The New Zealand secondary school orienteering team have once again shown the Australians how to do it and they had a fair whack of Hawke's Bay zest and flavour to fuel their drive.
Competing in the school challenge in Victoria against the Australian state representative teams the Kiwi team dominated.
In the sprint at Mt Helen the New Zealand junior girls finished first, second, third and fourth in the field of 34.
Havelock North High School's Jenna Tidswell spearheaded the victory while Napier Girls' High School's Carolyne Nel was runner-up with Marisol Hunter (Rangi Ruru, Christchurch) third and Briana Steven (Cashmere High, Christchurch) fourth.
New Zealand's other podium placegetters in the sprint came in the senior boys' race with Auckland Grammar's Tommy Hayes first and Cashmere's Ed Cory-Wright third.
In the senior girls' race, Thames High's Danielle Goodall was second while Bay representative Georgia Creagh (NGHS) came in ninth in the senior girls' sprint.
In the long course championship at Campbelltown three of the New Zealand teams (SB, SG and JG) had all their runners finish in top-10 positions.
While there were no individual titles this time, Tommy Hayes (second senior boys), Tidswell (second junior girls) and Steven (third in junior girls) all made the podium.
In completing the challenge with the relays, Kiwi teams claimed three of the titles with just the senior boys (fourth) not getting on the podium.
The senior girls won by 21sec (with Creagh running the second leg). The junior boys won by 12 sec and the junior girls won by a remarkable 7min 15sec.
Of the junior girls, Hunter had the fastest time on leg one, Steven the fastest time on leg two and Tidswell the fastest leg three time and overall fastest time in the relay.
The New Zealand schools' team were convincing winners of the overall challenge.
The Australian Championship was held in conjunction with the school challenge.
In these, Tidswell and Nel had to compete against older runners in the W16 grade.
Despite that, Tidswell was second in the sprint (to Goodall) and Nel finished sixth.
Competing in W17-20 elite grade, Creagh was seventh.
In the Australian Championship relays, the Kiwi teams were first and second in the W16 grade.
Tidswell ran the anchor leg for the winning team which Hunter and Cory-Wright led out.
Nel made the podium in the second-placed team.
Creagh's team were third in the W17-20E relay so all three Bay girls received medals.
- Steve Armon
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