Wanda's Britney Pierce qualifies for 2019-20 Nutri-Grain Iron Series

Big stage: Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club's Britney Pierce has qualified for the 2019-20 Nutri-Grain Iron Series. Picture: Stephen Chu
Big stage: Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club's Britney Pierce has qualified for the 2019-20 Nutri-Grain Iron Series. Picture: Stephen Chu

Britney Pierce will become Wanda's first athlete to represent the club in the Nutri-Grain Iron Series since Olympian Stacey Gartrell after her success during the qualifying rounds over the weekend.

It was a picturesque weekend at Coolum Beach on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, with more than 100 of Australia's top surf athletes lined up hoping to earn a place in the elite series.

The heats, which were fiercely contested with only six qualification spots each available for men and women, consisted of three Iron races over a combination of standard and M-shape courses. Each of the three heats were random draws and discipline order, a combination of a surf swim, board paddle, ski leg and run.

In the Ironwoman qualifier, Pierce was the only NSW athlete to secure a place in the 2019 series and join the top 12 seeded Ironwomen and two wildcard entries.

Picture: Harvpix

Picture: Harvpix

Pierce, who has been part of Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club since the under-6s, finished second in the finals behind Northcliffe's Olivia Corrin.

"It's the only club I've ever been with and I just feel really proud to be able to represent them. The last person to represent Wanda was Olympic swimmer Stacey Gartrell in the '90s. It makes this result even sweeter," she said.

"The last season and a half I've been ambitious to get the results and qualify for this event. I want to be competing against the best Ironwomen in Australia.

"I went into the last race with four points and all I needed was a solid last race. It was so unbelievable to get the result."

Pierce will get the chance to compete on home soil in the shire, with the fifth and final round of the 2019-20 Nutri-Grain Iron Series to be held at North Cronulla Beach on January 19.

The 2019 series will be a State of Origin-type event between Queensland and NSW with the sunshine state continuing to dominate the line-up.

Surf Lifesaving NSW director of surf sports Don van Keimpema said NSW athletes continued to test the Queenslanders.

"We're so proud of Britney Pierce [and NSW Ironman qualifiers Jackson Borg and Dan Collins] on their qualification today. They've all come up through our Nippers programs and have been excellent role models and competitors on their way up," van Keimpema.

"These qualifying events are where some of our young athletes' dreams are made and broken. Any one of these athletes could be the next Ironman or Ironwoman champion."

The first round of the Nutri-Grain Iron Series, the Coolangatta Gold, will be held on October 13.

Comments