Above: Sam Tanner (71), leads Murdoch McIntyre (875) and Liam Back in Taupo on Saturday. Tanner was to win and Back was to pass McIntyre and finish second. PHOTO: New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Association Facebook
Favourites Sam Tanner and Hannah O’Connor retained their senior titles at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Taupo on Saturday.
Tanner, from Bethlehem College in Tauranga, retained his senior boys title after a tussle with two of the other favourites, Liam Back (Wanganui Collegiate) and Murdoch McIntyre (Westlake Boys).
Early leader Saxon Murphy from St Andrews Christchurch headed the field on the first lap but when McIntyre applied the pressure, only Back and Tanner were able to respond.
The three ran together for more than half the race until Tanner decided it was time to move.
First McIntyre and then Back fell off the pace and Tanner went on to record a 50m win over Back with another 40m back to McIntyre.
O’Connor, from Sacred Heart, New Plymouth, kicked away from the bunch from the outset and claimed the lead with Aimee Ferguson of Rototuna High School.
The three time gold-medalist extended her lead on the second lap and shurged aside Ferguson who faded to third place. Kirstie Rae (Wellington East Girls) finished strongly for second.
O’Connor’s won the 2015 and 2016 junior titles.
Westlake Boys’ High School finished second at the ISF World Cross Country Championships in Paris in April and have earned the right to send another team abroad by winning the senior 6000m six man event. The Westlake team of Murdoch McIntyre, David Moore, Stuart Hofmeyr, Jude Darby, Blair Hill and Arsh Kazi all competed in France a few months ago. Fellow Auckland school Baradene College won the senior female event.
Senior Girls 4000m (132 competitors)
1 Hannah O'Connor (Sacred Heart Girls NP) 13:50
2 Kirstie Rae (Wellington East Girls) 14:13
3 Aimee Ferguson (Rototuna Senior High) 14:18
Junior Girls 3000m (100 competitors)
1 Isabella Richardson (St Cuthbert's) 10:56
2 Maali Kyle-Ford (Wellington East Girls) 11:05
3 Maia Flint (Tauranga Girls) 11:08
Year 9 Girls 3000m (121 competitors)
1 Maia Wilkinson (Wellington East Girls) 11:12
2 Edie Kozyniak (St Catherine's College) 11:18
3 Anna Bassett (Wellington East Girls) 11:25
Senior Boys 6000m (182 competitors)
1 Samuel Tanner (Bethlehem College) 19:02
2 Liam Back (Wanganui Collegiate) 19:10
3 Murdoch McIntyre (Westlake Boys) 19:18
Junior Boys 4000m ((156 competitors)
1 Toby Saxby (Westlake Boys) 13:21
2 Mac Rowe (New Plymouth Boys) 13:41
3 Ben Ruscoe (Westlake Boys) 13:44
Year 9 Boys 3000m (142 competitors)
1 Christian De Vaal (Macleans College) 9:57
2 Mathijs Wetzels (Hamilton Boys) 10:08
3 Joseph Morgan (Hamilton Boys) 10:13
Para Athlete Boys 2000m
1 Anton Besseling (New Plymouth Boys) 7:46
2 Josh Taylor (Wairarapa College) 9:08
3 Jacob Lowson (Papanui High) 9:30
3 person teams results: https://nzssaa.org.nz/static/nz-xc-2018/results/3-person-teams.pdf
6 person teams results: https://nzssaa.org.nz/static/nz-xc-2018/results/3-person-teams.pdf
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