Wollongong triathlete Grace Musgrove continues to impress in top company.
Musgrove, 20, clinched the ITU Triathlon Oceania Cup in Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on Sunday, adding this triumph to her Australian Sprint Title win in Geelong last month and her third in the Oceania Championship in Auckland last week.
She shone on the gruelling Olympic-distance course, storming home to record a significant victory.
Although the out-and-back bike and run course differed from the repetitive hill-climbing ITU World Cup course reserved for the elites, it still presented a tough, challenging route from start to finish.
Musgrove, who has been the find of the season, raced away from the field in the early part of the run after coming out of the water second behind Queensland's specialist swimmer Maddy Allen.
It became a two-horse race, with Musgrove (2:03.47) going on to win comfortably from Western Australia's Australian Youth Olympic Festival gold medallist Jaz Hedgeland (2:05.12), with a tiring Gillian Backhouse bravely hanging on for third (2:05.52).
Musgrove, a former schoolgirl runner and open water swimmer, continues to show enormous promise.
She is a member of the Triathlon Australia National Talent Academy and is coached by Triathlon Australia High Performance Coach (NSW) Jamie Turner, in Wollongong.
"This has been my first domestic season and I have really enjoyed travelling around Australia and doing all the races, and having Australia support me is so good," Musgrove said.
"Jamie is tough. His knowledge is excellent, he knows what he is doing and I trust him. He has created a training environment that is very elite and each day we are down to business and training but we also have fun and I respond well to that sort of coaching."
The two rising stars of triathlon, Musgrove and Canberra's male Oceania Cup winner Declan Wilson, were also the recipients of the Luke Harrop Bursary in Mooloolaba on Sunday.
In memory of Luke Matthew Harrop, the bursary has been designed with Luke in mind as it includes his two favourite races, the Noosa and Mooloolaba triathlons, as well as the Gold Coast Tri-Luke Harrop Memorial Race in April. The purpose of the bursary is to back up-and-coming elite triathletes such as Musgrove and Wilson, who have not yet reached senior-elite ranks.