12 March, 2024

Siblings race to nationals

A SIBLING duo will be heading to Western Australia next month to represent Queensland in the Australian School Sports Nationals Triathlon and Aquathlon Championships.

Siblings race to nationals - feature photo

Ella Mayes, a 12-year-old student at St Stephens Catholic College, and Ash Mayes, an 11-year-old attending St Thomas of Villanova, are set to compete in the championships, each bringing their unique talents and determination to the forefront.

Ella has already made waves in the triathlon circuit, securing fourth place in her age group at the Queensland School Sports State Triathlon Championships held in Hervey Bay recently. 

“The Junior Triathlon race involves a 300m swim, 10km bike and a 2 km run,” she said. 

“I love to run and swim and train almost every day. I run with PACE Projects in Cairns and am coached by Jill Boltz, a former Olympian. 

“St Stephens also has a running club on Mondays that I attend. I swim train with Mareeba Wildcats and Kev Davies coaches us Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings before school.  

“I am also a member of the Cairns Surf Life-saving Club, so this also keeps us fit! I haven’t really ridden a bike in a competition before Hervey Bay, and it was quite technical and challenging. 

“I am now having training in Cairns by peninsular coach Michael Haseldine, who is making sure I am competent in drafting. The race is a draft legal race which requires riders to be competent in drafting. 

“As I’m one of the youngest in the Triathlon field, I am not so sure I’ll medal, but I would love to place close to the top 10! I’m going to give it my best shot.”

Meanwhile, Ella’s younger brother Ash has his sights set on the aquathlon championships, which involves a 1km run, 200m swim and then another 1km run. 

Despite being a year younger than his sister, Ash's determination and passion for running is just as a strong. 

“I love to run and have been running since I was nine years old and coached by Jill Boltz at PACE Projects. 

“We train five times per week. I also swim at Mareeba Wildcats Swim Club and Kev Davies coaches us in the mornings before school.

“I am aiming for a medal. The swim leg is my weakest leg, but I have improved so much with training. I have a good chance, but I would be happy if I was in the top 10.  

“I would encourage everyone, even those who aren’t great at swimming, to come and join the Mareeba Wildcats Swim Club. It has helped my swimming improve so much, and we have fun while we train. 

“There is training Tuesday and Friday afternoons and Monday, Wednesday and Friday training before school.”

The competition will kick off this week on 12 March until 15 March in Rockingham, Western Australia.


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