Jessica wins Australian youth crown

Jessica Claxton competes in a triathlon.
Jessica Claxton competes in a triathlon.

This month, the Zimbawean-born Kinross College student will be crowned Australian Youth Triathlete of 2014 having taken out the national youth title in December.

And with the 14-year-old gunning for Australian Olympic representation in the long term, Zimbabwe’s loss could become a fruitful gain for Australian sport.

While many of her peers are clutching at a couple of extra hours sleep, Jessica often gets up at 5.30am for a two-hour pool session at Arena Joondalup before school.

On other mornings she’s cycling. After school she’s running.

‘Just occasionally I feel like staying in bed, but not very often and once I’m in the pool or on the bike I absolutely love it,’ Jessica said.

‘All the time spent on training is well worth it. I know the competition will get stronger as I get older, but I am improving all the time.’

With a slight build primed for endurance sports, she felt she could use it to her advantage as a triathlete.

‘A friend thought I’d be well suited to triathlons,’ she said.

‘At the time I only had a mountain bike, but I’d won a lot of medals for swimming and was also into cross country running, so it seemed like a good idea.’

The 39kg student was the only West Australian to compete in every event of Triathlon Australia’s youth championships, where she triumphed in December.

The high cost of national competition has Jessica looking for sponsorship. Interested sponsors can contact ml.claxton@yahoo.com.

– More sport: page 39