Triathlete Ethan Stretton finding his feet at national level

PUSHING HARD: St Patrick's College student Ethan Stretton competes at the Bridport triathlon late last year. Picture: Neil Richardson
PUSHING HARD: St Patrick's College student Ethan Stretton competes at the Bridport triathlon late last year. Picture: Neil Richardson

Just like his family, 15-year-old Ethan Stretton’s triathlon results are heading North.

Having recently made the move from Burnie to Launceston, the son of new Launceston City Council general manager Michael has continued to impress on the national stage, following up a bronze medal finish in race one of the Australian Junior Triathlon series with a silver in race two.

The sole Tasmanian in a field of 34 at Glenelg, Stretton was second out of the water and managed to hold his position throughout the final two legs to finish in a time of 37:08 – 28 seconds behind race winner Daniel Kempson.

The second-place finish leaves Stretton just one point off top place in the Youth A category.

“I kind of had an idea of who my main competitors were, so that allowed for an early assessment of how the race was going when we got onto the bike ride,” Stretton said. 

“Both the real big competitors were there with me so at that point I knew it was going to be a tough race.

The cycling leg is the really challenging part of the race for me to try and stay with the pack, and I was able to in this race, then on the run it was a matter of trying hard.

“In the final 500 or 600m third and fourth were approaching on me and at one point I was overtaken into third but (I took second in) a sprint in the final 300m.”

The third and final race of the series will take place in the Western Australian capital of Perth in early March, where double points will be on the table.

When he’s not focusing on the first term of grade 10 at St Patrick’s College, Stretton will prepare for the series finale by competing in Sunday’s super sprint triathlon in George Town, where he has one focus point in mind.

“I’ll be really focusing on increasing my run so I can grapple for the first spot instead of the second spot.”

Since moving to Launceston, Stretton has joined Riverside Aquatic and continues to be coached by Hobart-based trainer Gabe Dennison.

The former Marist Regional College student is also looking to join a cycling group in the near future as he sets his sights on becoming an elite triathlete.

“Long-term I want to finish the season off well and then move into juniors and compete at a higher level.

“But the year after that I’ll probably be looking to finish in top places and hopefully get my pro licence and be put on the Australian development squad and I’ll be looking to go pro from there.”

Stretton’s performance in race one of the series made him the first Tasmanian to medal at Queensland’s Runaway Bay since Jake Birtwhistle in 2012.