After becoming the first Tasmanian to win in the Australian Youth Triathlon Series, Ethan Stretton is ready to step up a level.
The state junior triathlete of the year, who will turn 17 in February, will compete in the junior division this season after taking out the national Youth A boys competition in March.
The St Patrick’s College student recorded three podium finishes – a second and two thirds – to finish on top of the points table and is confident of returning there at least once in the 17-21 age division.
“It’s going to be a real challenge but me and my coach are confident that I can come into the season and be competitive,” Stretton said.
“I’m kind of hoping for places between on the podium and up to 7th would be really good - and a dream goal of mine would be to be selected as one of the junior Australian team to compete in a different country.”
A race in his home state could be just the booster Stretton needs to achieve a top-three result against athletes up to four years his senior.
This year’s three-race series tours Queensland and the ACT before finishing up in Devonport – a city just half an hour from Stretton’s old home town of Burnie.
Having spent nearly one year in Launceston, the Riverside Aquatic swimmer said he had settled into life in the North of the state.
“I’m liking Launceston and all the opportunities it presents,” he said.
“Being able to access the athletics track at St Leonards has been really nice.
“On the bike the groups are really friendly and there’s heaps of hills to vary up what we’re doing, so it makes it really engaging.
“(The junior series course) is a course I’ve raced before, I’m familiar with Devonport and it’ll be a real focus in my series to do well at Devonport.”
Stretton has also enjoyed a successful year in individual disciplines.
As well as running new 1km and 5km PBs and 400m, 800m and setting new 1500m PBs in the pool, he has represented the state in cross country and swimming events.
“I’ve really focused on my technique in swimming so I’ll be able to go faster while conserving more energy.”
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