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Friday, 26 July 2013

Champions Found at NZSS

Nick Smith of Cashmere High School confirmed that he is the next big thing in NZ Junior Men's orienteering today winning the National Secondary School Champs at Arborfield in the Hawkes Bay. Smith who raised eyebrows with his M18 win at the National Club Champs at Dalethorpe made it two from two over his rivals with a consistent run.

He was followed home by the two returning JWOC representatives Thomas Eatson and Seamus Morrison fresh from their experience in the Czech Republic. None of these first three registered significant errors on the course and they can be thankful for this because they didn't have the fastest speed out there. Devon Beckham and Callum Herries would both have been standing on the podium if they could have stayed in control at crucial times. Another worthy of note is New Plymouth's Tom Spencer who was 5th, but only 2.57 down. He filled a similar position at the National Club Champs but this time was considerably closer. Watch for a breakthrough run from these later three competitors at future events.

In the Senior Girls the top three from the Sprint came through again, but this time it was Vida Fox of Hawkes Bay running Kayla Fairbairn close after Alice Tilley made an early mistake at 3. The Aucklad elite community are talking up Fairbairn and Tilley as exciting prospects, but Fox is another clearly in that league. Indeed, Fox could have taken the title if it were not for a crucial minute lost at no11.

Fox sprinting courtesy of Hawkes Bay Today
As expected Lara Molloy won the intermediate girls, ahead of school mate Steph Harding. Lara is one of the more consistent navigators at the school level and is rarely beaten. The Intermediate Boys threw up a host of new names: Tommy Hayes, Shaan Hill and Callum Cleary all beating local favourite Sean Morrison. To be fair to Hayes, his victory was comprehensive, over two minutes clear and dominant in the majority of the splits. Another name to watch for in the future.

In the Junior Grades George Engleback paid the price for early mistakes as he was pipped by Ryan Williams of Westlake Boys High School., close behind was Kurtis Shuker of Waiuku College, while in the girls Danielle Goodall was a runaway victor by nearly 6 minutes matching her brothers win in the sprint.

Relay Predictions

Senior Girls: Wellington Girls - Napier Girls - Diocesan
Senior Boys: Cashmere - Napier Boys - Onslow
Intermediate Girls: Diocesan
Intermediate Boys: Napier Boys
Junior Boys: Waiuku College
Junior Girls: Napier Girls

It would be stunning to have a South Island victory in the Senior Boys relay, I am not sure that has ever happened before. Good skills to all.

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