Jonathan Ansley is the only boy nominated for all-rounder of the year at the College Sport Auckland Young Sportsperson of the Year Awards in November.
The Year 12 student at Sacred Heart College in Auckland is a National champion in three sports and represented his school at the World Secondary School Cross Country Championships in Budapest, an obvious highlight in 2016.
In the six-man teams event Sacred Heart finished second behind winners Turkey, and beat France into third and another 18 other countries further back. This is the best result ever achieved by a New Zealand college at the championships. The Sacred Heart team earned the right to be in Hungary after winning the National Secondary Schools Championships in 2015.
“We exceeded our expectations in Hungary. We had no idea what to expect given we were one of the youngest teams there. To do so well was a surprise. It would be great to go back again and have another crack,” Ansley enthuses.
Ansley is noted for his fast finishing. He holds the school intermediate 800m record with a time of 1.56:63s and is the National Club U18 champion.
“I won that title in Dunedin. It was a tough race but my kick in the finish helped me overcome my rivals. I am really look forward to Nationals in December. There is some tough competition like Max Press from St. Patrick’s College Silverstream,” Ansley says.
If Ansley overachieved in athletics he was expected to deliver the goods in football. For the third time in four years the Sacred Heart First XI won the National title. They beat St. Kentigern College from Auckland in the final. Ansley played multiple positions.
“I was mostly at right back, but sometimes I played right wing and even striker. I think the best thing about the team this year was the chemistry. Everybody was prepared to do whatever it took to win,” Ansley says.
In defence Sacred Heart kept about a dozen clean sheets throughout the season and only have five departures for the 2017 season.
“We should be strong again. We will have to work hard obviously, but the personal is there to do really well again,” Ansley believes.
Ansley’s competition for the College Sport Auckland Young Sportsperson of the Year Awards are all girls.
Caitlin Pritchard from Mount Albert Grammar School is also a leading football player at her school, playing centre back for the four-time national champions. Caitlin also plays futsal and touch and is a gun swimmer.
Earlier this year Grace Lui from Kelston Girls’ College was a double discus and javelin champion at the Auckland Athletics Championships. She was also a member of the Auckland U18 girls rugby team this year.
Aorere College’s Theresa Ngata was selected in the tournament team at the NZSS Netball Championships at the start of this month. A couple of months earlier she was a member of the New Zealand Youth Women’s Volleyball side that toured the USA. She also spent the winter, as her time allowed, playing for the successful Aorere College Senior A Girls basketball side.
Saint Kentigern College’s Tori Kolose helped her school win the NZSS netball championships and also made the tournament selection. Last December Tori was also the tournament MVP at the NZSS Touch Championships, while she also has a strong background as a runner on the athletics track.
How does Jonathan expect to go?
“It’s a surprise and an honour to be nominated. I hope I beat the girls,” Ansley laughs.
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