The 2024 Australian Tetrathlon & Laser Run Championships wrapped up in Geelong on Sunday 14 April, with some superb performances across the age groups.

Technically an U17 athlete but competing in the senior division, 14 year old Mitchell Pointon (VIC) showed a clear pair of heels to win the Laser Run championship in 11:35, a personal best and the fastest time posted in Australia to date by any male athlete in the new 5x600m format. 

Aleska van Heekeren (NSW), took home the trophy in the senior women’s division in both the Laser Run championship and the Tetrathlon championship, performing well in the fence and run to finish the Tetrathlon with 1039 points.

Max Cowan (UK), competing in his first-ever Australian event while home on holiday from Oxford University, held off Lachlan Nicholls (VIC) in the men’s senior Tetrathlon championship, finishing just 24 points ahead. Nicholls has the FISU World University Championships in his sights, where the Obstacle-Laser Run format will debut in the stunning university town of Kaunas in Lithuania in August, shortly after the Paris Olympic Games.

In the junior division, Amos Vagg (VIC) won both the Laser Run and Tetrathlon championships, ahead of his departure to Portugal to compete in the Queen Leonora Cup in May followed by the FISU World University Championships.  While injury prevented Kayla Bongers (WA) from competing in the full junior women’s event, she flew through the water to post a 10 second PB in the swim, and enthusiastically supported dad, Chris (Masters 35-59), and sister, Ilse (U15), in their first competition.  

Annaliese Murphy (QLD) fenced and ran strongly to take out the U19 women’s category in both championships.  Stevi and Charli Sewell (VIC), already accomplished OCR/Ninja athletes, finished second and third respectively in their first tetrathlon competition, as well as the Laser Run championship, with their speed on the grass track at Kardinia International College foreshadowing a promising future. Kian Blanchard was unchallenged in the U19 men’s division. 

Peyton Lee (NSW) demonstrated the superb shooting technique of the Coffs Harbour squad, nailing 5 shots in less than 10 seconds in all 4 shooting series in the Laser Run championship to cross the line first in a personal best 11:21 to claim the U17 girls Laser Run title, just ahead of the fast-finishing Colby Devlin (VIC), who picked up the U17 boys title in 11:24.  Lee and Devlin also snared top spot in the Tetrathlon championship.  Silver medals went to Amalie Blanchard (VIC) and Nathan Clarke (VIC).  New competitor Oli Clapham (VIC) took home bronze in the Laser Run.

Competition hotted up in the U15 girls division this year, with Ilse Bongers (WA) flying around the course to pick up gold in the her first Laser Run championship in 8:00, ahead of seasoned campaigner Ava Harrington (VIC) in 8:13 and [newcomer] Gwyneth Homer (VIC) in 8:18.  Finnley Clarke (NSW) showed the benefit of his international experience, winning the U15 boys Laser Run in 7:16, followed by William Nieuwenhuis (VIC).

In the U13s, Johnny Fenton (VIC) and Lenny Jansz (VIC) ran hard and aimed carefully to finish in first and second respectively in their very first Laser Run championship event.  Anna Harrington won the U13 girls Tetrathlon championship, displaying a good deal of courage whilst fencing older and more experienced opponents in the ranking round, and backed it up with a win in the Laser Run on Sunday.

The Masters Laser Run championship fielded solid performances from Andrew McLean (VIC) and Bianca Share (VIC), in her first appearance in several years, in the women’s.  Chris Bongers (WA) fronted up to tackle both the Tetrathlon and Laser Run championships on successive days – a very impressive effort from MPAWA’s new President!  

As a complement to the Tetrathlon, riding athletes had the option to also complete a ‘traditional’ modern pentathlon showjumping round at the Mt Moriac Equestrian Facility on Saturday afternoon.  Their tetrathlon and ride scores were then combined to deliver a ‘pentathlon’ score, for the Melbourne Pentathlon Cup.   A number of pentathletes, many from the Western Districts around Hamilton, took up the opportunity to ride, delivering numerous clear rounds and some wonderful displays of horsemanship. 

To round out a big weekend of competition and camaraderie, Geelong Ninjas hosted an OCR skills session which was well attended by athletes across all the age groups.

The John Pennell volunteer of the year award for 2023 has been jointly won by two outstanding nominees Cherie Mordue (VIC) and Brian Vagg (VIC). Congratulations to you both.

These National Championships and all the events held around the country each year, could not happen without the tireless work of our team of volunteers. Thank you to all the volunteers, parents, athletes, coaches, supporters and officials who generously give their time to make our events a success. Special thanks to everyone on the event organising committee and a special mention to our Competition Director Cherie Mordue for all her work in putting together this wonderful event.

Lombard the paper people are a valued supporter of this event and we thank them for the generous sponsorship, as are Kardinia International College and Mt Moriac Equestrian Centre.

The complete results will shortly be available on the event webpage HERE

Keep checking our social media channels for new uploads of the great photo’s and videos that have captured this wonderful event.