Hartpury pentathlete Oliver Murray kick-started his 2017 with victory in the first National Youth selection competition of the year.
The 17-year-old A Level student started strongly as Hartpury’s pentathletes got their new year of competition underway by claiming gold in the opening competition that starts the selection process for this summer’s European and World Under-19s Championships.
Murray began the day by only dropping four hits during his fence to finish top of the pile after the first event. A good swim saw him drop to second, leaving him trailing the leader by 14 seconds, but Murray responded in the final event – the laser run – to ease past and into gold medal position, holding off a late challenge from another rival.
Murray’s fellow students Monty Podger, Alex Coveney and James Symonds all produced consistent results throughout the day to all finish inside the top 20. Podger, in his first ever selection competition, showed his promise with a 12th place finish while Coveney and Symonds finished 16th and 19th respectively following tough conditions during their laser run.
Meanwhile in the girl’s side of the draw, Jessica Sutton, Seren Allin and Kara Hughes all favoured well to finish in the top-25 places. Following a tough morning’s fencing, the trio put in strong swimming legs to maintain their positons before Sutton took advantage of a topsy-turvy laser run to pull herself up to 11th overall. Allin and Hughes’ hard work saw them finish 16th and 25th respectively.
Hartpury’s Head of Modern Pentathlon, Mat Dewey, said: “This was a great start to the season for Oliver in particular but there was great promise shown by a number of our younger athletes which was really encouraging. Everyone has set themselves a really good benchmark for the second selection event next month and we’ll all keep working hard to hopefully improve between now and then.”