Dan Hoy and Katherine Badham win NZSS U19 Triathlon titles
The New Zealand Secondary Schools Triathlon, Aquathlon and Open Water Swim championships were held in and around Queenstown late last week; with Over 800 competitors taking part over the two days of competition.
The blue ribbon U19 Triathlon titles went to Dan Hoy (Westlake Boys’ High School) and Katherine Badham (Takapuna Grammar School), with Hoy racing just a week after he made his debut at ITU World Cup level in New Plymouth and Badham backing up from the recent Oceania Championships in Gisborne.
Hoy won from David Martin (Palmerston North Boys’ High School) and Bradley Cullen (Hamilton Boys’ High School), in fine conditions after earlier wind and cloud.
The Girls U19 race was a thriller, with Badham only edging clear on the run as a group of five girls exited the bike ride within 5 seconds, with eventual silver medallist Ari Graham (St Andrew’s College), bronze medallist Eva Goodisson (Woodford House), Rose Dillon (St Peter’s Cambridge) and Olivia Thornbury (Verdon College) all in close contention.
Dylan McCullough (St Kentigern College) dominated the U16 race, almost a minute clear of Josiah Ney (Gisborne Boys’ High School), with the bronze going to Zach Taylor (Christchurch Boys’ High School).
In the U16 girls Triathlon race it was the tall striding figure of Amelia Persson (Christchurch Girls’ High School) who proved strongest on the day, taking the title from Hannah Knighton (Waikato Diocesan) and Phoebe Young (Mt Aspiring College).
Sam Idiens (Medbury School) won the U12 boys, Sophie Spencer (St Kentigern College) the U12 girls, William Taylor (Christchurch Boys’ High School) the U13 boys and Sacha McLeod the U13 girls.
The U14 girls proved one of the closest races of the day, with Case Mastny-Jensen (Tauhara College)running strongly from third place off the bike to take the win, crossing the line just 13 seconds in front of Natalya Carter (Baradene College) with a further ten seconds back to Olivia Kikstra (Christchurch Girls’ High School). By contrast Laurence Pithie (Christchurch Boys’ High School) made no race of the U14 boys, winning by over a minute from Callum Hockey (Rangitoto College), with William Leong (Palmerston North Boys’ High School) coming home for the bronze medal.
Open Water Swim and Aquathlon Championships
Day two saw the athletes moving to Lake Hayes for the running of the Open Water Swim and Aquathlon National Championships.
One of the highlights of the day and indeed the entire festival came late in the piece with the run of Hamish Miller (Bethlehem College) as he outlasted a fast finishing Janus Staufenberg (Mt Aspring College) to win the boys U19 Aquathlon (run/swim) that had the crowd cheering right through to the line. The effort of Miller and Staufenberg highlighted what it means to win while representing your school, in particular for those in their final year and Miller emptied the tank in racing to victory. Bradley Cullen (Hamilton Boys' High School) came home third.
Ari Graham (St Andrew’s College) was too strong in the U19 girls Aquathlon, running into the lead early on the final leg and easing away by 15 seconds from a fast finishing Jacey Cropp (Rangitoto College)and early leader Bayley-Rose Van de Coolwijk (St Mary’s College).
Other winners on the final day included a double up for Dylan McCullough (St Kentigern), taking out the U16 Aquathlon title to go with his Triathlon win and a strong performance from Hannah Knighton (Waikato Diocesan) who overcame a constant cold and cough to win the U16 Girls Aquathlon race.
The open water swim did test the athletes however, with a water temperature of a cool 15.4 degrees; it was very much wetsuits and a sharp intake of breath upon entering the water.
Once again there was some brilliant racing, with the highlights including a blanket finish for the U16 boys with Danyon Hardie (Hamilton Boys’ High School) just edging a thrilling race that saw the first four athletes all over the line inside a five second spread.
Amongst the most impressive efforts in the open water swim was that of Rebecca Cheyne, (Pukekohe High School). Cheyne proved a class above the competition to win by 8 seconds in the U16 Girls.
Angus Syme (St Andrew’s) triumphed in the U19 Boys Open Water Swim, with Hamish Miller (Bethlehem College) and David Marist (Palmerston North Boys’ High School) coming in second and third.
In the U19 Girls swim, Claudia Ashby (Sacred Heart, Hamilton) headed Jacey Cropp (Rangitoto College)and Bayley-Rose Van de Coolwijk (St Mary’s, Wellington) home.
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