TEENAGER Deri McCluskey stormed to victory at the British Standard Distance Triathlon Championships in Cardiff last weekend.

The 16 year old from Llanymynech helped form part of the Welsh triathlon squad to take on the best from across Britain on home soil.

The teenager is a member of Maldwyn Harriers, the Newtown-based athletics club which had developed a host of junior Welsh talent over the past decade with the Llanfyllin High School student among the latest off the conveyor belt.

McCluskey was part of a 22 athlete squad to pull on the famous red vest of Wales and take on a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run.

McCluskey is still ranked as an age grade under 23s athlete but took on athletes of all ages and stunned the field by storming to class and overall victory in a time of 1:00:07.

County Times: Deri McCluskey crosses the line in Cardiff.

Deri McCluskey crosses the line in Cardiff.

Throughout the teenage athlete had to contend with unpredictable waters and mechanical problems but still managed to cross the line in first place.

Deri said: “The water was very choppy which worked in my favour as others aren’t used to it meaning I came out of the water first.

“My chain came off on the bike so I had to work a lot harder on the bike than I wanted meaning my run legs did not feel as fresh as I wanted but still managed to hold on during the run.”

While far from his first competition the athlete savoured the experience of competing in front of a large crowd, particularly in the nation’s capital.

He added: “It was a great experience to race in front of lots of people in my Welsh kit in the capital.”

McCluskey ended last year’s Welsh Junior Championships in fourth place in the 1,500m while taking gold in the Welsh Athletics Track Invitational 3,000m.

This year the talented teenager has been keeping up his fitness with victory in he Newtown Chocoholics, Whitley Bay Park Run and Henley Wood Park Run.

Meanwhile McCluskey was not the only Harrier in Welsh action last weekend with several of his clubmates lining up at the World Mountain Running Association International Under 18 Cup.

County Times: Aled Breeze of Maldwyn Harriers in Welsh action in Italy.

Aled Breeze of Maldwyn Harriers in Welsh action in Italy.

Aled Breeze, Callum Morgan and Finlay Cullen made the step up for the boys team while Maddie Griffiths formed part of the girls squad which was led to Salluzo in Italty by Harrier coach Sharon Jones.

Griffiths was the first Welsh girl home in 24th place in a time of 20:53 to help her team to 10th overall.

Meanwhile Breeze was the first Welsh boy to cross the line in 17th place in 17:22 with Cullen 39th in 19:01 and Morgan 41st in 19:37 with the Welsh ending ninth overall in the team standings.

County Times: Maddie Griffiths.

Maddie Griffiths.

It has been a sterling year for the Newtown based Harriers who have earned a reputation as one of the leading athletics clubs in Wales with a host of stars having emerged through their ranks.

Lauren Williams, Sian Swanson and Andy Davies broke through at the thriving Newtown club.

The club has also begun its club championship after two years of lockdown misery which ravaged mid Wales sport and continues to have an impact.

County Times: Callum Morgan.

Callum Morgan.

The next event is the BBQ 5K road race on July 8 before the Gwestedyn Hill Race on July 12.

The Cordon Pairs and Cordon Fell take place on August 6 and 7 respectively before the Neil Howells Monty trail race takes place on August 12.

The programme continues with the Ellesmere 10k road race on August 28 and the Coed y Brenin 10k on September 8 with Appleby Estate 10K on September 25.

The Breidden Hills Fell run rakes place on October 9 and Newtown Cross country on October 22 before runners take on the Elan Valley 10 on November 12.

County Times: Finley Cullen.

Finlay Cullen.

The juniors meet on a Wednesday evening at Maldwyn Leisure Centre track in two different groups with school years 3-6 meeting from 5.30-6.30pm and years 7 and above from 6.30-8pm.

For the older athletes there is also a session on Friday evenings between 6pm and 7pm to improve their technique.

Circuits for the older junior athletes is now on Mondays 6-7pm on the track.