Cross Country Nationals – Hawera

24 Jun 2021

A team of 15 boys competed in the NZ Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Hawera from 19 – 20 June. Boys competed at Year 9, Junior (U16) or Senior (U18) level.

Race summaries provided by Mike Drury who was away with the boys over the weekend.

Year Nines

Cooper Wightman, Max Aldridge and Lachlan Rowe

I was immensely proud of our Year Nine boys today. Our three boys all put up their best performances in the trying conditions to finish – Cooper – 5th, Max 15th, Lachlan 51st.
With a total of 71 points our boys tied for 3rd place in the three-man team. While we were initially told that on a countback we were placed 4th, we were later told no, you are third and had the medals presented. However………in a cruel twist of fate, a complaint was laid, St Pats were then proclaimed 3rd and you guessed it, the boys had to hand back their medals. This was pretty crappy to be honest, but our boys were incredibly humble through the initial highs, then lows, of all that went down.

Juniors

Phonse Carroll, Josh Loose, Joel Allott, Josh Tonga, Will Allott and Henry Rumble

By the time the Junior race came about, conditions had deteriorated markedly and it was always going to be a huge test for all of our boys. It was Phonse Carroll that saved his best for the big occasion, producing a super run for 18th, the best of our lads. Not far behind were Josh Loose 30th, Joel Allott 34th who contributed to a 5th placed finish for our three man team. Completing our six-man tean, that came in 4th, were Josh Tonga 40th, Will Allott 54th and Henry Rumball 85th.
Fantastic efforts all round in the big 120 man field.  [Photo – Josh Tonga]

Seniors

Henry Allott, Luca Borcoskie, Tram O’Callaghan, Luke Johnston, Will McMeeken and Finn Allott

By the time the 6km Senior Boys’ Race came about, the course resembled something that you would associate with a Muddy Good Run. There were so many factors that came into this race, including picking the right stretch of ground, while also avoiding an unwanted spiking in the event of someone tripping.

Head Boy Henry Allott showed an immediate liking for the conditions and was well placed in the top 25 for at least the first 2/3 of the race, before hit by a crippling stomach cramp. This was gutting for Henry who has run so well this season. He eventually fell back through the field, ending up in 68th position. While Henry was faltering, team captain Luca Borcoskie found a new lease of life from the 5km mark. First he pulled in his good mate Tram O’Callaghan and then hit the line strongly for 48th. Tram was outstanding, smashing through the mud like the demon that he is for a well-deserved 50th in the huge 181 man field.

Our year 11 men also did a great job in their first year in the Senior ranks, with Luke Johnston 75th, Will McMeeken 109th and Finn Allott 144th.  All six of these outstanding young men put in massive shifts. It was tough enough being a spectator let alone putting your bodies on the line like you did.

[Photo – Luke Johnston and Will McMeeken compete in the Senior Boys race]

On the Sunday a number of boys were selected to represent Canterbury in the regional event.

Unfortunately the conditions were again appalling and the cold wind made for an unpleasant experience for all concerned. There were brave efforts from all of our boys who represented their province with credit.

Josh Tonga, Josh Loose and Phonse Carroll gained silver medals as part of the Canterbury Junior “A” team that placed second behind Wellington.

[Photo – Phonse Carroll, Josh Loose and Josh Tonga]

Henry Allott and Luca Borcoskie were part of the Senior “A” team that held on for the bronze medal. Both Henry and Luca turned in superb runs contributing to a strong team effort.

Cooper Wightman, Max Aldridge and Lachlan Rowe all put in big shifts for the Year 9 “A” team which were outside the medals after being well placed early.

Tram O’Callaghan, Luke Johnston, Will McMeeken, Finn Allott, Joel Allott, Will Allott and Henry Rumball all produced great runs in the again trying conditions in their respective Canterbury teams.

[Photo – Henry Rumble in action for Canterbury Junior B]