Prior to Sunday Year 10 student Angus Argent-Smith had never won a Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club race. Now Angus holds the honour of being the youngest-ever winner of the Dave Scott-Dave Carroll Memorial.
Staged as a way to honour the memory of two of the club’s late foundation members Carroll and Scott, the memorial race has always been one to feature hot racing.
Richard Hobson was the inaugural victor and has gone on to win it three more times, Nick North has his name on the trophy a remarkable eight times, Mark Windsor is there, and Nathan Bankovic was previously the youngest winner when he triumphed as a 16-year-old in season 2011-12.
But as Angus blazed through the 2.5 kilometre run, which also acted as the race’s final leg – clocking an 8:52 split – the 15-year-old took the mantle as the youngest victor of the annual memorial.
When he realised his achievement, and he’d joined an honour roll of Bathurst Wallabies stars, Angus was delighted.
“I got on the podium on Australia Day, but I’ve never won before,” he said.
“This one is a bit easier because there isn’t the Orange blokes and Mudgee blokes like there is at inter club. I knew if I pushed I could be in the right place.”
While Angus was a surprise winner of the season finale, his form leading into the memorial was good.
He had placed seventh overall in the intermediate event at the NSW All Schools Triathlon at Penrith representing Scots All Saints College in late February.
Angus then lined up for the sprint event at Huskisson and he not only placed ninth outright in a field of 1,484 competitors, but took out the 14-15 years male division victory. He covered that 750 metres swim, 20km cycle and 5km run in a time of one hour, eight minutes.
The talented teenager credits the good results to the work he’s done with the Western Region Academy of Sport’s triathlon squad.
“I did a few [races[ when I was growing up, but at the start of this year I joined the Western Academy, so I’ve started to take it a bit more seriously,” he said.
“It’s really good, I get good technical training like bike skills and transition skills. That has really helped me out a lot.
“I did a training session here about two days ago too with some kay repeats and was feeling really good then. So I know the course really well and knew where the hills were.”
The memorial race began in foggy conditions with a 300 metres swim leg, Angus leading after the first lap.
While it was Tom Hanrahan who ended up being first to emerge from the water, Angus was right behind him. The teenager soon took the lead on the bike leg, but Chris Howarth joined him and together they pushed each other through the 16km course.
“It was a bit cold on the bike, but once I got going it wasn’t too bad. The fog didn’t affect us much, I thought it would be a bit slower,” Angus said.
“Me and Chris had a good battle most of the bike, we sort of met on that straight [Hereford Street] and stayed together for the rest of the ride. I’d go and pass him up the hills and he’d come back at me down the hills.”
While Angus was the first to complete the cycle leg, Howarth was on his wheel and was quicker through the final transition to snatch the lead.
But the teenager ran him down, going on to take victory in an overall time of 40:04. Howarth (41.38) placed second with Hobson (42.56) third, while Angus’ father Richard Argent-Smith (44.07) crossed in fourth.