Max Wright of the Vernon Tri Monsters crosses the finish line first in the Victoria Youth Triathlon. (Photo Submitted)

Vernon Tri Monsters primed for Summer Games

Youth triathletes enjoying sizzling season

Triathlon season is well underway for Vernon’s Tri Monsters who have swum, cycled, and ran their way towards podium finishes and B.C. Summer Games qualifications at races around the province this spring.

A total of 10 Tri Monsters opened the season with TriBC Series Race #1 in North Shore in late May, where solid performances landed five athletes on the podium: Braden Kersey (Junior Male 3rd); Brody Wright and Jack Screen (Youth Male 2nd and 3rd); Kasha Vitoratos (Kamloops, Youth Female 2nd); Max Wright (12-13 Male 2nd).

Vernon’s Mad Moto, a small, high-performance race opportunity gave the Monsters home course advantage as they raced for B.C. Summer Games qualification spots in Coldstream May 27. The Mad Moto brought in 27 athletes, ages 14-20, to the shores of Kalamalka Lake.

The experienced field raced for highly sought after Zone 2 Games spots, and used the opportunity to sharpen their race skills for the remainder of the season. Top-three Youth Male and Female racers were awarded spots on the Zone 2 team, including Tri Monsters Brody Wright (2nd M) and Kasha Vitoratos (1st F).

A total of nine extra wildcard spots were awarded to Zone 2 as the competitive and fast field demonstrated the depth of triathlon talent in the Okanagan Valley. Zone 2 (Thompson-Okanagan) will be represented at the Games, July 19-22, in Cowichan Valley, by a team of 13 athletes, among only 40 total across the province.

Screen and Amelia Hudson were awarded wildcard spots and join the team.

The Tri Monsters then sent seven the Victoria Youth Triathlon June 10 for BC Series Race #2. Solid swim performances put Junior Male athletes Aidan Eglin and Trevor Laupland into favourable positions on the bike, where they rode tactically strong to set themselves up for the run.

Max Wright took the win in the 12-13 Male race with a dominating bike ride away from the rest of the field.

It was a solid race for all Tri Monster athletes who again demonstrated the depth of Okanagan talent with their podium placings: Laupland 2nd Junior M, Brody Wright 3rd Youth M.

Monster and Zone 2 head coach Laura Medcalf is stoked with the results so far this season.

“We really emphasize skill development, as well as fun and social opportunities in training, so it’s really exciting to see the results come to those who have been practicing consistently and practicing well,” said Medcalf, whose coaching methods and athlete results have earned the team recognition as a development club within the Triathlon BC and Triathlon Canada high-performance pathways.

“We are very lucky to have formed partnerships with other sport groups such as the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club and the Vernon AAA Track and Field Club, and be able to offer our athletes a variety of training opportunities.”

The Tri Monsters train regularly through the spring and summer, and host athletes from Vernon, Coldstream, Armstrong, Kamloops and Kelowna. Triathlon Club participants ages 11-17, and Junior Squad athletes ages 14+ are gearing up for the Kelowna Apple, Aug. 18-19, the Summerland Orca Triathlon Sept. 2, and will finish the season on home turf with the Paradigm Naturopathic Kids Triathlon Sept. 9 at Kin Beach.

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Brody Wright of the Vernon Tri Monsters leads a chase pack at the Victoria Youth Triathlon. (Photo Submitted)

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