Stratford trio qualify for West Midlands squad

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Stratford’s Ellie Deaner, Jake Deaner, Theo Skirvin, Charlotte Marshall, Molly Bullock and Juliette Marshall.

THREE Stratford triathletes qualified for the West Midlands’ Inter Regional Championships squad following a highly successful qualifying race at the iconic Eton Dorney on Saturday.

The top three finishers from each region qualified to represent their region at the IRC, the thrilling finale to the triathlon season in September.

Stratford’s six triathletes went into the event hopeful, yet respectiful of the quality of competition surrounding them.

The open water swim took place in the same lake as the 2012 Olympic Rowing event.

Clearly inspired by their surroundings, the youngsters put in efforts to make their home club proud.

Kicking things off for Stratford were Ellie Deaner and Charly Marshall for Tristar 3.

The pair swam 300m, cycled 5.3km and ran 2.5km in temperatures hitting 32 degrees.

After a strong swim, Deaner was able to draft with a good cycle group and hold her position on the run.

She finished 20th in a time of 26.18 — two minutes faster than last year.

As the fourth girl to finish from the West Midlands, Deaner is the reserve for the IRC team and will take part in the relay event.

Marshall gave a superb effort and finished in a time of 30.55 in 38th position and eighth for West Midlands — she will have another opportunity in the same category next year.

Following his sister, Jake Deaner raced next alongside Theo Skirvin for Tristar 2.

The boys had to complete a 200m swim, a 5.3km cycle and 1.8km run. This was Jake’s first experience at Eton Dorney and he managed to finish 17th overall, in a time of 22.20.

He was the second boy from the West Midlands which secured his place on the IRC team — a great achievement in his junior year.

Skirvin finished 39th in a time of 24.31 and seventh for the West Midlands. This was a 1 minute 20 second improvement on last year’s time in the same category.

Molly Bullock was racing in her senior year of Tristar 2 and she successfully lay to rest her demons from last year’s open water swim.

This year, she had an excellent swim, starting the bike in a strong position which she maintained on the run.

Her time of 23.34 meant she was 17th overall and fourth from the West Midlands — a further reserve IRC team member — taking part in the relay event.

Too young to compete for a place on the IRC team, Charly’s younger sister Juliette made her Eton Dorney debut competing in the Tristar 1 category where she swam 100m, biked 3km and ran 1km.

Juliette finished 37th out of 57 in a time of 21.15 showing her usual grit and determination.

Jake, alongside Ellie and Molly as reserves, will now train with the regional squad over the summer ahead of the culmination of the triathlon season at Mallory Park in September.