Great trial for Schofield brothers

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Sydney University Athletics and Swimming Club elite triathletes Luke and Jayden Schofield finished second and fourth in the Under 23 Australian Triathlon Championships at Devonport on the weekend.

Lorcan Redmond won the gruelling Under 23 title incorporating a 750m swim, a 20km bike and a five-kilometre run in and around the Mersey Bluff precinct, with Luke Schofield in second spot, Luke Bate finishing third, and Jayden Schofield a close fourth.

The Australian Championships also incorporated the Oceania title and served as a solid lead-up to the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham from 28 July to 8 August.

Matt Hauser claimed the Elite men’s title ahead of Callum McClusky and Lorcan Redmond, who, along with the Schofield brothers, will be pushing for Games berths.

Luke and Jayden, who are on the Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness Elite Athlete Program, are known on the triathlon circuit as the dead heat duo, having often finished equal first in events, though it’s’ ever been planned.

The identical twins started competing in the multi-discipline event during their last three years at Sydney Boys’ High School, and if they found themselves pushing each other at the end of the running leg, they sometimes breasted the tape together.

“It’s not something we plan,” Luke says. “It’s happened about 20 times, but mostly when we were in high school events. We train together and have a friendly rivalry. We have the same genetics and similar ability, so if a race comes down to us battling it out, we sometimes finish together and enjoy the moment.”

Luke and Jayden are in the final year of combined Engineering and Science degrees and earning distinctions despite their busy schedule of training and competing in triathlons.

They arrived at the University of Sydney campus in 2017. “We joined the Sydney Uni Athletics Club in first year and went on the Elite Athlete Program (EAP) in 2018,” Luke said. “We then spent our third year as exchange students at the University of California, San Diego, and came back on the EAP in 2020.”

“It’s been super helpful for both of us,” Jayden said. “If there’s a clash of assignment or exam times with major athletic events, the EAP staff have been really helpful in getting extensions and different times. The operation is run very smoothly.”

Aside from the Commonwealth Games, Luke said the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are also on the radar. As for finishing side by side again, that’s a spur of the moment decision. “With the different disciplines, the lead can change as the race unfolds,” Luke said. “Sometimes we’ll be in the same pack in a race, and we can gauge how each other’s going and work off each other; see who’s burning off fuel. And if we happen to be contesting the end of the run leg, well ….”