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.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand