The highlight of the year was the recent Queensland Championships on 12 November 2011. Seven Queensland competitors represented the following categories: Masters Men (Jamie Webb), Senior Men (Matt Madigan), Junior Men (Todd Renfree), Senior Women (Stella Lancey and Belinda Ritchie) and Youth Girls (Jessie Claire McCarthy Smith and Millie Mayall-Vandervelde).
The day kicked off with the Riding Event, which was held at the Toowoomba Showgrounds, around 1 ½ hours from Brisbane. Todd, Stella and Belinda competed in the Riding Event, with the Renfrees, Jamie and Matt also making the trip to watch and provide encouragement. The very kind support of David Finch of Finch Farm, who provided three beautiful show jumpers, and the Toowoomba & Districts Showjumping Club which allowed our event to take place in conjunction with the Toowoomba One Day Event, ensured the Riding Event was highly successful. On a beautiful course with brightly painted clown, fire, level crossing and card deck jumps, all riders performed well and gained valuable confidence and experience. Judging by the look on his face when he drew the largest horse Todd surprised himself with a clear round. Stella also rode a clear round on a very keen “Andre” and Belinda had one rail down on the lovely grey “Morning News”.
Next stop at midday was Yeronga Park Swimming Pool for the Swimming Event. On a hot sunny day in Brisbane most Pentathletes would have been quite happy to mess around in the water rather than swim 200m. But under the watchful eye of Chief Official Helen Crestani the swimming event proceeded with some good races. Millie did particularly well in her first 200m race and both Youth girls recorded good times. Stella had the standout swim performance, while Jamie put in a strong performance in the Masters category. Many thanks to Shelley at Yeronga Pool for hosting us again.
After the swimming we moved next door to Yeronga TAFE for the fencing event. To provide a proper taste of the one hit format MPQ had invited QFA State Squad fencers to take part in the Epee Competition. The result was a pool of 20 fencers and a very high standard of fencing, with the Pentathletes having to work very hard for every point. The officials and score keepers also had to work hard to keep track of all the bouts. With all Pentathletes relatively new to fencing it was a very strong performance overall and a great learning experience. Thanks to QFA for its support of the event and to the State squad fencers for taking part.
Finally, the Combined Event was held at City of Brisbane Pistol Club, Belmont Shooting Complex. Only two falling targets restricted the format of this event, however there was still excellent competition in all categories. All very new to shooting, Millie, Jessie and Matt put in a credible performance, while Jamie continues to master the crossover from rifle shooting. Thank you to the Pistol Club Committee members who officiated on the range and provided some useful tips to athletes. With an unusual number of spectators, Stella and Belinda suffered from nerves in the shooting, although Stella managed to put together a fast final shoot. In the Mens, Todd’s shooting effort was not his best but he made up for it with three fast and strongly held running legs.
We celebrated our achievements with a BBQ at City of Brisbane Pistol Club and Stella was crowned overall Modern Pentathlon Queensland Champion, with Todd Renfree second. In the Youth Girls Mille and Jessie had a strong fight, with Jessie just piping Millie for 1st on the back of some strong running.
A big thank you to everyone who supported us and we hope to see you again in 2012.