Iron Ryan Wins Premier Title

At this year’s Junior State Championships, Under 14 competitor Ryan Carroll stands out above the crowd, literally and figuratively.

Riding a small Umina beach surf on the final day of the NSW Surf Life Saving Age Championships proudly supported by ClubsNSW, the 6-foot plus teenager left the rest of the Under 14 ironman field in his wake.

His win is the first back-to-back blue ribbon gold medal for the Tacking Point SLSC, described by Carroll as a “tiny little country club”.

On what it takes to win a two-leg ironman event of swim then board Carroll said, “It takes years of training and putting the rest of your life on hold”.

Two silvers also went Carroll’s way, in the swim and board races.

Over this past season he’s invested 10-15 hours a week to get him to the front of his age group, plus the St. Paul’s Port Macquarie student has to fit schoolwork into his hectic weekly program.

Carroll wants to go all the way in the sport. “Hopefully I’ll make the interstate team and then one day the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Series.”

Coach of five years David Rickwood says it’s not just Carroll’s size that gives him an edge, “plenty of small kids win races,” he reminds.

Rickwood said he’s a major talent with a huge future ahead of him. “Ryan’s always been talented, and tall. His height does mean he can run a fair way, but now the boys in his age group are catching up to him.”

There’s no question mark over his star athlete’s level of commitment. “Ryan never misses a training session. Plus his dad’s a naturopath so he knows what to feed him,” Rickwood added.

Younger sister Jessie, another of Tacking Point’s small but quality field of nine who travelled to the state carnival, is on a similar trajectory. She finished a finalist in the Under 13 female board race and board relay.

Ryan Carroll will be back at Umina SLSC next weekend, mixing it with the big boys, for the NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championship, Friday 7-9 March.

Port Macquarie SLSC’s Josh Dwyer finished second in the Under 13 beach flags and back in the water Harry Hiatt took bronze in the Under 14 surf board riding event.

Umina and Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Clubs will host the third of four consecutive championship weekends, the NSW Open State title, March 7-9, 2014.

Top 10 Overall Point Score:

1.) Manly LSC - 291
2.) Avoca Beach SLSC - 248
3.) Wanda SLSC Inc - 162
4.) Elouera SLSC - 152.5
5.) Swansea Belmont SLSC - 143
6.) Bronte SLSC - 135
7.) North Cronulla SLSC - 120
8.) South Maroubra SLSC - 101.5
9.) Coogee SLSC - 84.5
10.) Terrigal SLSC - 83

For full results please visit the 2014 Age Championships event page and for photos please visit our Flickr or follow us on Facebook

Tue 4 Mar 2014