit. It was also a really tough run, especially the steep hill at the 500 metre and three kilometre mark. I’m happy to get the win.”
Toronto’s Kirsten Vergara finished nearly 27 seconds off the leading pace set by Legault. Vergara clocked-in at 1:06:53.3. Annie-Kim Labarre, of Joliette, Que., rounded out the women’s podium in third at 1:07:17.7.
Meanwhile, Russell Pennock also proved he remains the man to beat in Canada’s junior triathlon circles. The determined Calgarian responded well to the quick pace in the opening 300-metres in the deep water start, and carried the momentum through the changing elevation the bike and run course. The 19 year old brother of National Development Team athlete, Ellen, finished 11 seconds ahead to break the finish tape with a time of 57:47.8.
“The deep water start, and randomized start order (50 athletes), made the start exciting and the pace was really high,” said Pennock. “I loved the hills on the run and the bike. The elevation and tight corners really shook things up nicely today.”
Myles Zagar, of Caledon, Ont., ran to his first medal of the season after posting a second-place time of 57:58.5. Jeremy Briand, of Saint-Julie, Que., grabbed his second consecutive bronze medal at 58:04.7.
“It was a great race today,” said Briand. “I’m really happy to get third. The top guys showed great run speed. I’m looking forward to national championships and the worlds.”
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 Magog, Que. for the third stop of the Tour, which will also serve as the Junior Canadian Championships, July 19-20.