Ellesse Andrews (St Peter’s, Cambridge) - Year 12 track and road cyclist Ellesse Andrews had a terrific year in 2016. In July she travelled to Switzerland with the New Zealand team at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships and came away with a bronze medal in the 2000m individual pursuit and a gold medal in the women's team sprint with older teammate Emma Cumming. She also set personal bests in the 2000m individual pursuit and also in the 500m time trial [finishing fifth]. Returning to New Zealand, Ellesse joined her St Peter’s School teammates at the NZSS Road Cycling Championships and struck both individual and team success. She won the U20 Girls Road Race and the U20 Girls Points Race. The St Peter’s U20 girls team won the team time trial and they finished third in the team points race.
Gabrielle Fa’amausili (Avondale College) - 2015 World Junior 50m backstroke champion Gabrielle had another strong year in the pool. In April, she led the way with six golds from six swims at the NZ Age Group Swimming Championships and qualified for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships held in Hawaii in August. In Hawaii, she had to wait until the last session of the four-day meet to secure the first medal for New Zealand, in the 50m freestyle. Other full strength swim teams from USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, China, the Pacific and other non-European nations competed at the Pan Pacs, for swimmers between 13 to 18 years. In early October, she was in top form at the National Short Course Championships, defending her women’s 50m freestyle title in a personal best 24.85s, which was just 3/100ths of a second off the qualifying standard for the World Short Course Swimming Championships.
Amelia Kerr (Tawa College) - Sixteen year old Amelia Kerr was recently part of the New Zealand Women’s White Ferns cricket squad that beat Pakistan 6-0 in a ODI/T20I series. Selection was terrific reward for Kerr who was picked as a leg-spinner, but who is also a promising batter and a lightning fielder as well. Earlier this year she became the first person to score more than one T20 century on the famous Basin Reserve in Wellington, her 108 off 79 balls propelling two-time defending champions Tawa College into the National Girls Secondary School tournament next month. Last summer, Amelia also played a leading role in the Wellington Blaze team and was selected for the New Zealand A team. She won this year's Wellington Secondary School Girls Sportsperson of the Year award.
Jessica Manchester (Howick College) - While Ellesse Andrews (above) was raising the bar on the track and on the road, Jessica Manchester enjoyed a stellar mountain biking year. Not only has she been busy, competing in approximately 30 races around the country, she’s racked up an impressive resume of wins, including a string of victories in U19s and U20 races. Winning the Auckland and North Island secondary schools races, she also won the New Zealand and Oceania Cross Country U19 titles. She won the NZ cross country title in Wanaka for the fourth year in a row and beat all the U23 riders in the field as well in winning the Oceania U19 race in Queenstown, following in the footsteps of her older sister Jemma. This year’s Howick College Sports Person of the Year Jessica is already mixing it in the senior ranks, recently winning the Auckland cross country championships.
Hannah O’Connor (Sacred Heart College, New Plymouth) - In May, Hannah O’Connor finished a highly credible sixth at the World Schools' Championship Cross-Country in Budapest, Hungary, in a field of 100 international competitors. She returned home to blitz the Intermediate field by almost two minutes at the Taranaki cross country championships. In June she won the NZ Intermediate girls race by 25 seconds at the NZSS Cross Country championships in Rotorua. Prior to that, in January she won the NZ Junior 3000m. In March she broke a 20-year-old record in the 3000m by 23 seconds at the NI track and field championships. She did all of the above aged 15. Also a nationally ranked junior surf lifesaver.
Lucy Sheat (Marlborough Girls’ College) - The year 12 sprinter was this year’s Tasman secondary schools Sportswoman of the Year. She took out the 200m at the 2015 NZSS Athletics Championships last December, and then won the same event at the Nationals, breaking U17, U18 and U19 records in the process. She ran 24.58 in the 200m final to smash the old record of 25.04, while her 400m time of 56.07 eclipsed the previous record held former three time national U19 title holder Katie Johnstone. She completed the treble with victory in the 100m with a time of 12.17. At the South Island schools championships she set new records in the 200m and 400m. She represented New Zealand at the IAAF world under-20 track and field champs in Poland, competing in the 100m and relay.
Veronica Wall (Ashburton College) - In April Veronica Wall created Maadi Cup rowing history by securing an unprecedented hat-trick of single sculls titles as well as a fourth title in the U18 coxed quad final. The super-talented 15-year-old sculler cruised to victory in the U16 and U17 single sculls finals by a combined winning margin of more than 30 seconds. The next day she faced a much tougher quest to land the U18 crown, however she proved equal to it to create her own slice of history. Brylie Gordon (Hauraki Plains) made a brave bid for victory and held a half-a-length lead at the 1000m from Wall. Nonetheless, the eventual gold medallist made her winning push in the third quarter of the race to break the field and secure gold in 8:00.88.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand