Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley face their biggest challenge in triathlon to date when they line up against the world’s best junior elite triathletes (16-19) in Chicago this Thursday and Friday respectively.
As two of the youngest triathletes in their events they will face a stiff test and if in their first year at the world championships they can achieve a top 30 finish ( 75 start in each field) it would be a huge achievement. The strength and experience that comes with age and time in the sport favors the older athletes ( many of whom will already have turned 19) but there is no doubt in my mind that both these juniors are rising talents who will acquit themselves well.
Certainly they both deserve to be there and have sacrificed a lot to get there. Tyler ofcourse qualified by finishing top 15 in the CAMTRI region but Erica was selected on a wildcard because of her excellent
performances all season. They have both shown tremendous commitment. Tyler spent virtually his whole summer ( in Northern Spain and here in Victoria BC) working with coach Kelly Guest and his Canadian elite juniors. Erica also spent a few weeks in Victoria working with Kelly and his elite junior girls, who are especially strong athletes. They both stayed with us and they had a punishing training schedule that just gave them time to study, eat and sleep !! In addition they have learnt to stick to a healthy diet.
They have both also travelled to race in the USA, Europe, the UK and Canada and at the Youth Olympics in China ( all of which has been well recorded in this blog and elsewhere) and have achieved some very commendable results and gained invaluable experience as they continue their development in this age group.
And behind these athletes are Adam and Julia Hawley and Aaron and Karen Smith who have provided the support needed for these two juniors to aspire to their dreams. Tyler and Erica have both been great junior ambassadors for Bermuda and have reached this level whilst still meeting a high academic standard ; they deserve our recognition.
Hopefully they will continue their development and one day emulate Tyler Butterfield (MEXICO – 2002 – BRONZE) and Flora Duffy ( SWITZERLAND – 2006 – SILVER) who both won medals at Junior Elite World Championships. Regardless, they have already achieved a good deal in the sport.
Tyler races this Thursday 17th September at 4.30PM Chicago time and Erica races this Friday 18th September at 2.30PM Chicago time.
Good luck to our two elite juniors who have worked so hard to get to these championships.
CHECK THIS LINK FOR RESULTS AND LIVE TIMING ( CLICK ON THE RESULTS TAB) AND MORE :