Tara Anglican School for Girls’ senior triathlon team has claimed gold in the 2017 NSW All Schools Triathlon relay competition.
The Tara team featuring year 11 students Arah Ko and Jacqueline Burnand, and year 12 sport prefect Elizabeth Georgopoulos had a fierce battle with Oakhill College but finished first by 15 seconds in a time of 52 minutes flat at Sydney International Regatta Centre.
It was a team effort after Arah finished the swim leg in equal third before Jacqueline pushed Tara into second during the cycling leg to sit nine seconds behind Oakhill.
After finishing over the top of her competitor in the run, Elizabeth said it was a surprise to finish on top of the podium.
“We turned up to the event hoping to come in the top five, but did not have any serious expectations or goals to place in the event,” she said.
“We were ready to push hard, try our best while having fun doing it. We were surprised and thrilled to come away with gold.”
While Elizabeth and Jacqueline train for triathlon, Arah is a pool swimmer and this was her first triathlon.
Having not done an open water swim before, she said it was a different experience than she’s used to.
“When I first hopped in, I thought you would still be able to see something in the water but it was just green,” Arah said.
“It was a bit of a struggle to swim straight and I couldn’t even see the swimmers in front of me so a lot of the time we would be unintentionally swimming over each other.”
Team triathlon captain Jacqueline said the team came together when she heard Arah was moving to the school earlier this year.
“We were kind of looking around and saw that she was coming to the school so I thought I’d ask her early if she wanted to be part of the team,” Jacqueline said.
She capped off a strong meet when she finished fourth in the individual event.
Having achieved strong results for the school, Jacqueline is also set to travel to Canada for the World Aquathlon Championships in August.
Aquathlon is made up swimming and running components.
Jacqueline won an Australian Aquathlon event earlier this year to automatically qualify for the World Championships.
“For preparation, I’ll just continue my normal triathlon training of swimming, riding, running,” she said.
“I will just keep to my normal training schedule and hopefully that will work for me.”
Despite the result, the team may be unable to take part in the national relay event in April after Arah qualified for the swimming nationals in Brisbane and Jacqueline has made the national individual triathlon titles, which are on at the same time.