Wanaka triathlete’s star on the rise
He trains six days a week with the aim of making a career out of triathlon and you wouldn’t bet against Wanaka’s Janus Staufenberg doing just that.
Just two days after winning the under-19 New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Triathlon Championships in Whanganui in March, the 17-year-old Mt Aspiring College pupil went on to smash the 1500 metre record at the South Island Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships.
But triathlon is where Staufenberg’s heart is, he says. ‘‘Triathlon is my focus.
‘‘At the moment I’m waiting for the announcement of the world junior elite team.’’
If named later this month, Staufenberg will travel to the Netherlands at the end of the year to compete in the ITU Junior World Championships.
He’s never been before and it’s largely thanks to his win at the Secondary Schools’ champs that he’s in contention.
‘‘It’s fairly big I guess because it’s a New Zealand title. I’ve been on the podium a couple of times but never won it.’’
Triathlon runs in the Staufenberg family, with younger brothers Julius, 15, and Leo, 14, also up-and-coming triathletes. Both managed a top-five finish in their respective age groups in Whanganui.
The brothers do a fair bit of training together Janus says, with five to six swims and three to four runs and bikes a week, typical during the season.
Parents Anke and Uli and the staff at Mt Aspiring College are really supportive, Janus says.
‘‘It does take a fair bit of time out [but] there’s definitely plenty of support.’’
Asked about a professional career in triathlon, Janus says: ’’It kind of depends on how the rest of this year goes but I have got plans to give it a crack.’’
The Staufenbergs aren’t the only Queenstown Lakes triathletes performing well nationally.
Wakatipu High School’s Reuben Thompson was second in the under-16 grade at the Secondary Schools’ champs.
The 16-year-old has high hopes of making it big too, either in triathlon, iron man or cycling.
Thompson will attend the New Zealand age group road cycling nationals in May before trying for a place in the Youth Olympics in Argentina next year.
Janus Staufenberg won the under-19 section of the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Championships last month.