In March then 16-year old Mount Albert Grammar School student Cole Evans was selected in the Black Sox Men’s softball team. Year 13 student Cole is a centre infielder who plays for the Mt Albert Ramblers club side. Former National U17 and U19 tournament MVP Cole was in the Black Sox team that finished runners-up to winners and home team Canada at the World Championships in June and July. He captained the MAGS school team earlier this year to win the national secondary schools title for the third consecutive time.
CrossFit has become a global exercise phenomenon in a short space of time.
Founded in 2000 in the United States and promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and a competitive fitness sport, CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy (kettlebell) sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises.
The first Crossfit gym in NZ was opened in 2008 and today, there are 110 CrossFit gyms (or boxes to employ the CrossFit lingo) around the country.
The New Zealand Institute of Sport (NZIS), NZ’s largest provider of sport, fitness and recreation qualifications has embraced the benefits of CrossFit. In October they ran a series of competitions in Wellington that allowed secondary school athletes to compete against some of New Zealand’s top athletes.
Some of the athletes who took part in the CrossFit Challenge program included both NZIS students, graduates and other top Kiwi athletes: Lote Raikabula (NZ Sevens), Willie Tufui (Wellington Rugby Academy), Andrew Blake (Wellington Phoenix), Halley Sims (NZ Karate Champion), Georgia Daals (Wellington Pride Rugby), Ruby Finau (Wellington Pride Rugby), Reuben David Friedlander (NZ Underwater Hockey), Clementine Marshall (former NZ rower) and Ali Koko (former professional rugby player).
The schools involved in the competition were: Upper Hutt College, St. Patrick's College, Naenae College, Wellington High School, Heretaunga College, Bishop Viard College and Tawa College.
With the final event held at Tawa College, the last competition was won by two of their students: Caleb Rapson and Lumafale Lualua. Year 12 student Rapson explained how he became involved: "Lumafale needed a partner. His original partner withdrew," he laughed.
The contest was no laughing matter. Six pairs of two had to complete a series of gut-busting exercises as part of an AMRAP Crossfit workout. In 10 minutes a circuit of 10 press ups, 15 sit ups, 20 squats and a grimly named 'suicide run' which involved sprinting 40-metres, bending down and touching two marked stripes had to be performed. The team that completed the most rounds in the allotted time was declared as the winner.
Rapson says he can't remember the score, but admits the competition was "intense." Lote Raikabula and Wellington Rugby Academy member Willie Tufui provided the sternest resistance.
"It was real cool to be able to compete against those guys. We look up to them," Rapson said.
Rapson played union and league for his college. He missed much of this season after suffering a broken thumb in a tackle. He lost some motivation to train, but said the CrossFit contests have reenergised him.
"CrossFit is really good for you, especially good for cardio. I am just getting back into the gym. It feels good to be fit."
Willie Tufui, who competed for NZIS in all of the contests, really enjoyed the experience and felt well prepared due to the great training discipline learnt through NZIS and his rugby.
"I was buggered by the end of it, but it was great to see so many students interested and competing at a high level. CrossFit is great socially and especially for your health," he said
College Sport Media has profiled over 200 athletes in the last 8 months... Outside the main sports these are our top 12 athletes from 2015... Who is your champion?
Charlotte Arthur – Hockey Player
Hard work paid off for the Rangi Ruru Girls’ School’s hockey team in winning the 2015 Federation Cup New Zealand Secondary Schools hockey tournament in September – and captain Charlotte Arthur was a standout player.
One of three Christchurch schools to reach the semi-finals, Arthur scored in extra time to secure a 1-0 win over St Margaret’s College to help her school win the Federation Cup for the first time in 15 years. She was the tournament’s leading goal scorer with 10 goals.
Georgia Bushell - Skier
Had the honour of being College Sport Media's first feature story. The Year 11 student at Christchurch Girls’ High School is the top ranked Under-16 girls skier in New Zealand.
Bushell often defeats boys in combined competitions and is forced to compete offshore to find tougher adversaries.
Twice she has attended the prestigious Whistler Cup competition in America featuring skiers from 35 leading countries. She has placed inside the top twenty in her disciplines.
Bobbi attended the Youth Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa where she won gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke and silver in the 50m backstroke.
The Year 11 student at Napier Girls’ High School won the supreme award at the Hawke's Bay Secondary School Sports Awards and became the inaugural recipient of a $2,000 Jarrod Cunningham Trust Stars Secondary Schools scholarship.
To put her prowess in perspective, Gichard is swimming faster than New Zealand Olympian backstroker Gareth Keane at the same age. She is ranked among the world's top 20 open female backstrokers and 0.002s off qualifying for Rio.
Daniel Hillier - Golfer
Year 12 Aotea College golfer Daniel Hillier has the sporting world at his feet.
In April he won the New Zealand amateur Men’s Golf Championships, winning the tournament at the famous Titirangi course in Auckland. He followed that up with victory at the National Age-Group Championships. In October he became the youngest ever winner on the national Professional Charles Tour, taking out the Harewood Open. He was then rewarded with winning the College Sport Wellington Supreme Young Sportsperson of the Year award.
Georgia Hulls – Sprinter
In March, Havelock North High School Year 11 sprinter Georgia Hulls competed at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney, and won both the Australian U17 100m and 200m titles. She lowered her own best times of 11.96 for the 100 metres and 24.24 for the 200m - which she had set in Wellington the previous weekend at the National Track and Field Championships.
Hulls was then selected in the New Zealand team for the IAAF World Youth Championship in Cali, Colombia, in June, where she reached the semi-finals of both the 100m and 200m. In her 100m heat she ran a 11.85 PB to qualify 14th fastest overall out of 58 starters, before running a 11.98 in her semi-final. In the 200m she qualified 17th overall out of 53 starters in 24.47, before going faster in her semi-final in 24.18 to miss out on the final by .09 of a second.
Troy Johnson - Cricketer
The head prefect of Hutt International Boys' School, Troy has been one of the most dominant age group cricketers in the country. In January he was the captain of the Wellington Under-19's at the regional tournament for a second year in a row, despite the fact he is still a schoolboy.
In February he scored three consecutive centuries covering all three forms of the game. Johnson has rewritten the record books at HIBS. He is the leading run scorer in their history, amassing over 4,000 at an impressive average of 47. He has also taken 80 wickets at a cost of under 15 and wicket-kept with authority on occasions, once claiming five dismissals.
Johnson also represented the First XI hockey team.
Mitchell Ottow – Hockey Player
In July 2014 the Westlake Boys' High School pupil fractured two vertebrae in his neck after landing awkwardly in a gymnastics incident. He had to spend 12 weeks in a neck brace.
A year later he was a Rankin Cup hockey winning captain. The Future Black Sticks member led his side to 27 wins in 31 games during the whole season including the Auckland title.
Ottow is a skilful and industrious midfielder who was named the Most Valuable Player at the Rankin Cup.
Campbell Stewart – Cyclist
Campbell Stewart from Palmerston North Boys' High School won two gold medals at the junior world track cycling championships in Kazakhstan. Stewart joined Sarah Ulmer (1994 in Ecuador), Sam Webster (2009 in Moscow) and Regan Gough (2014 in South Korea) as double winners at the junior world championships.
Stewart is only Year 12 and has completely dominated age group cycling winning national titles in both New Zealand and Australia. In October he was awarded the Manawatu Secondary Schools Sportsman of the Year award.
Jenna Tidswell – Orienteering
In April a group of New Zealand students, led by Havelock North High School Year 10 student Jenna Tidswell won the individual Junior Girls’ long course race, at the World Secondary Schools championships in Antayla, Turkey.
Jenna didn’t just win her race, she blitzed the field. Her time of 42.14 was over seven minutes faster than the second placed finisher.
Then In early October, competing in the school challenge in Victoria against the Australian state representative teams the Kiwi team dominated. In the sprint the New Zealand junior girls finished first, second, third and fourth in the field of 34. Jenna spearheaded the victory.
Ben Watkinson - Rower
The Year 13 student at Dilworth School in Auckland won the Under-18 single sculls at the Maadi Cup in March. Two years earlier he had featured in the C final.
Watkinson won the prestigious Cambridge Town Cup and finished second in the National Club Championships.
His top form earned him selection for the 22-strong New Zealand Junior team that attended the World Junior Championships in Brazil.
Interestingly Watkinson's great uncle Murray won a silver medal in the double sculls, at the 1962 Commonwealth Games and attended the Olympics twice in 1964 and 1972, nine times Murray was national single sculls champion.
Madison Wesche – Shot Putter
Maddison Wesche is not only the top ranked junior shot putter in the country, she is ranked fifth among the senior women, behind world champion Valarie Adams.
In April, the Year 11 Lynfield College student broke Adams' 15-year-old intermediate age throw of 15.35m. This was after throwing her personal best of 15.70m in January. In July she competed at the World Youth Athletics Championships in Colombia. Her next goal is the 2016 World Junior Championships.
Hayden Wilde – Multisporter
Trident High School deputy head boy Hayden Wilde probably spent as much time on his bike and in his kayak as he did in the classroom in 2015. The reigning Australasian U19 multisport champion and the New Zealand U23 XTERRA champion, finished the year by competing at the prestigious XTERRA off-road world triathlon championships in Hawaii where he placed 9th overall and won his age-group. Five minutes behind the leader (a French athlete) when he started the run, he not only caught him but he put five minutes on him to clinch victory.
This came soon after he finished second overall at the Motu challenge multisport event behind fellow Whakatane local and last year’s Coast to Coast runner-up Sam Clark. Earlier in the year he finished fourth overall behind Clark and accomplished multisporter Richard Ussher at the New Zealand Senior multisport championship near Rotorua.
Young New Zealand sailors continue to do well overseas.
Last weekend Rangitoto College Year 13 student Matthew Kelly won the 2015 China Cup Regatta held in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.
Matthew and his team, representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, won the Farr East 28R division, skippering the Farr East 28R to a well-deserved win in the China Cup in Shin-Zeng. In a fleet of ten racing for four days, they only finished outside the top two in one race and won convincingly.
We caught up with Matthew following his return home during the week.
Congratulations on your achievement last weekend, were you expecting to do so well?
Going into the regatta we didn't really know what to expect as we had never participated in this regatta before and had little to no experience racing against Chinese sailors.
The regatta was a huge event, many teams from various countries were involved, and most who were returning teams that had competed there before.
You only finished outside the top two in one of your races – was there a highlight that stood out?
Most of the racing was tight, with only a few points separating the top three teams throughout the regatta. A highlight for us would have been when we blitzed the fleet winning by a whole leg during one of the races of day two.
You were skipper of your boat - who were your other crew members?
Our crew consisted of Ibuki Koizumi who is from Japan (aged 19), James Delegat fromNew Zealand (aged 16), Jacob Willis from New Zealand (aged 20) and Tom Pickering also from New Zealand (aged 21).
Was this the first time you have represented New Zealand overseas and how and when did you get this opportunity?
This isn't the first time I have represented New Zealand - I recently traveled to New Caledonia for the Youth Match Racing regatta where we placed second overall.
Whereabouts were some of your opposition from?
We were competing against teams from Russia, Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, and China.
How long have you been sailing competitively for, how did you get into your sport?
I have been sailing competitively since the age of 13, where I started off Sailing Optimists out of Torbay Sailing Club on the North Shore. My passion for sailing was established through the water wise program at school.
What are your immediate plans over the summer?
The next big regatta coming up in a couple of weeks, from 18-22 November, where I will be travelling to Sydney to compete in the Harken Youth International Match Racing regatta.
What are you doing next year?
I have been offered a Job at a New Zealand yachting company which I am going to accept, this will hopefully give me even more opportunities to start my yachting career.
Where do you want sailing to take you in the future?
Yachting as a career is a long term goal for me so I am working towards that and will be doing everything I can to achieve that.
View video here! College Sport Wellington held their Sports Persons of the Year awards last night, celebrating all that is positive in school sport in the Capital. If you have not seen or heard of the male recipient of the premier title in 2015... you will do in the future. Daniel Hillier has been profiled on College Sport Media before (read more here), but for now we will share the short clip of Daniel showing his silky skills that have been seen by over 8 million people online.
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