Shepparton's Jacinta Collier is returning to form after a lengthy absence from triathlon, finishing first past the post in yesterday evening's Sunset Series race.MARC MCGOWAN December 12, 2012 4:48am
Jacinta Collier’s triathlon return is gathering steam.
The one-time Ironman Hawaii competitor and 2006 Gatorade Triathlon Series champion relocated to Shepparton at the start of the year.
Collier, 25, has since become a Shepparton Tri Club member and was first to cross the line in last night’s second race of the annual Sunset Series at Shepparton’s Aquamoves.
Female competitors started seven minutes before their male counterparts and there was also a handicap system in place to even the competition.
Only Chris Pye (25 min 27 sec), Wade Hicks (25:31), Anthony Nicolaci (26:01) and Rodney Bell (26:07) bettered Collier’s 27:24 effort in the 250
But the handicap system — based on results in the opening race of the series — changed the race rankings, with Jo Turner, Erin McHugh and Collier filling the women’s podium and Anthony Edwards, Hicks and Dale Mountjoy rounding out the men’s top three.
Teenager Matilda Terry (28:25), Leanne Rawson (29:00), McHugh (29:12) and Turner (31:03) were the next-fastest women on times behind Collier.
Collier, like race one, led the field out of the water and off the bike, but this time managed to hold off Terry on the run.
‘‘I don’t really like coming second, because I’m a little bit competitive,’’ Collier said. ‘‘It’s a good challenge. I didn’t really know (where Terry and McHugh were); I just focused on running and keeping going.
‘‘I’ve done a bit more training in the last two weeks (since race one), so I’ve improved a lot.’’
Collier, whose sisters Jennifer and Fiona also compete, spent three years away from the sport after placing sixth in the women’s 18-to-24 age group at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in 2009.
She works as an Aquamoves lifeguard and is also a casual relief teacher.
Collier will contest the Geelong Long Course Triathlon in February before making her ironman comeback in Ironman Melbourne a month later.
Pye, 29, engaged in a thrilling five-way battle for men’s time honours with Hicks, Nicolaci, Bell and Darren Green (27:46).
They came off the bike within seconds of one another, but it was Pye who emerged first from transition and the Shepparton mechanic never looked back.
‘‘There was some good pressure out there and it lifts you to a new level,’’ Pye said. ‘‘I’ve been going pretty well in transitions for a while. I wouldn’t say I was confident (at the start of the run leg), but I was hopeful.
‘‘It’s been coming for a little while, but everyone’s got their ups and downs at the minute because everyone’s training for bigger things, so it comes down to everyone’s training load on the night.’’
Pye will also compete in the Geelong Long Course Triathlon, but ruled out an ironman appearance this season.
Emotions ran high yesterday at the official opening of Shepparton’s new St Paul’s African House on Poplar Ave.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Mary and Molly Byrne are urging others to support National Bandanna Day today.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
The annual Deniliquin Garage and Town Sale event is being held tomorrow, and more than 16 homes are registered for the bargain day.
Further redundancies at Victoria’s largest rural water corporation, Goulburn-Murray Water, are possible, with more efficiency reviews being carried out.
Rotary's inaugural Community Policing Award goes to Detective Leading Senior Constable Jenny Parker for her work above and beyond her duties working with victims of sexual abuse.
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