It was a pleasing day for three Andover athletes who competed in the first competition in the 2014 British Tour Biathle Series, at Millfield, Street.
This competition doubled up as the European Biathle Qualifier and Matthew Cook, in the Youth A class (age 17-18), was in great form.
He shot off at a tremendous rate on his first 1500m run opening up a gap then swam very well, but another Youth A lad worked very hard at impeding him and exited the pool just before Matt.
A fired up Matt regained his lead and set his sights on catching the leading Senior Gregan Clarkson, who was a good 50m in front of him.
With a tremendous turn of pace he closed up on Gregan and the pair put in an incredible 20m sprint, with Gregan only just reaching the finish line before Matt.
Matt’s superb performance qualified him for the European Biathle Championships which take place in Setubal, Portugal in July, and also qualified him for World Tour events.
Jared Rolfe, in the Youth C class (age 13-14) was competing in his second Biathle, having raced very well in Sherborne, Dorset three weeks before.
This was a far bigger competition and having gained confidence from his first race, Jared ran an excellent first 500m, followed by a strong 100m swim, but it was his second run which showed how much he had learnt from Sherborne, and just how determined he was.
He upped the pace throughout and looked a completely different athlete.
With a superb performance he earned himself a very good 12th place in a time 22 seconds faster than his previous.
Jared had missed the World Tour qualifying time by a mere 4.5 seconds, and is without doubt going to improve with each Biathle.
Masters C competitor (age 60-69) Margaret Smith, is slowly building up her fitness, but at the moment she is no match for her biggest rival Mary Collett.
She gave it her all, and although she crossed a 1 minute 42 seconds behind Mary, she was 41 seconds faster than three weeks before, so she is heading in the right direction and was relatively happy with her performance.
She will be joining Matt for the European Championships.