New Zealand athletes and teams ran with distinction at the World School Cross Championships in Budapest, Hungary over the weekend.
The New Zealand boys’ and girls’ NZASSAA teams and school teams representing Sacred Heart College, Auckland (boys) and St Cuthbert’s College (girls) represented New Zealand at the championships, featuring over 700 runners from 26 countries.
Of the individual performances, Sacred Heart College, New Plymouth, runner Hannah O’Connor finished 6th overall in the international girls’ race, just behind a pair of Australians who took first and second, two Moroccans in third and fourth, and a Turkish runner in fifth.
In the school teams event, Sacred Heart College, Auckland finished second in the boys’ team race - behind winners Turkey, and beating France in third and another 18 other countries further back.
Of note, Hannah was the youngest runner amongst the top 10 finishers, three years younger than one of the Australians and both Moroccans that finished ahead of her.
In a field of 70 starters, Bridie Edwards (Waimea College) was the second New Zealander home in the individual girls’ race, finishing 21st. Emmerson Deverell (King’s College, Auckland) was 28th, Isabella Kelly (New Plynouth Girls’ HS) was 33rd, Jane Lennox (Wanganui Collegiate) 34th and Georgia Clode (Baradene College) 38th.
Mitchell Small (St Andrew’s College) was the first New Zealand runner home in the international boys’ race, finishing 12th, behind a pair of Spaniards who clinched first and second. Isaiah Priddey (Hamilton BHS) was 16th, Nick Moulai (St Bede’s College) 22nd, Angus White (New Plymouth BHS) 26th, Joseph Clark (Westlake BHS) 28th and Christian Condor (Wanganui Collegiate) 38th. There were 69 starters.
The New Zealand girls team finished fifth in the 12-team national race. The New Zealand boys’ team finished sixth of 12 teams, behind team winner Morocco. The top four runners' times counted for the final team points tally.
In a field of 139 athletes representing schools from throughout the world, the St Cuthbert’s team finished a credible eighth out of 24 teams in the 3600m girls school teams race, behind the winning Australian team.
Individually, Issie Robinson was their first runner home in 22nd place, a minute behind the Australian winner and with the Turkish runner second. Emily Pain was next home for St Cuthbert’s in 43rd place. The rest of the team all finished inside the top half of the field.
The Sacred Heart College boys’ team was next up in the 5400m boys school teams race, with all six runners finishing inside the top 25 in a starting field of 125 runners.
James Uhlenberg came home in fifth, just 25 seconds behind the winner from Turkey. Jacob Holmes was five seconds back from James in seventh; Jono Ansley finished 13th, Sean Paget 17th, Liam Miller 20th and James Matthews 24th.
In the school teams event, Sacred Heart College won the silver medal – New Zealand’s best ever finish at this event.
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