Elise is riding towards the top
Young triathlete Elise Salt has leapt straight to the top of her sport.
The St Cuthbert’s College student only took up triathlon just over a year ago but has already made her mark at a nation-wide event.
She won the national under-14 girls title at Lake Karaprio last month in a time of 41m 48s.
The course, tailored to the competitors’ age, consisted of a 350m swim, 11km cycle and 3km run.
“I was exhausted but happy as well,” she says.
The variety offered by triathlon enticed Elise to take it up.
“I like doing more than one sport so I don’t get bored of just doing the one thing.
“Sometimes I like one part and then it changes. When it’s cycling season, I want to go harder at cycling, but you still have to keep up the running and swimming.”
The Epsom resident is well equipped for triathlon’s three elements after competing for her school in each sport through individual competition.
But the transition between each stage of the race is something that’s taken a little more getting used to.
“You have got to have your shoes already clipped into your bike.
“Also the swim can get quite feisty because everyone is still together as a group so you have to be quite aggressive.”
Despite her success, Elise, 14, isn’t sure whether she will pursue triathlon beyond her time at secondary school.
“It might be hard to handle university and triathlon,” she says.
And triathlon isn’t the only multi-sport event Elise has had success in.
She claimed first place in the junior girls section of the Auckland Secondary Schools Duathlon Champs earlier this month.
St Cuthberts College sports coordinator Paul Monney says a mixture of hard work and mental toughness is the reason Elise has excelled despite her limited triathlon experience.
“She’s just a committed trainer who pushes the limits all the time,” he says.
“The more hills in a run, the happier she is.”
Multi-talented: St Cuthbert’s College student Elise Salt won the national under-14 girls triathlon title in April.