Waikato claimed their first National Scholastic Surfing Championships title in eleven years today (Friday 11th October 2019) with the team claiming two of seven titles and boasting six surfers in the finals.
The five-day event wrapped up at Manu Bay, Raglan in the biggest surf of the week with a solid 1.5m swell and light onshore winds, the morning rain giving way to clear skies in the afternoon.
Waikato took the points lead early on the final day after a battle with Taranaki and Auckland who finished in second and third respectively. Waikato eventually surged ahead with close to a 1,000 point lead. The points difference between second through sixth was just 300 points, the equivalent of one placing in any of the finals.
Waikato’s two titles came from Kora Cooper in the Under 16 Boys Division and Navryn Malone in the Under 14 Boys Division.
Taranaki and Canterbury also claimed two titles apiece and the regions both shared the coveted Under 18 Division titles which went to Tom Butland (Tara) and Estella Hungerford (Chch).
Butland surfed up a division at the event allowing his team to have a more even spread of athletes and the tactical decision paid off for Taranaki.
“I’m pretty stoked aye, I wasn’t expecting to make the Under 18 Boys Final, everyone is so good in this division” said Butland.
Butland was trailing for much of the heat but posted an 8.15 point ride taking off 15 seconds before the hooter and his score not coming through until after the heat had finished flipping the final on its head.
“I asked Luke Griffin how much time there was left and Caleb what score I needed, I didn’t really know how long was left so I just gave it my all, I had really weak legs when I took off on that last wave, I was really nervous but I was pretty happy to clutch up and win” said Butland.
Butland’s wave pushed Caleb Cutmore (Rag) back into second place with Luke Griffin (Mnt) in third and Neko Tohiariki (Chch) in fourth.
Estella Hungerford put on a commanding performance in the Under 18 Girls Division Final finishing with a 16.0 point heat total, well out of reach for her opponents.
“I’m pretty stoked, I still can’t really believe it. I didn’t have much confidence going into this national event but the win is awesome and it will help me out going into the World Junior Championships at the end of the month too, so I’m looking forward to it now” said Hungerford.
Her big heat total came by way of some aggressive surfing in the big waves early in the heat.
“I hadn’t caught a wave then, so I was a bit stressed but I managed to land that big turn so I was stoked. I still can’t really believe it, it’s crazy, I didn’t really know I could surf like that in a comp” she added.
Hungerford’s opponents had to battle for the minor placings with Kai Woolf (Rag) claiming the runner up position ahead of Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in third and Gabrielle Paul (Auck) in fourth.
Kora Cooper (Rag) and Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) claimed the Under 16 Division titles, Cooper having a good battle with Tom Robinson (Whngrei) who placed second. Gouldsbury fought hard against Brie Bennett (Rag), holding down a slender lead for much of the final.
In the youngest divisions, Navryn Malone used his knowledge of Manu Bay to edge past Ryder Pennington (Tara) for the win while Ava Henderson (Chch) ran away with the Under 14 Girls Division title.
Auckland took two finalists into the longboard final and walked away with a first and a third, Ben Counsell getting the nod over Billy Whelan (Nrthlnd), Natt Fitt finishing in third and Sonny Eades (Mnt) finishing in fourth place.
The Adam Clegg Breakthrough Performance of the Event Award went to Ava Henderson (Chch) and Kalani Louis (Tara). Henderson was dominant throughout the week and took it all the way to the final with her first scholastic title. Louis also advanced through to the final of the Under 14 Boys Division and placed third behind Navryn Malone (Rag) and Ryder Pennington (Tara).
Please see below for final results from the 2019 National Scholastic Surfing Championships completed at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Friday 11th October).
1, Waikato, 8463
2, Taranaki, 7485
3, Auckland, 7305
4, Canterbury, 7265
5, Bay of Plenty, 7233
6, Northland, 7213
7, Gisborne, 6289
8, West Coast, 5133
9, Coromandel, 4959
10, Wellington, 4503
11, Hawkes Bay, 4025
Under 18 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.4, 1, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 10.5, 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 9, 3, Billy Gilbert (Nrthlnd), 6.35, 4
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 13.75, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.25, 2, Luis Southwood (Whaka), 8.46, 3, Josh Sheridan (Nel), 6.8, 4
Max Brunker (Nrthlnd), 7.55, 1, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 7.36, 2, Jack Lee (Whaka), 6.75, 3, William Van der Beek (Mnt), 6.15, 4
Under 18 Boys Division Semifinals
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 17.9, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.75, 2, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 7.75, 3
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.8, 1, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 8.25, 2, Max Brunker (Nrthlnd), 5.75, 3
Under 18 Boys Division Final
Tom Butland (Tara), 16.4, 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.0, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.7, 3, Neko Tohiariki (Chch)11.5, 4
Under 16 Boys Division Final
Kora Cooper (Rag), 13.75, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11.95, 2, Myka Black (Chch), 9.95, 3, Finn Vette (Gis), 9.55, 4
Under 14 Boys Division Final
Navryn Malone (Rag), 13.9, 1, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 13, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 9.25, 3, Izaak Hayes (Whngrei), 9.15, 4
Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Kai Woolf (Rag), 14.25, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 10.4, 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 7.8, 3
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 10.36, 1, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 9.75, 2, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 5.7, 3
Under 18 Girls Division Final
Estella Hungerford (Chch), 16.0, 1, Kai Woolf (Rag), 10.4, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 8.4, 3, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 6.75, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Semifinals
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 10.75, 1, Leah Wilson (Chch), 9, 2, Hannah King (Gis), 7.6, 3, Daizee Rawles (Gis), 6.46, 4
Brie Bennett (Rag), 13, 1, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 10.15, 2, Liv Haysom (Piha), 8.65, 3, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 8.25, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Final
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11.25, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 10.25, 2, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 7.5, 3, Leah Wilson (Chch), 6.3, 4
Under 14 Girls Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 12.75, 1, Anna Brock (Mnt), 8.5, 2, Amelie Brady (Mnt), 4.4, 3, Luka Glover (Rag), 0.04, 4
Under 18 Longboard Division Final
Ben Counsell (Auck), 13.1, 1, Billy Whelan (Nrthlnd), 10.65, 2, Nat Fitt (Auck), 9.85, 3, Sonny Eades (BOP), 6.3, 4
The National Scholastic Surfing Championships began in 1989. The event, which has unearthed two generations of top Kiwi talent, takes place all week at the famed Manu Bay location, home to the perfect left-hand point break.
The 2019 Snowvision NZ Alpine Youth Champions were crowned yesterday (Friday 27 September) after two full-on days of Slalom, Super-G and Giant Slalom racing at Cardrona Alpine Resort. The titles were awarded to:
Mikayla Smyth and Alex Jackson carried their winning form from day one’s Slalom to deliver winning runs in the Super-G and Giant Slalom and claim their respective titles. Mikayla tied for first place in the U16 Super-G with Olivia Flight (Queenstown Alpine Ski Team), and in the Giant Slalom came from behind to overtake first run U16 women’s leader Helena Knight (QAST) for the age group win after run two.
Hemi Meikle (Team TC) also showed his consistency across all three disciplines, taking out the U14 men’s championship title. As well as topping his age category in every race, Hemi recorded the third fastest time overall in the Super-G and fourth fastest in Slalom and GS.
Ruby Fullerton put down to two strong runs in the Slalom for a convincing win in the U14 category. The Super-G was a hotly contested race, with first racer out of the gate Charlotte Wiggins (CAST) coping well with challenging soft snow conditions and laying down the fastest run amongst U14 girls. Only hundreds of a second separated Brooke Hutchison (CAST) in second and Ruby in third.
The afternoon’s GS saw Ruby back on winning form, topping the U1 women’s podium, Charlotte Wiggins in second and Coco Shale (CAST) third.
A prizegiving was held at the Cardrona Hotel after racing yesterday and the four champions will be presented with their cups at the Snow Sports NZ Annual Awards ceremony being held this evening.
The Alpine Youth Championships were added to the calendar this year as part of Snow Sports NZ’s strategy to provide a better youth development pathway for Alpine ski racing. The event will be followed by the Snowvision NZ Alpine Youth Camp for qualified participants. Following the camp, the Snowvision NZ Alpine Youth Squad will be announced. These athletes will be ranked and offered quota spots at Youth International Alpine competitions in the upcoming northern hemisphere season.
Day one Slalom footage HERE
New Zealand is the leading underwater hockey country in the world, having recently annexed three of the four divisions at the World Age Group Underwater Hockey Championships in England – the U19 Men’s and the U19 and U24 Women’s titles.
With three U19 Men’s team world champion players in their squad, Tauranga Boys’ College are now the three-time New Zealand Secondary Schools Senior Open champions, retaining the title at Kilbirnie Pool in Wellington this past weekend.
Unlike the two previous years, it wasn’t all calm waters heading into this year’s championships, as captain Thomas Holdom explained.
“In the past two years that we had won the NZSS tournament we had also taken out the North Island qualifiers, but we came second this year to Howick College,” Thomas told College Sport Media.
“So this added more pressure on the team to perform this weekend. We had a bit of a rough start, but the team kept on improving and we finished with our best game.”
Thomas Holdom (year 12), Aidan Heath (year 12) and Zac Howe (year 13) were the three New Zealand U19 players in Tauranga’s winning team.
Tauranga beat Glendowie College 2-1 in the final, who featured one New Zealand player, after winning all their previous games over the tournament that included wins over Glendowie (2-0), Mahurangi College (8-0), Hutt International Boys’ School (4-1), Nelson College (4-1) and Howick College (3-1).
The final against Glendowie College was a repeat of the 2018 decider and was a hard-fought affair.
Tauranga led 1-0 at halftime. “We got a goal about five minutes in, after an early disallowed goal. It then stalemated for the rest of the first half, and then early in the second half we scored a second goal to go 2-0 up.”
The second half remained on tenterhooks. “With 1 minute and 45 seconds to go they put a goal on us. So I told the team that we are going to go and put it up in their half and not let it out and that is exactly what we did until fulltime.”
Tauranga also played the final two minutes a player down, with a player sin-binned for a free-arming offence.
There are six players in the pool at any one time, with a revolving four-player substitutes bench, so to lose a player for two minutes is potentially a big blow.
Tauranga’s winning 10-player team comprised three year 11 players, five year 12s and two year 13s.
The two year 13s, Zac Howe and James Robinson, are the two players in the squad that have won the NZSS title three years in a row, while captain Thomas previously won the Junior NZSS title in 2016 an 2017, before winning the senior title these past two years.
Tauranga’s juniors didn’t qualify this year for nationals, with a team made up of mostly new players they have been in rebuilding mode in 2019.
Unlike in bigger regions such as Wellington, there is no school underwater hockey competition in the Bay of Plenty, so Tauranga’s players play club underwater hockey.
“All of the Tauranga Boys’ College players play for the Tauranga club as well. We have two team trainings a week and one club night a week.
“The only time we really get to play other schools is at these big tournaments, or occasionally Trident High School comes over from Whakatane to our club night.”
Tauranga Boys’ College has a strong water sports culture, as well as land-based pursuits, but generally the underwater hockey players stick to their sport.
“I used to play badminton and football, but underwater hockey has absorbed all of my time now.”
For good reason too, Thomas and eight other players that were playing in the NZSS tournament last week for Tauranga and other schools recently spent three weeks in August at the Junior World Championships in Sheffield, England.
“We played 16 games over 10 games and we won all of our games. We beat Great Britain 8-2 in our final and we beat Spain 3-2 in our semi-final.”
“We had a big crowd of both local UK supporters and New Zealand supporters with three other teams involved.”
Coming up next are the national club championships in Wellington in early October, followed by the inter-zone U18 tournament in Auckland at the end of November.
Meanwhile, South Island champions Nelson School for Girls beat Otumoetai College in the Senior Girls NZSS final, Nelson College beat Glendowie College in a sudden death Junior Boys final and Marsden Collegiate School defeated Epsom Girls’ Grammar School in the Junior Girls decider.
Tauranga Boys’ College 2019 Senior Boys NZSS Underwater Hockey team:
Aidan Heath (year 12, NZU19 Representative)
Caleb Cooper (year 12)
Carter Ormsby (year 11)
Christopher Maine (year 12)
Daniel Maine (year 12)
James Robinson (year 13)
Parker Davis (year 11)
Theo Lafont (year 11)
Thomas Holdom (year 12, Captain, NZU19 Representative)
Zac Howe (year 13, Vice-Captain, NZU19 Representative)
Ben Tortoiseshell (year 11, injured and didn’t play this year)
Kenrick Knowlson (Coach)
Sarah Tortoiseshell (Manager)
For many years, Napier Boys’ High School was the stronghold of New Zealand secondary school orienteering.
Napier BHS won the NZSS Orienteering Top Boys School title 14 years in a row, one of the most impressive winning streaks of any school in any sport at the national level.
Last year the sky blue of Napier was replaced by a different shade of blue when Mount Albert Grammar School captured the title for the first time.
Last weekend, MAGS successfully defended their title in style at Woodhill Forest and Glenfield College as well as picking up the Boys Premier School title.
“Last year was a big year for us,” said team captain Adam Bateman. “It was going to be the 15th year for Napier to win so it was a pleasant surprise for us to win.”
“This year the orienteering culture at our school has really grown,” added Adam. “After last year’s success we had more people wanting to join and we have really increased our numbers with the juniors especially and this is really great to see.”
“We finished with about 500 points, which was really cool as we finished 160 points ahead of the next school, Havelock North High School.”
The NZSS Orienteering Championships were run over three days, with a three-person teams relay event on Friday, a long race on Saturday and a sprint race on Sunday. Points were accrued for each school in the two individual races as well as the relay.
In Friday’s relay, the MAGS teams won the Junior Boys, Intermediate Boys races and finished first and second in the Senior Boys.
“The course for the seniors on Saturday was about 6km, a bit of a longer run through the forest than the relay. You also accrue points for your school as well as trying to do your best for your individual result. The sprint is more of an urban run, around the school, with points awarded on the same basis as Saturday’s race.”
Team manager Neill McGowan said the school’s success has been a few years in the making.
Former MAGS student and New Zealand representative Kieran Woods has been coaching the boys team since 2016, building depth, consistency and a winning culture.
As well as the boys, the MAGS girls team had a successful weekend.
“The girls finished eighth last year, so we made a goal for them to return this year and finish in the top five,” explained Neill. “They ended up finishing third. Last year they got 107 points and this year they got over 300.”
Baradene College won the Top Girls School title, winning it back after losing last year to fellow Auckland School Diocesan, and also won the Girls Premier School title.
Prior to winning the NZSS title, the MAGS boys team also won the Auckland Relays and shared the North Island regional title this year.
In April, both senior and junior boys teams represented New Zealand at the World Schools Orienteering Championships in Estonia. Both five-member teams qualified for this by winning the NZSS title last year.
“The juniors finished third and the seniors finished ninth,” said Neill.
This follows on from 2017 when the MAGS juniors represented NZ in Italy and finished fifth. That team also won the Fair Play Award in those championships.
“With the World Schools every two years, hopefully it will give the boys a good incentive to win next year and qualify for the World Schools again in 2021,” enthused Adam who is year 13.
Several of the MAGS orienteering athletes are also accomplished in cross country and athletics.
“Luke Clements is one of our intermediate boys, and he actually finished the sprint on Sunday morning and then headed down to Papakura and won the Auckland U16 Road Running Championships in the afternoon,” said Neill.
Luke won the sprint race on Sunday, while MAGS student Mitchell Cooper finished second behind winner Will Tidswell (Havelock North High School) in the Senior Boys long race. Jay McElwee was third in both the Junior Boys long and sprint races.
Orienteering athletes also compete in multisport and adventure racing. “I know many orienteers, especially at other schools, who are big in adventure racing. There is a bit of crossover between the two,” said Adam.
Five MAGS students (Adam Bateman, Mitchell Cooper, Luke Clements, Sam Taylor Sinclair and Daniel Wood) have been selected for the New Zealand Schools team to compete in Australia later this year.
This year’s NZSS Orienteering Championships were livestreamed. Watch highlights of Friday’s relay races and see links to the action on Saturday and Sunday here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b__HAngtTc0
The New Zealand Secondary School Duathlon Championships held in Invercargill this past weekend featured small but highly competitive fields and fast racing under sunny skies at Teretonga Park.
The U19 Boys race was won by James Corbett from St Peter’s School, Cambridge.
James finished ahead of second to sixth placegetters Lachie Baird (Verdon College), Max Erkes (Francis Douglas Memorial College), Laurie Watson (Mt Aspiring College), Jack Staples (St Bede’s College) and Kaleb Hayes (Waitaki Boys’ High School).
The U19 Boys race comprised a two-lap 5km run around the outside 2.6km track, followed by an 8-lap, 20.8km cycle leg around the same course and then the final transition for a two-lap 2.2km inner track run.
James said the race went really well. “ Before the start, I was really nervous as I have raced Jaxon [NZSS U19 Boys triathlon champion out of Southland Boys’ High School, didn't finish this race], Max and Lachie before and know they are strong competitors that have done really well his season and I knew it would be really tough to beat them,” he said.
How did the race pan out? “With a new coach this year I felt confident and wanted to show that. I set off fast in the first run to gain the lead. I was then passed on the bike by Lachie about half way through. I fought hard to stay near him and as I came off the bike I made sure to have a quick transition to be first out on the run. I set off at a fast pace and lucky my legs held to be able to pull away and win the race.”
James said winning this race has given him confidence ahead of the summer season of racing, after winning the NZSS U16 Triathlon last year in Nelson. “A highlight for me was winning NZSS U16 race. I was disappointed with my NZSS triathlon nationals this year, so winning the NZSS duathlon was a boost.”
James finished eighth behind winner Jaxon and with Lachie seventh and Max 10th, at the NZSS U19 triathlon race in New Plymouth in late March,
James has been training hard over winter “ I’ve recently moved coaches to Craig Kirkwood. The training has been great. I typically swim four times a week with Carl Gordon who has helped me a lot and the squad is fun. I bike four times a week and run five times.”
“Luckily being in Cambridge I'm surrounded by amazing athletes that push me and support me to be my best. At St Peter’s there are other students I can train with to keep things interesting and fun.”
James, who is year 12 at St Peter’s, spent several years living overseas, where he started triathlons.
With a New Zealand mother and an Irish dad, he was born in Singapore and did a lot of growing up in Asia. “I started off mad keen on rugby when we were living in Singapore and New Zealand the first time around. But when we left NZ for Manila in 2013 and then on to Singapore in 2015, I found it harder to keep developing in rugby.”
His love for competing in sport saw him turn to swimming and running.
“My love for running started in Manila where I had great support and encouragement from my school coaches and my friends’ parents as I found my feet. I think running is still my strength. When we moved back to Singapore in 2015, I started cycling and completed my first triathlon - on a mountain bike - and loved it.
“I did well on the local scene but decided to move to St Peter’s Cambridge as a boarder to improve and compete more. The first year was tough. Year by year, I have been gaining more experience. There are so many great triathletes in New Zealand every race is a challenge which is fantastic.”
As well as winning the U16 NZSS race in 2018, other highlights were the few ITU races he has competed in and been pleased with his performances for his age. “It certainly is another level of racing and I hope to do more of it. I’ve qualified for both Duathlon and Triathlon age group World Championships this year but not going as I really have to focus on my school work. I loved the age group World Championship experience last year in the Gold Coast.”
In the short term, there is a small break in the triathlon season and he will take this time to get a good base of training in. He will also be participating in a cycling series in the Waikato as part of a team, while he also competes in middle distance running on the athletics track.
James Corbett – last two years achievements:
NZSS National Duathlon U19 - 1st
Tri NZ Duathlon Sprint Champs - 3rd (2nd in age group U19). Qualified Duathlon World Champs
NZSS Triathlon individual U19 - 8th
NZSS National Triathlon U19 team - 1st
Suzuki Tri NZ Sprint champs 16- 19 - 8th. Qualified for age group World Champs
Devonport OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Championship Juniors - 24th
NZSS National Triathlon individual U16 - 1st
Suzuki Tri NZ Sprint champs 16- 19 - 12th; Qualified for age group World Champs
ITU World Champs, Gold Coast U19 - 37th
WBOP SS tri individual and team - 1st
WBOP SS Duathlon individual and team - 1st
WBOP SS cross-country -3rd
Wbop 1500m - 2nd
WBOP 3000m - 2nd
2019 NZSS Duathlon Championships – full results:
17-year-old Alpine ski racer Alice Robinson (Queenstown) has carried through her success from the northern hemisphere season to home snow,
winning the NZ National Women’s Giant Slalom Championship title at her training ground of Coronet
The New Zealand Alpine National Championships hosted by Coronet Peak, the official ski area
partner of the New Zealand Alpine Ski Team, finally got underway in Queenstown today with the
women’s Giant Slalom after heavy snowfalls and poor visibility put racing on hold yesterday
(Saturday 10 August).
Starting from bib seven, Robinson – who is now ranked 10 th in the world for women’s GS – took a
convincing 2.01s lead in run one and stretched it to 3.34s ahead of GB’s Cara Brown on run two.
“I’m really happy,” said Alice. “I knew I could have probably skied a little better in the second run but
I’m just really happy to take away the title.”
The course was set on The Hurdle run where soft snow conditions added a challenge for the racers
with the course getting bumpy and several racers, including defending champion Piera Hudson
Eliza Grigg was the second NZ racer home, finishing in eighth place overall, and Katie Crawford, third
for NZ, 22nd overall.
Whangarei Girls’ High School were thrilled to put their name on a New Zealand Secondary Schools trophy this past weekend, winning their maiden NZSS Squash Championships title in Tauranga.
Whangarei GHS were top seeds heading into the tournament, but they had to be at their best to see off the other leading schools, who included recent champions Palmerston North Girls’ High School (third), Havelock North High School and Westlake Girls’ High School.
Whangarei GHS beat Westlake Girls’ High School in their semi-final tie on Saturday and returned on Sunday to defeat Havelock North Girls’ High School in the final.
It was a team tournament that saw schools play the best of five singles games against each other per tie, with the respective seeded players facing off against each other, i.e. fifth versus fifth and first versus first.
Whangarei captain and the team’s second seed Pippa Saunders said their strength and the key to victory was in their depth of players, having strong players all the way through the squad.
“In past years we have had really strong players, but the depth dropped away a bit at the bottom, but this year we had a team full of B graders so our bottom players won all their games comfortably,” said Pippa.
“It is pretty hard to get a team full of top players, so having that consistency is the key to winning this event,”
The team ranged in age from years 9 to 13, with three year 9 players in the squad including third seed Chelsea Traill who was named in the NZ Junior Girls team after the tournament. Top seed Shea Ferguson is year 11.
Whangarei came second in 2014 and 2015 and finished fifth last year.
Pippa said there was extra expectation on the team heading into the weekend as top seeds.
“We were a bit nervous going into it, being top seeds we were almost supposed to win but we knew it was going to close as the other high ranked schools were really strong as well.”
Whangarei started the tournament with a bye, before beating 17th seeds Papamoa College 5-0, then ninth seeds Tauranga Girls’ College 4-1 before the semi-final and final wins.
“We then won our semi-final 5-0, but we knew our final as going to be really close. Chelsea was up first and we knew that she needed to win because our top player Shea had a tough game and it was going to be hard for her to win. So if Chelsea had lost it would have come down to the last player, who was actually myself.”
Chelsea won her match in three sets against Rakairoa Joyce. Next, Amy Brown won the battle of the fifth seeds 3 sets to 1 to put Whangarei up 2-0. Havelock North’s Jena Gregory beat Shea in three sets to make it 2-1 to Whangarei.
Then the number four players took to the court with the tie still very much alive. Ruby Collins kept to her game plan and won 3-1, sealing the tie for Whangarei Girls’ High School.
The dead rubber match saw Havelock North's Jasmine Roydhouse-Ross beat Pippa 3-0. “I was really relieved when Ruby won her match in four sets – I think I just celebrated a bit too early and lost my focus in my game.”
Pippa said the format of the tournament makes for plenty of excitement. “It is very tense, you are clapping after each point and it is very nerve-wracking at times.”
What happens now? ”We all play in the Northland development squad, and coach Paul Ormsby comes up from Auckland every week. We all play individually in the Northland tournaments but we come together soon for the junior nationals for Northland in individual and team events.”
Pippa said that for herself and Shea, squash is their sole sport but others in the team also play other sports, such as Chelsea who plays both cricket and hockey.
The NZSS Squash Championships attracted some 20 girls schools and 32 boys schools and was played over three days across three different squash clubs in Tauranga.
Mount Albert Grammar School defeated hometown school Tauranga Boys’ College 3-1 in the boys final.
The winning NZSS Whangarei Girls’ High School team was (seeding in brackets):
Shea Ferguson (1), Pippa Saunders (2), Chelsea Traill (3), Ruby Collins (4), Amy Brown (5), Olivia Rhodes (6), Jordyn Chapman (7). Coach: Delwyn Houlihan. Manager: Justine Collins
NZSS squash champions - last 20 years:
This coming September’s Senior Boys NZSS Underwater Hockey tournament at Kilbirnie Pool shapes as one of the most competitive national secondary school sports titles to be contested this year.
Any one of about 10 teams, from the top of the South Island to the top of the North Island, could win, including the leading Wellington schools who filled four of the top five spots at this past weekend’s Central Regional Tournament that was held at the same venue.
Nelson College won both the Junior and Senior Boys titles, with Wellington College teams runners-up in both divisions.
Wellington College Senior A captain Will Durkin praised Nelson College who were something of an unknown to the Wellington teams heading into the tournament.
“We had no idea what they would they were going to be like,” said Will, “ most of us local teams had already played each other multiple times and we all had a pretty good idea of what to expect from most of the teams and the players to look out for.”
“But they put up a good fight, having no previous knowledge themselves of our teams. The final against them was a good game from both sides of the pool.”
Nelson beat Wellington College 4-2 in the Senior Boys final, after coming back from an early 0-1 deficit. One of Nelson’s goals was a penalty shot, which means everyone gets out of the water except for two attackers and one defender and they look to score that way.
Wellington College beat Hutt International Boys’ School in one semi-final and Nelson College beat St Pat’s Town in the other.
Wellington College and HIBS have a healthy local rivalry.
“We have played them several times recently and our results have gone both ways. We would win once, they would win next and then we would win again.”
The local schools play for the Solomon Shield during the regular season, a challenge shield that the holders put up in every game.
“HIBS came into this season with the shield, and then we took it off them and held it for a few weeks, and then literally last week just before the Central Tournament they won it back off us.”
Scots College and St Pat’s Town are also two strong schools in Wellington.
“St Pat’s ended up beating HIBS in the third and fourth playoff and won the bronze medal.”
It’s a similar story in the Northern Zone, where several Bay of Plenty and Auckland schools are all similarly ranked.
Howick College won last weekend’s Northern Zone Tournament, while Tauranga Boys’ College are the defending NZSS Junior Boys and Senior Boys champions, having also won the Senior title in 2017 for the first time.
Wellington College last won the nationals in 2011, but have a successful record, winning the NZSS Senior Boys title 10 times in 14 years between 1998-2001 and again in 2005, 2006 and 2011.
Other Wellington schools to annex the Senior Boys NZSS title include Wellington High School (1985, 1987), HIBS (2003, 2004, 2007) and Scots College (2010, 2012, 2013).
Will spent three years in the Wellington College Junior A team, part of a team that finished second in the Junior nationals in his year 10, but was injured and didn’t play in last year’s Senior nationals as Wellington College came fourth.
Wellington College won the NZSS Swimming title last year, but only a couple of players in the current Senior A underwater hockey squad were also in the swim team last year. Similarly, few players play water polo.
The sport is similar to ice hockey, except underwater and along the bottom of the pool as its name suggests. Games are nine or 10 minute halves, with six players from each team in the water at once.
How do players communicate during games?
“It comes down to the tactics of the game,” explained Will. “That is where it is really important to know where people are in the water. You need to do your personal job and need to trust your teammates that they will too when you are at the bottom of the pool.”
The six players set up in formations. “At Wellington College we play a 2-3-1 formation, which is two forwards, and two wings and a centre in the middle line and then a goalie. But the goalie isn’t like a football or outdoor goalie, they are more like a centre back in football or fullback in rugby.”
The formations change. “When I was trialling for the New Zealand U18 team last year we were being taught to play a different formation, which meant I had to adjust accordingly.”
Plus at any one time only some of the players are actually below water in the thick of the action, owing to players having to come up for air and breath through their snorkels.
“You really want to be on the bottom as much as you can. You can be the best player in a team but you can’t do anything if you are on the surface.”
Wellington College train as a team on Sundays and plays the College Sport Wellington competition on Tuesday nights.
The Wellington College Senior A and Junior A teams that finished runner-up at the Central Regional Tournament are:
Will Durkin, Adam Muir, Ben Stirling, Daniel Markland. Lewie Harland, Caelum de Vos, Tom Adams. Ollie Lau Young. Jacob Rhodes
Mathieu Ewers, Freddie Thorpe, Nicholas Jones, Krishin Cox, Sam Falloon, Tim Stirling. Jed McLachlan. Daniel Ewers, Ben Kuggeleijn, Luke Rhodes, Max Coram
This year, two teams of equal ability will be selected to compete for the Southern Cross Trophy against the six Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory in the 2019 Australian Schools Championships from 27 September -6 October.
The teams are:
Non-travelling reserves (in order of selection)
Senior Boys: Thomas Brendolise (AK), Michael McCormack (AK)
Senior Girls: Anna Cory-Wright (AK), Rebecca Greenwood (AK)Junior Boys: Daniel Wood (CM), James McGuire (CM)
Junior Girls: Rachel Duston (AK), Pippa Plummer (NW)
* Anna Duston’s selection is dependent on her proving her fitness to the Selection Panel’s satisfaction at either the North Island Secondary Schools Championships (18 – 20 July) or the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships (23 – 25 August)
They have caught the adventure racing bug at Taradale High School.
This past Queen’s Birthday weekend a team of 44 Taradale High School students travelled to the Blue Lake Reserve to compete in the annual 3D Rotorua Multisport Festival.
The mixed team of year 9 to 13 students competed in the 30km New Zealand Secondary School Multisport Championships (kayaking, mountain biking and trail running), as well as shorter running and duathlon races.
There were 38 athletes entered in boys and girls U16 and U19 categories in the NZSS Multisport race, with competitors from schools in the Bay of Plenty, North Harbour, Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Taupo, Taranaki, Manawatu, Wellington and Canterbury represented.
Taradale HS athletes won four categories, with Greer Findlay winning the 5.5km run, Ben Smyth winning the Duathlon and Ben Wilson and Matt Adams winning the respective U14 and U19 NZSS Multisport divisions. Sophie Hogan and Jaimee Wilson also finished second and third in the Girls U19 race.
U19 winner Matt Adams was returning from last year and was pleased with his race.
“I did this event last year and I was second in the U16 race, but last year I crashed on the bike leg and my time was over 10 minutes faster this time,” said year 12 student Matt.
Matt was third across the line, with U16 division athletes filling three of the first four places overall.
Whakatane High School U16 athletes, Hayden Sisson and Ari Goodman were first and second overall and Matt’s U16 and year 11 Taradale HS teammate Campbell Gray was fourth.
The 30 km race consisted of a 5 km paddle, a 20 km mountain bike ride and then a 5 km trail run home to the finish.
Conditions were fine and cold, but the tracks were soft and muddy following recent rain.
Matt is mostly a runner – and the longer the better.
“I train mostly for running and have done half marathons and did a full marathon in Waihi last year.
“But in this event just gone the mountain biking is much longer it is where you can make the most gains. On Sunday my best leg was the bike. For example, I was three minutes behind teammate Campbell Gray on the kayak but I caught up to him on the bike. We raced into transition together but I held him off on the run.”
In February, Matt and good friend Jack Graney (didn’t compete at the 3D in Rotorua) competed in the Coast to Coast, the famous race that traverses on side of the South Island to the other.
“Jack and I competed in the tandem category, which means we have to stick together for the whole race. We did heaps of training for that and it was great fun.”
Matt’s goal is to enter the Coast to Coast in 2021 as an individual.
The Taradale High School’s adventure racing team’s next race together is the North Island 6-hour Hillary Challenge race in Rotorua/Taupo on 23 June. “These are the Hillary Challenge qualifiers, and the team comprises four boys and four girls.”
Last year the team didn’t enter the Hillary Challenge qualifiers so making the Hillary Challenge Finals is a goal for the team to aspire for. The combined New Plymouth BHS/GHS team won this year’s national event.
There are some strong rivalries amongst Hawke’s Bay schools such as Taradale HS, Havelock North High School and Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools in all the multisport, adventure racing and orienteering events and one or more is invariably prominent.
Like all adventure racing schools, students from several sporting backgrounds come together to form Taradale HS’s team.
“We train three mornings a week together, but personally I did a lot of kayaking and running on my own. I like to train in the mountains if I can, so a couple of weeks before the event I did my long 21km run in the Kaweka Ranges.”
Taradale High School 3D Multisport Festival results:
NZSS Multisport Championships
1st U19 Matt Adams
1st U14 Ben Wilson
2nd U19 Sophie Hogan
3rd U19 Jaimee Wilson
3rd U16 Campbell Gray
1st Greer Findlay
2nd Grace Hogan
3rd Ella Hogan
2nd Sean Findlay
1st Ben Smyth
2nd Finn Durrant
3rd Dom Collins
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