Luke sets his sights on triathlon

Young triathlete Luke Henry has set his sights on a professional career after some strong performances in his first few years in the sport.
Young triathlete Luke Henry has set his sights on a professional career after some strong performances in his first few years in the sport.

THE pool room in the family home of talented young sportsman Luke Henry could just as easily be the Kerrigan's out of classic Australian film ‘The Castle'.

A brief scour of the walls demonstrates the family's passions and the thing that stands out most is rugby league.

Luke's father Brad Henry is the region's national development officer for the Australian Rugby League and he is clearly a passionate fan and avid collector.

That passion was passed down to son Luke, who features in many of the photos on the wall in representative teams and alongside trophies.

So it was a surprise when after talking to the 15-year-old for more than half an hour it was clear that a sport of a very different nature had superseded league as the talented halfback's favourite.

His new passion? Triathlon.

“It's a bit of a challenge having different sports rolled into one and I really enjoy it,” Luke said.

“As a kid I was always good at swimming and I enjoyed bike riding so I decided to give it a go.”

Not only has he competed over the last year and a half, he's excelled, winning several local triathlons and finishing 27th out of 90 starters, most at least one year older than him, in the recent state championships at Mooloolaba.

Luke has got a kick out of the big improvements he's seen in each discipline over the past 12 months and he has set himself several goals, both short and long term.

“One of my main short term goals is to improve my running,” Luke said.

“I have been training with [Hamilton Island triathlete] Steve Jackson and he's been working with me a lot on changing my running style.”

Luke says the technical changes he needs to make to his running focus on getting his body more upright, which should translate to faster times.

That will in turn, hopefully help him to improve to a top 10 finish in next year's race in Mooloolaba – a crucial step on the way to becoming professional.

“Any young person's dream would be to go in the Olympics but it would be good just to become pro,” he said.

“I'd like to be able to enter an Ironman event by the time I'm 20 or 21 and maybe one day compete in the Hawaii Ironman.”

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