National medals for trio

The Ribble Valley Under 15 girls team (from left): Hannah Procter, Emily Morgan, Emma Whitaker with their bronze medals
The Ribble Valley Under 15 girls team (from left): Hannah Procter, Emily Morgan, Emma Whitaker with their bronze medals

With Samantha Murray and Luke Tasker both competing on the International stage, Ribble Valley Modern Pentahlon Club’s younger athletes claimed the limelight at the National Modern Triathlon championships, winning a team bronze medal.

Held at the Tudor Grange sports complex in Solihull, the athletes competed in a static 10-shot air pistol shoot, a swim and then a combined run and shoot.

It was the turn of the Under 15 girls on the Saturday with Ribble Valley able to enter a team comprising Hannah Procter, Emily Morgan and Emma Whitaker.

Emma made the best start with a shoot of 78 points to put her in seventh position.

Hannah recorded 69 for 16th position and Emily 63 for 22nd – both girls being disappointed as they knew they could shoot better.

The competition then moved into the pool, where Hannah recorded the fastest swim of the day for a medal.

Emily and Emma both had solid swims to leave the team in fifth position going into the combined event, where the competitors have a staggered start depending on the number of points gained in the shoot and swim.

Emily competed in the first heat and recorded a new personal best time for 16th position.

Hannah started in ninth with Emma in 12th, and they both chased down competitors on the first lap to improve their positions.

Emma overtook Hannah at the start of the second lap after the shoot, but Hannah was determined to grab a trophy and ran down Emma to grab sixth place and a trophy.

Emma’s fantastic run and shoot was fastest of the day for a medal and moved her up to seventh overall. When the points were calculated, they moved up two places to gain third place overall for a set of team medals.

On the Sunday, Ribble Valley had two athletes in action.

Misty Taylor competed in her first national competition in the Under 13 girls. She recorded a new personal best to finish in 32nd place.

Oliver Murray, Samantha’s youngest brother, competed in the Under 17 boys, and started with a good shoot of 81 for fourth position. His 200m swim time of 2:14.45 was good enough for 10th and left him fourth overall going into the combined event.

Oliver had an excellent run and was just out-sprinted in a thrilling finish to remain in fourth position for a trophy.