South Coast juniors enjoyed a packed and exciting couple of days at the SA State Junior Track Championships at the SA Superdrome. We had 10 riders competing across the JW17, JM15, and JM17 categories, and a South Coast rider on nearly every podium across these categories. Next year we’ll try to have riders in every category from U11 to J17!
This Championship was notable for the number of Club team in the Team Pursuit and Team Sprint events – which added to the overall enjoyment. It was also gratifying not just to welcome riders from Victoria and the NT (especially in the younger age groups) – but also to see Midura-Coomealla, Whyalla, and Mt Gambier riders being able to enrich the event. Ethan Birraine and Hugh Nicolas rode strongly and would have learnt a lot from their first big racenevent. With gains in fitness and experience over the next year they’ll do us proud at the next Championships – they are certainly willing and talented enough! Ethan rode well and finished strongly amongst the first year JM17s in the Individual Pursuit, Sprint, and JM15/JM17 Team Sprint showing his versatility. Hugh gave it his all as a JM15 in every event and event showed the club colours in the JM15/JM17 Team Pursuit (SCC finished 3 rd !) and the JM15/JM17 Team Sprint. Ethan and Hugh teamed with Noah Davies in the Team Sprint.
Our JW17 contingent of Heather May, Staci McCudden, Shelby Johnson, Tessa Kohn and Ella Sibley all won medals – showing the strength (and numbers) of female juniors in the Club. Shelby and Tessa scored gold in the JW15/JW17 Team Pursuit, and Staci scored a fighting Bronze in the Points race as well a Bronze in the Team Sprint with Ella. Shelby showed bravery and a good resistance to pain to re-race the Team Sprint after a crash – the only race crash of the whole weekend! Heather had a blinder of a meet coming away with State Champion titles in 500m Time Trial, Scratch Race, Sprint, and Team Sprint – and a new State Record (just .003s!) in the Sprint qualifying. To continue with her dream of being a Sprinter/ Team Pursuiter (why?) she also scored 4 th fastest in the Individual Pursuit.
The JM15 contingent of Hugh Nicolas and Elliot Walker wasn’t big on numbers but was big on guts! Hugh and Elliot rode in two JM15/JM17 events – in addition to their own races. Elliot showed that he is has strength, speed, versatility (and a bit of personality!) in taking out State Championship titles in every event of his age group – 500m Time Trial, Individual pursuit, Points Race, Scratch Race, and Sprint, and creditable Bronzes in the JM15/JM17 Team Pursuit and Team Sprint events.
The JM17 contingent also showed that they are chock-full of existing and potential success amongst a field of 20 JM17 riders. Noah Davies, Ethan Birraine, and Lewis Walker wore the Club colours with pride. Noah’s first year in JM17 has coincided with a large number of 2 nd year JM17 riders in other clubs and so he doesn’t get to shine as much as he deserves – but in his second year he’ll be the one leading the way! Lewis’ skills, experience and cleverness in both the Points and Sprint Races were a joy to behold and we look forward to seeing much more of his riding. Lewis came away as the State Points Race Champion by taking a hard-graft lap on the field. He also earned bronze in the Scratch Race, Bronze in Team Pursuit, Silver in Team Sprint, 4th in 5oom Time Trial and Sprint, and a strong 5th in Individual Pursuit.