Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Benalla student selected for tri team

Benalla's Luke Baker is on his way to representing Victoria in the upcoming Australian Triathlon Champs.

February 6, 2013 4:55am

Up and coming triathlete Luke Baker.

Benalla P-12 College student Luke Baker has been selected for the School Sport Victoria Triathlon State Team to compete in the School Sport Australia Triathlon Championship.

A School Sport Victoria spokesperson said it has been a great performance by the 15-year-old following a selection process that began in November to make the final team of 36.

The Ensign has been told another promising young local, Cameron Green, has recently been invited onto the team (see more in an upcoming edition).

The team comprises six divisions, each with six athletes — girls 14, 16 and 19 years, and boys 14, 16, and 19 years.

The students competed in a series of triathlon events run by Triathlon Victoria to gain selection in the School Sport Victoria State Team.

Many students go on to compete in triathlon at higher levels.

Baker and Green will join their teammates to participate in a series of training sessions before competing in the School Sport Australia Championship to be held at Penrith, NSW, in April.

However, first up is the Walk to D-Feet MND challenge being held at Benalla this month.

Baker holds the ‘‘King of the Lake’’ title for the fastest time — 14 minutes 8 seconds — which he is confident he can hold onto.

Baker blitzed the field last year to record the fastest time around the lake Benalla course in the history of the event, but believes he may even break 14 minutes.

‘‘I have trained more in than past 12 months, so I am feeling pretty fit and I will give it my best shot,’’ Luke said.

‘‘The event is a lot of fun and a great way to raise money and awareness for MND.’’

This year the organising committee for the event is aiming to break the $300000 fundraising target at Lake Benalla on Sunday, February 24.

Last year more than 1400 people walked, ran and cycled to raise more than $50000 towards research programs to discover a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

The relay and King and Queen of the Lake events are popular with local and visiting athletes, sporting clubs and other organisations.

Luke holds the record from past winners Chris Harvey (14:19) and Daniel Maher (14:50).

Last year’s Queen of the Lake, Penny Hall, holds the women’s record with a time of 17:08 from Georgia Rodger (17:57).

In recent years, local clubs Benalla Saints and Goorambat Netballers, have had a stranglehold on the men’s and women’s relay events, and are again expected to field strong teams.

The day will also include a long cycle event (89km), short cycle event (26km) and the annual walk.

Entertainment will also be provided throughout the day and lunch and refreshments will be available.

Every cent raised from the event is donated to research into the disease.

Pre-event registrations will once again be available in the weeks leading up to the day at Mitchell Health Care, Bridge St, Benalla.

Sporting clubs and organisations wishing to enter a relay team are asked to phone Pip O’Donoghue on 0411715208.

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