The Southland Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships at Te Anau last week were almost a Taylor-made benefit.
Te Anau is a visitor’s town. The lake and mountain backdrop is spectacular in every direction you look. But not often seen by visitors is the quiet beauty of Ivon Wilson Park.
However championship day the Park had visitors by the score and it wasn’t quite so quiet with visitors not stopping to take in the spectacular autumn tones, scenic central lake and views from the top of hill. In fact, most were having difficult taking in enough oxygen.
Ups and downs, changing terrain from firm to soft and upsets in rhythm is the essence of cross country. Ivan Wilson Park certainly obliged.
This year the course was changed rendering all previous records to the history books, consequently 2019 winners automatically became course record holders.
The Taylor day started with Maddie (Southland Girls’ High School) finishing second to Bella Jubb (James Hargest College) in the U13 girls 3km.
Then it was cousin Kennedy (also SGHS) comfortably winning the U14 girls 3km from Wakitipu High School’s Samantha Fookes. Fooke’s got the better of Taylor over track middle distance during the summer but throw in a few hills and an extra kilometre or two and it’s a different story. The pair were locked together over the first 1000m but Taylor attacked the hills to drop her opponent and stretch the lead to 37 seconds at the finish. An indication of Taylor’s dominance was her 11.08 was faster than the U4 boys and U16 girls.
The final race of the day was the senior boys 5km featuring the third member of the Taylor family, this time Jaxon, (Southland Boys’ High School), Kennedy’s brother. The older Taylor was second last year and not to be outdone by little sister, improved one place to the gold medal position in 17.10 from Aleks Cheifetz with Alek’s Wakatipu HS team mate Gareth Harcombe third.
Jaxon is better known as a triathlete, with the Ivon Wilson course kind to multi eventers. Well performed triathletes Aaron Barclay, Troy McAllister and Fynn Thompson were previous senior winners.
And as a matter of interest another Taylor, Christina (no relation) holds the U16 and senior girl’s records from 2008 and 2009.
Three Taylors, all related, three medals.
But that’s not all.
James McLeay (SBHS) impressed winning the U13 boys 3km by nearly half a minute. Patrick Howes (SBHS) had a narrow 3 second win from Ethan Friend (St Peter’s Gore) in the U14 boys 3km. Emily Hay (Hargest) won the U16 3kgirls by 32 seconds from last year’s winner Sophie Shallard (St Peters Gore). Sam McDonald (SBHS) won the U16 boys 4k by 11 seconds from Brennan Rhodes (Hargest). And the senior girls 4km was won convincingly by Summer Jubb (Hargest) in 19.06.
U13 Girls winner Bella Jubb and Senior Girls winner Summer Jubb were the second set of siblings to win races on the day.
Southland Secondary Schools Cross Country Results HERE
The 46th New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships and the 4th New Zealand Secondary Schools Regional Cross Country Relay Championships are at Ashbury Park, Timaru on the weekend of 15/16 June. Timaru has twice hosted this Event before, but it is over 30 years since the 15th Championships in 1988.
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