The National Secondary School Cross Country Championships are being staged in Christchurch next weekend at the demanding Ascot Golf Course at QE2 Park.
In the senior boys racing, Isaiah Priddey from Hamilton Boys’ High School has been the pace setter for some time but after the Super 8 cross country in Tauranga last week he has a serious new rival.
Chris Devaney from New Plymouth Boys’ High School won the individual race and captained his team to victory in the six-man event.
Devaney reflects on the Super 8 race.
“The conditions were pretty good, there had been quite a bit of rain in the days prior, but luckily race day conditions were perfect with little wind and no rain. The course itself was really good with a massive hill about halfway through the 2k lap. The hill gradually reduced the contenders. Heading into the final lap Isaiah had about 20 to 30 metres on me, but he pulled out and I kept racing hard to the finish.”
New Plymouth claimed the overall Super 8 title for the seventh time. The Year 9 team won their race for the first time since 2004. The Under-16’s prevailed in a tight finish and Devaney’s time of 20 min 26sec over 6km proved to be the decisive margin by 27 seconds.
Devaney has boosted his training to achieve better results.
“Technique wise I haven’t really changed much. Last year was the first year I trained all year round so that had me in better shape rolling into the cross country season this year. I have also worked closely with my coach to ensure my training program is on point,” he says.
Devaney has been running since Year 9.
“I was running casually and going alright. Initially I enjoyed the sport for the social interactions that came from it. My big break came when a guy pulled out of a Taranaki team to run in Auckland so I took his place. I came up against some quick guys and did alright so I started training more and my results kept on improving.” Devaney reflects.
Devaney credits his parents and coaches for his continued success. He aspires to join fellow New Plymouth old boy Angus White on a college scholarship in the US next year.
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