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Schools Champion Wins First Elite Triathlon

Schools Champion Wins First Elite Triathlon

The 2009/10 Contact Tri Series got underway in Rotorua today, with a big turnout of competitors from children to beginners to the elites taking advantage of the stunning surroundings of the Blue Lake, none more so than current National Schools champion Michael Poole (Auckland) who broke through for his first win at open level.

Conditions were overcast but thankfully the overnight rain stopped falling as the day dawned and slowly but surely the temperature improved. The Blue Lake however was 15 degrees making the decision about wet suits an easy one for competitors but what the water lacked in temperature it made up for in calm crystal clear conditions that resembled a pool swim.

First out of the swim in the men’s Contact Trophy race was Will Pryor (Wellington) with Dylan McNeice (Christchurch) in close attendance with Contact National Schools champion Michael Poole (Auckland) in fourth.

Poole took control on the bike though, using his renowned cycling ability to move in front at the midway point on the undulating 40km course. As well as the hill out of Blue Lake on each lap, competitors also had to deal with increasingly tough wind conditions as the Southerly picked up considerably.

It was of little concern to Poole though; the 18 year old simply rode and then ran away from the field, winning by from Cameron Goldsmid (Wellington), with Dylan McNiece in third.

18 year old Poole who won the premier award at this week’s Auckland Secondary Schools Sports Awards was delighted with the win.

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“Even though I was behind a little on the swim I know how good Dylan is in the water so I was pleased with the swim. Once on the bike I was surprised how quickly I caught the leaders and was pretty much time trialing it for most of the way. The run was just a case of keeping my form and a good rhythm. This was a good race and a great way to end a great week.”

In the women’s race it was Simone Ackerman (Whangarei) who led out of the water with a chase pack that included Waikato University student Maddie Brunton and Sarah Bryant (), ‘fresh’ from her 4th place finish at the Lake Karapiro half Ironman a week ago.

Like Poole in the men’s race, Brunton took control on the bike, moving into the lead by the halfway mark with Ackerman falling off the pace and Janine Simpson (Tauranga) moving into second.

“This is unbelievable really, it hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m pleased with the race although I did mess up a little on the bike and copped a one minute penalty for drafting. I have no one to blame but myself though; I just didn’t listen well enough at the briefing.

“This is a great start to the season, it will be a busy one for me, I think I am just about racing in every event this summer so this is great.”

A huge highlight for everyone on the day was the first running of the Contact 1:2:1 for children with Sam Warriner commentating and running alongside the kids, many of whom were getting their first taste of the sport while mums and dads cheered every swim stroke, bike pedal and run home.

The Contact Tri Series resumes after Christmas with the next event at Whangamata on the Corromandel Peninsula on January 6th. Entry is online at

Contact Tri Series Rotorua
Contact Trophy - 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
1 Michael Poole Auckland 2:19:34
2 Cameron Goldsmid Wellington 2:22:58
3 Dylan McNeice Christchurch 2:23:23
1 Maddy Brunton 2:36:12
2 Anna Ross 2:41:31
3 Sarah Bryant Dunedin 2:41:35

Contact 3:9:3 - 300m swim, 9km bike, 3km run
1 Kieran Coates 33:47
2 Hugh Wilkie 34:54
3 Sam Oliver 38:35

1 Steffie Holcroft 38:41
2 Cati Pearson 40:07
3 Samantha Bradley 40:29

A VNR feed of Sunday’s opening Contact Tri Series race is available, for further information on this feed please contact:


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