In what was a tense and thrilling day of racing at Mallory Park, Leicestershire, some strong podium performances from the East Midlands team meant they retained their British Triathlon Inter Regional Championship title, the first region ever to do so.
This weekend saw the British Triathlon Under 20's festival, which incorporated the British Triathlon Inter Regional Championships for Tri Star 2s and 3s as well as the 2015 British Triathlon Youth and Junior Super Series finale.
The athletes were treated to a gloriously sunny day, but Mallory Park proved a challenging race venue with cool waters, a technical bike course and a fast but windy run.
The Tri Star 2 boys got the action underway in the morning with Kieran Merch from the North East claiming the gold medal in 21.16. Six seconds behind was Joe Sherman with Osian Perin crossing the line in third in a time of 21.28. Kieran commented:"I've been down to Mallory Park just to get some practice in before the race and I'm glad I did, it definitely paid off."
The Tri Star 2 girls race was won by Alana Meenan of the East Midlands in a time of 21.55. Isla Britton finished second in 22.07 with Ciara Blount crossing the line in 22.29 to take third. After the race, Alana said: "This is my last and biggest race of the season and I wasn't expecting to do so well, I'm really pleased."
In the Tri Star 3 boys race it was a dominant performance from North West athlete Marcus Dey who made it into a two man breakaway early on in the bike, winning by 32 seconds in 28:28. In second place was Zac Wort in 29.00 with Daniel Dixon narrowly edged into third in a time of 29:05. After the race Marcus said: "My running was feeling really strong and I managed to pull away, I'm really happy with my race."
Libby Mae Coleman made it two wins for the East Midlands and after a second place finish last year was crowned champion in the Tri Star 3 girls race in a time of 31.53. It was a sprint finish for second place with Elsbeth Grant winning the silver by one second over Helena Dyce, who finished in 32.31. "I was nervous at the start of the race but I've trained here before so I know the course quite well," Libby said on her win.
A team of up to 12 athletes competed for each of the regions, with the regions 10 best results being added together after the four races, and the overall British Triathlon Inter Regional Champions crowned. The two individual wins for the East Midlands helped them to retain their Inter Regional Championship title, the first region ever to do so. Collecting the silver medals were the team from the North West with the South West team in third.
East Midlands Team Manager Hilary Johnson said: "I'm really proud of the athletes for all of their hard work throughout the year. I'm gobsmacked, we didn't think we'd even make it onto the podium this year but to win again is incredible."
For full results, please click here.