Trio up against country's best

WARRNAMBOOL College student Naticia Varley is cautiously optimistic about her prospects at the Australian Schools’ Triathlon Championships. 

The 13-year-old is one of three south-west triathletes selected on the Victorian team for the nationals which get under way in Bendigo on Thursday.  

Brauer College’s James Neville and Cobden Technical School’s Kurt McDonald will also compete for Victoria at this week’s event. 

Fourteen-year-old Kurt is in blistering form, having picked up silver at the Australian Youth Championships on the Sunshine Coast last month as a bottom-age athlete in the 15-16 boys’ category. 

Naticia said she wasn’t sure how she would go this week, but was hopeful of finishing in the top 20. 

She said she was looking forward to testing herself against some of the best young triathletes in the country. 

“It’s going to be a great experience,” she said. 

“I’ve competed against the other Victorians but never the interstate ones. I’m not sure how I’ll go but I’m hoping I can get top 20.” 

Naticia will compete in the junior category and will race as an individual on Thursday before a teams event on Thursday. 

She said her position in the teams event would be judged on her performance in the individual race. 

Naticia said the run was her strongest leg. 

“I’ve had a look at the course and the ride looks like it will be hilly,” she said. 

All three qualified for the Australian championships via three selection races last year. The best two results from the three were taken to establish the top six qualifiers.

Naticia will race in the junior category (13 and 14 year-olds), Kurt will compete in the intermediate section (15-16 years), while James will race in the senior category (17, 18 and 19 years). 

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