“I was always that skinny kid who could run,” Murdoch McIntyre responds when asked where he discovered his passion for running.
The Year 12 student at Westlake Boys’ High School is the owner of four gold medals at the National Secondary Schools Championships and recently won a silver medal with the six-man Westlake team at the ISF World Cross Country Championships in Paris. The French success was the best part of a year in the making.
“We qualified in June by winning the National Secondary Schools title. We had to do a decent amount of fundraising to get to France as it cost us six grand each to go, but the school was hugely supportive and we raised the money with little stress,” McIntyre reveals.
In fact the most stressful decision in the buildup was who would replace Joseph Clark, a New Zealand cross country representative, who had left school.
“Losing Joe was a big blow because he was one of the quicker guys in the team, but we had five or six guys who were capable of stepping up and eventually Blair Hill was picked,” McIntyre explains.
Westlake spent a week preparing in London. The jogs around Hyde Park weren’t relished.
“It was freezing, no more than two degrees most days. It toughened us up for sure,” McIntyre complains.
Fortunately conditions were much warmer in Paris, but the track wasn’t a typical cross country course.
“The race was held in the heart of Paris. There was no grass or mud, we ran past the Eiffel Tower which was awesome, but a little different from normal,” McIntyre says.
The race was attended by the French Minister of Sports Laura Flessel and Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. Additionally former Olympic and World champion Hicham El Guerrouj was present and later shared a photograph with the Westlake team.
The field featured 600 athletes from 34 countries along with a crowd of more than 5000 and 300 volunteers.
“We wanted to run our best and if we did that we would have been satisfied with the result no matter where we finished. It’s hard to know what to expect at these events,” McIntyre admits.
The race was held over 5,300m and the finishes of the top four runners are used to calculate the overall team result. Istvan Palkovits from Hungary was the individual champion and Morocco the team champion.
“Sometimes you get a field and conditions which favour you and that’s what we got. The boys were stoked with the result. Sacred Heart got second two years ago. I would love to have raced them. I think we're better,” McIntyre laughs.
McIntyre is hopeful of much more international travel in 2018. In May he’ll head to the Melanesian Regional Championships in Vanuatu to compete in the steeplechase with the hope of qualifying for the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October.
Westlake BHS - ISF World Cross Country Championships Results
5th: Murdoch McIntyre, 16:41
10th: David Moore, 16:57
13th: Stuart Hofmeyr, 17:01
21st: Daniel Robertson, 17:11
28th: Zach Keenan, 17:24
47th: Blair Hill, 18:03
“Athletics is my favourite sport. I’m a bit of a guru in that I’m always studying results,” Oliver Krynen enthuses over his summer time passion.
The year 9 student at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream has been unbeaten for the best part of two years in the 100 and 200 metres and last Saturday claimed the junior North Island titles in those events in Wanganui.
“It was a bit of a step up from Wellington competition. I believe I’m the fastest U14 sprinter in the country. That’s pretty cool,” Krynen says.
The prospect of being ranked so highly four months ago appeared unlikely. In January, Krynen turned up to the Colgate Games in Auckland as a virtual unknown.
“I won the 100 and 200 at the Colgate games. That gave me a lot of confidence because I had done nothing in my previous two Colgate Games. I think I’ve got a lot better because I have become more dedicated,” Krynen observes.
Krynen won the U14 100m, 200m, 400m and shot put titles at the Old Boys Cup against St Pat’s Town, but it was McEvedy Shield success he really craved.
“I had never been to the McEvedy, but it’s one of the main reasons I came to Silverstream. I had heard all about it and studied the results for two years beforehand,” Krynen reveals.
Krynen repeated his success in the aforementioned four events at McEvedy.
“McEvedy was unreal. My favourite win was the 100m because it’s right in front of the crowd,” Krynen acclaims.
At the Regional Championships, Krynen won the U14 100m, 200m and shot put titles.
His PB in the 100m is 11.69s and he has galloped a 24-flat in the 200m, breaking the U14 school record from 2001. Krynen has thrown the shot put 12.67m, good enough for a seventh placing at the North Island championships.
Krynen is coached by Simon England at the Lower Hutt athletics club with support from long time Silverstream athletics guru Hugh Steel.
Krynen is the best junior sprinter Silverstream has produced since Nick Kalivati. In 2002, Kalivati won the National junior 100m hurdles and 200m titles. In 2004, Kalivati represented New Zealand at age group level and was the head prefect leaving the college with 10 athletics records, including the U14 200m mark of 24:06, recently broken by Krynen when he ran a school recorded 24:05.
It should also be noted Nick Smith the senior 100 and 200m National Secondary Schools champion from Hutt Valley High School last year attended Silverstream in 2015 winning the North Island 100/200 double in the intermediate division. Smith set the U16 school records for the 100 and 200m running 10:90 and 21:90 respectively.
Another long standing record was broken at Silverstream in 2018 when the oldest school record was removed from the books. Sautia Misa leapt a McEvedy record 6.47m in the U15 long jump, eclipsing the mark of John Taripo who jumped 6.04m in the same event in 1942. In 2018, Misa is ranked in the top ten nationally within his age group.
Krynen derives his name from a Dutch grandfather. His parents Chris and Justine are teachers at Hutt Intermediate School. The latter was a nationally ranked sprinter in her youth.
In the winter Krynen will turn his attention to football where he plays striker.
NISS Athletics Results
For full results from the North Island Championships click here: https://nzssaa.org.nz/static/ni-tf-2018/results.pdf
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