Ontario Triathletes Battle Hard in National Junior Series Opener

June 15, 2014 – Pike Lake Saskatchewan  – In the first of four National Junior Series events Provincial Team member and Quest for Gold supported athlete, Samantha Klus showed her strength and grabs Ontario’s solo podium spot finishing 3rd.

Triathlon Ontario supported athletes racked up a number of top 10 finishes, including 4th (Myles Zagar – RTC Guelph) and 5th (Oliver Blecher – C3) on the men’s side, and 3rd (Samantha Klus– Bytown Storm) and 6th place (Meagan Adams – Bytown Storm) .  Early Saturday morning with water temperature at a “balmy 16 degrees” and 10 degree air temp with 20k winds.  It promised to be an interesting start to the season.

Up first were the men, with the woman following 5 min behind.  Over  60 Junior men and almost 30 Junior women lined up on the beach for the 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run.

On the men’s side two Ontario athletes, Myles Zagar and Oliver Blecher exited the water first with a 15-20 second lead over a group of 6-7 other men.  The bike course was one loop out and back, with the wind, it would prove to be a tough ride.  “The pack caught us a little after the turnaround,” Blecher commented.  “We worked well together but it was windy and with about 7km to go they caught up.”  Zagar and Blecher were still first out of T2 but were subsequently caught by the eventual medalists Russel Pennock (AB), Xavier Gernier-Talaveria (QC) and Jeremy Briand (QC).   Over all, Ontario Junior men placed well with seven athletes in the top 20.

On the woman’s side we had fewer bodies but as impressive results leading off with a 3rd place finish by Samantha Klus. The Junior woman start time was just 5 min. after the men.  Leading out of the water by 20 sec was Elisabeth Boutin and Ashlyn Cortvrient,  the chase pack of 8-10 led by Samantha Klus, quickly caught the 2 leaders.  “We caught up to them pretty quickly,” said Klus.   “Then I just stuck to my race plan and kept the bike pace really high, it took its toll on my legs but we cracked the pack up before the turn around and I think we dropped 3-4 riders.”

The top three women were the first out of T2 and kept the run pace pretty solid, finishing in the order of Emy Legault (QC), Elisabeth Boutin (QC) and Samantha Klus (Ont).
In just her 4th Junior event, 16 year old, Meagan Adams had a breakthrough race finishing 6th over all.  After a very solid swim coming out with 7-8 other athletes,  Adams remarked after the race, “It was nice to finally get a chance to ride with some other people,” and with the days 3rd best run split (Junior Woman) she ran into the top ten quickly finishing in 6th spot over all.


Triathlon Canada’s 2014 Junior Series has added the Team Relay concept to select Junior series events.  The relay program is a fun competitive way to increase race opportunities for our developing athletes.  The relay consists of a 250m swim, 7km bike and a 1600m run. Each team has 4 members (2 men, 2 women) each of whom must complete the full course.

Relays were scheduled for Sunday morning at 6:30am.  With over 20 teams of 4 it was going to be a fun day.   Ontario had 3 teams entered:

  • Team One – Myles Zagar / Alec Jarvis / Samantha Klus / Meagan Adams
  • Team Two – Garrick Lowean / Alex Maxwell / Danae Morris / Kiesha Besler (Saskatchewan)
  • Team Three – Aaron Mohammadi / Jacob Jamnicky / Adian Zagar / Marty Whelan (all male team)

There were two all male teams (Ontario and BC) which were sent off 5 mins after the mixed teams.  The relay format is exciting, fun and very competitive.  With the shorter distances there is some strategy in forming teams and the order (girl-boy-girl-boy) in which you arrange your team.  Team One for Ontario was the only team we got to enter and then Triathlon Canada Officials took the extra athletes and decided the rest of the teams.

Ontario results were mixed.  Team One, which definitely had a chance for a medal, was a DNF (Alec Jarvis went into cold shock during the swim and after a bit of medical treatment he was fine with only a bruised ego).

Team 2 had a few bumps with a penalty and a really rough T1.

Team 3 (all men’s team) showed that a 5 min deficit was not too much to overcome, and while they could not qualify for a medal they all did a fantastic job moving through the field easily.

All in all the relays are an excellent addition to the series, providing more race opportunities, more experience, and a fun, exciting and relaxed event (there are no points attached to these races just bragging rights).  It allows us to get the athletes to mingle more and to take chances during a race, do things different, push harder or try new tactics without risking anything but your pride if it goes wrong.
Great weekend of racing congratulations to all the Ontario athletes and their clubs, coaches and parents for supporting them.


Greg Kealey is based out of Ottawa and is Triathlon Ontario’s Provincial Development Coach and Ontario’s Canada Summer Games coach for Triathlon.  He is also a member of Bytown Storm’s Development Team www.bytowntriathlon.com.


 Next Up: Quebec City Junior Elite Race – July13/14th, 2014

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