This year’s College Sport Wellington Regional Cross Country Boys U19 winner Will Anthony has plenty left in this tank.
The year 11 Scots College runner in his first season as a senior shot to the front of last Wednesday’s 6km race and won by 36 seconds to the second placed finisher, Finn Seeds of Hutt International Boys’ School and with Thomas Strawbridge of St Pat’s Silverstream just behind in third.
“I was hoping to win, but I didn’t think it would be by that much,” said Will. “I was pretty surprised with the margin of victory.”
The race at Harcourt Park, Upper Hutt was a three-lap 2km undulating course.
“A few people sat on my shoulder for the first lap and then at the start of the second lap I started pulling a lead and then by the end of the second lap I was quite a way clear.”
There were 40 runners in the Senior Boys race, with Jack Paine (fifth) and Callum Hancock (seventh) two other Scots College runners that finished in the top 10. Scots won the three-person teams race, with Wellington College second and also taking the six-person teams honours.
Despite moving up from the Intermediate ranks for the first time, Will was familiar with some of his rivals. “I raced against Thomas Strawbridge a few times earlier this year and against him at the University Relays [harriers event, for the Olympic club] a few weeks back and I have run against Finn Seeds for a number of years as he is just one school year older.”
Will and Finn also train together, both under the guidance of coach Alastair Leslie.
One of Will’s next major goals is attending the NZSS Cross Country Championships in Timaru on 15-16 June.
“I will be aiming for top five, and then hopefully to be picked for the Australian Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in August.”
Will finished fifth in the Junior Boys race last year in Taupo.
He also has a promising career on the track in the summer months, with his main event being 3000m and also running 1500m. His PBs for both are 4.06 minutes and 8.46 minutes respectively.
He did both events at the recent Wellington Regionals and North Island Secondary School Championships events in the Intermediate grade. “Unfortunately I was a bit sick, I managed to win the 3000m and 1500m at Regionals and then at the North Islands I came third in the 3000m and second in the 1500m.
He also went to the New Zealand Track and Field Nationals in Christchurch, coming second in the 1500m and mid-field in the 3000m, competing in the U18 grade.
He is looking forward to the chance of competing at home at Newtown Park at this December’s NZSS Track and Field Championships.
Will started running when he was eight and his family are supportive. “My granddad also used to do some longer races and marathons so I got some of it from him.”
What about other sports? “I used to play rugby but stopped two years ago to focus on my running. I used to play other sports too like water polo.”
Has Will managed to catch up with new student and sprinter Eddie Osei Nketia?
“I have met him at school but I don’t train a lot with school so I haven’t trained with him or anything.”
Will trains six times a week, consisting of three long runs and three interval sessions and Sunday mornings the gym with his coach.
A favourite place for Will to running is the Port Hills in Christchurch, when he goes there to see his family.
Click here for the Results – 2019 CSW Secondary School Cross Country Champs
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