Last July College Sport Media profiled Rianna O’Meara-Hunt tearing up the track in the super-competitive sport of KartSport.
Over Easter Rianna attended the KartSport New Zealand 2016 Nationals, the biggest and most prestigious event in the country, and the Year 10 student from Aotea College can now lay claim to the “3NZ” plate for the year for finishing third overall.
In a field of 26 of the best racers in the country - all boys except her and one other female – Rianna was the most consistent junior driver throughout the event. She never finished outside of the top three positions in all outings - she qualified in position 3, finished race 1 in 2nd, race 2 in 3rd, she won the pre-final and came 3rd in the final.
Kaleb Ngatoa from Rangitikei College finished first and Callum Hedge from St Kentigern College was second.
Of note, Ryan Wood from Hutt International Boys’ School who CSM also featured in a story last year, qualified in fourth for the final but was unfortunately knocked off the track by another competitor with two laps to go.
Over the past several months Rianna has been competing in events all over New Zealand and also in Australia performing well above expectations for her age and experience in this class and is the top performing and most awarded female driver in the country. She constantly races in all male fields of 20 racers and above and certainly gives them more than a run for their money - she is very highly regarded by many in the sport.
She is dedicated and committed to her sport and passion. She puts in the hard yards with a fitness trainer at the gym twice a week who has taken the time and effort to personalise his training methods specifically for what she needs as a racer, and she is either racing or training every weekend. Since Christmas she has only had two weekends when she has not been in the kart.
Rianna’s team also acknowledges the support that Aotea College provides to Rianna in allowing her the time off to attend events like this and the opportunity that this provides for her to build her self-confidence levels through all aspects of her life by ‘realising her dreams and potential’ through her chosen sport.
Southern Cross Campus have escaped a ban for fielding an over-age player at last December's Condors Sevens. The girl in question, whom the Herald has chosen not to name, helped Southern Cross to the semifinals of the Condors girls' under-15s section. She was 16.
Tournament director Phil Gaze says he was not made aware of the infraction until late in the afternoon, so no action was taken, but it was referred to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council.NZSSSC executive director Garry Carnachan says although Southern Cross breached the rules, there was "no deliberate attempt" to deceive."We have dealt with the principal, who has accepted full responsibility and assures me that their processes are changing so that it doesn't happen again," said Carnachan.
Read more at NZ Herald
James Matthews from Sacred Heart College concedes his younger brother Andrew has been a benchmark setter.
Andrew is a two-time National Secondary Schools triathlon champion and James is attempting to emulate his success. (James & Andrew below, James is on the left)
“I have been a triathlete since Year 8, but I have always been more of a swimmer and a runner. I struggled on the bike to begin with, but I am getting better,” he says.
On Sunday James won the College Sport Auckland under-19 triathlon title in Takapuna. The conditions were hot and humid for the 750m swim, 20km cycle and 4.3km run. Initially the oppressive heat bothered James who was last of the front group after the transition between the bike and the run, but he came from behind to win.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to win, and I am grateful for the coaching of the Sacred Heart athletics program. They have really boosted my running and that helped on Sunday.”
James won by three minutes after a storming finish. He is on the brink of reaching the Triathlon New Zealand High Performance squad. Earlier this season he finished third in the Kinloch triathlon and 7th at the under-19 nationals in blustery Wellington wind.
“It was my goal to make the National squad at the start of the year and if I keep working hard I should go pretty close,” Matthews explains.
The National squad is named in late April, a month in which Matthews will have plenty on his mind.
He will travel to Budapest in Hungary for the World Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championships. James will represent Sacred Heart in the six-man team event alongside James Uhlenberg, Jono Ansley, Liam Miller, Sean Paget, Jacob Holmes, plus reserve Dominic Grace.
Sacred Heart earned the right to attend the international event after winning the National title in Dunedin in June. Matthews says Hungary will be a leap into the unknown.
“It will be spring over there so I think the weather will be pretty cool. There are lots of top countries so it will be a tough challenge.”
Raising $6,500 per athlete has been a battle. Sacred Heart have been fundraising for five months with sausage sizzles, a givealttle page and other initiatives.
The Auckland College Sports Triathlon Championships were part of the Takapuna Tri Series Triathlon. As well as James Matthews (Senior Boys), Rangitoto College’s Jacey Cropp (Senior Girls), Saint Kentigern College’s Dylan McCullough (Intermediate Boys), Baradene College’s Isabella Morton (Intermediate Girls), Rangitoto College’s Callum Hockey (Junior Boys) and Westlake Girls’ Noya Oporto (Junior Girls) were winners.
Also of note was the performance of Westlake Boys’ High School Year 13 student Daniel Hoy. He finished fifth and was the best of the New Zealanders in the Elite Men’s sprint race. Hoy finished just 45 seconds behind the winner from Israel and just behind athletes from Australia and Japan.
Auckland College Sport Triathlon Championships
Junior Girls (U14)
1 Noya Oporto, Westlake Girls
2 Natalya Carter, Baradene College
3 Sophie Spencer, Saint Kentigern College
1 Callum Hockey, Rangitoto College
2 Andrew Matthews, Sacred Heart College
3 Campbell Jordan, Saint Kentigern College
Intermediate Girls (U16)
1 Isabella Morton, Baradene College
2 Maddy Clarke, Saint Kentigern College
3 Natalie Mitchell, Baradene College
1 Dylan McCullough, Saint Kentigern College
2 Mathew Faulconbridge, Saint Kentigern College
3 Nicholas Cowley-Andrea, McLeans College
Senior Girls (U19)
1 Jacey Cropp, Rangitoto College
2 Anna Wilkinson, Baradene College
3 Jeri Oporto, Westlake Girls High School
1 James Matthews, Sacred Heart College
2 Harry McLoughlin, Green Bay High School
3 Nicolo Oporto, Westlake Boys High School
The Softball New Zealand Emerging Sox teams are the stepping stone for many players, coaches and support staff into the Junior Sox programme. These teams have traditionally been assembled on a biennial basis for both the boys and girls and contest the Friendship Games held in Sydney, Australia each July.
The Emerging Sox teams are selected following the SNZ Age group tournaments held in January and are made up of players from throughout New Zealand. They have been very competitive historically and have provided a solid introduction to the rigours of international travel and competition to our talented teenage players.
Head Coach of the New Zealand Emerging Sox Boys Team Kurtis Tomkins has named a 15 man squad to compete in the Friendship Games this June-July in Sydney Australia.
Liam Udy-Johns, Manaaki Aranui (Hawkes Bay),
Ash Reihana, Jakzon Quinn (Canterbury),
Brad Carson (Hutt Valley)
Kody Clueard, Andre Hart, Tobias Makisi (Wellington),
Huw Davies, Jared Fuamatu, Seth Gibson, Harley Layt-Maynard (Auckland)
Joshua Kelly, Caleb Delany (Nelson)
Zachary Pene (Waikato)
Non Travelling Reserves
Jayden Britt (Canterbury), Cameron Durkin (Wellington), Waylon Tuhoro-Robinson (Hutt Valley)
Pallas Potter, Caitlyn Lewin, Te Haumihiata Landon-Lane, Teagan Tautala – Hanita (Hutt Valley)
Paiton Koko-Lutau, Georgia Tricker, Beyoncé Rehutai, Nikita Hiroki (Wellington)
Brittany Terrey, Olivia King (Canterbury)
Tatiana Rouru, Haley Carter, Grace McGillivray, Deija Wetere (Auckland)
Stevie Livingstone (Queensland, Australia)
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand