While she’s been competing in triathlons for nearly a decade, Kyla Roy only started training full time last year. Now she’s one of the best junior triathletes in the world.

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This article was published 14/11/2015 (2385 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

While she’s been competing in triathlons for nearly a decade, Kyla Roy only started training full time last year. Now she’s one of the best junior triathletes in the world.

Roy, who won her first national event last summer — and medalled in each Triathlon Canada National Junior Series event she entered, took home gold in her first international event to cap off a breakout season.

Kyla Roy, a 17-year-old triathlon competitor from Winnipeg who won a national and an international championship this past summer.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Kyla Roy, a 17-year-old triathlon competitor from Winnipeg who won a national and an international championship this past summer.

It’s been a meteoric rise for the 17-year-old, who is now competing in sprint-distance triathlons (750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and a five-km run).

She competed as a 15-year-old at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Quebec, an event that opened her eyes to the world of elite-level athletics.

"I wasn’t really expecting anything when I went to it, just more race experience at a higher level," she says. "But once I saw all the fast girls there and how I measured up to them, it was very motivating. It’s one of the reasons I decided to start racing competitively."

She admits there’s little time for the things teenagers usually find themselves doing, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. The rush of a triathlon far outweighs the average Friday night party.

"I just look at all the cool places I’ve gone," she says. "It pays off. I don’t mind not going to all the parties and that sort of thing."

Roy trains five days a week. A swim in the morning forces her out of bed at 5 a.m., and when she’s done school at Vincent Massey Collegiate, she’s on the bike and on her feet.

"I have the weekends for family and friends, but most of the time I’m too tired so I just do homework and stay in," she says.

A former competitive swimmer, the water has always been a strong point. But since going full-bore on training, running — which used to be her weakest discipline — has turned into perhaps her strongest.

"It’s just motivated me to push even harder. Every day is a new challenge," Roy says.

Being a student in Vincent Massey’s sports program, which allows students flexibility in the school schedule to pursue an elite level of athletics, has been a major help.

Roy, who’s in her final year at Vincent Massey, is looking at taking a year off to train and turn her full attention to triathlons.

She’s also mulling some scholarship options, but she says nothing is set in stone.

More triathlons are in her future.

"I always enjoy pushing myself and I get to meet people from all over the world."

scott.billeck@freepress.mb.ca