North Island Cross Country Champs
This has taken a while to get here as the results from Taupo Harriers took an age in being posted. We had to deal with inclement weather most of the day as showers passed through with the gazebo well utilised – a big thanks to the Apperleys for dragging it all the way to Taupo. To be honest though, we could mirror some of the other competing clubs and have our own tent made complete with Club signage etc.
To the 26 who competed on the day – thanks for making the commitment to represent the Club. I’m picking that with school holidays starting a week later than usual, our numbers were not as great as originally anticipated. It was great to see the provincial clubs out in force, with the likes of Feilding Moa & Whanganui Harriers having good numbers doing battle.
I’ll run through the results as they happened throughout the day.
Little Ava Munro had first use of the course in the Girls 10 1km and she did herself proud with a 5 min 22 sec run that placed her 26th out of 32. Ava had to fly the flag for the 10 years & under runners as she was the only club runner in Girls 10 & we had nobody in Boys 10.
Emma Johnson was next up in Girls 12 and she gave it everything to finish 14th out of 20 in 8 min 46 sec for the 2km. Emma and her older sister Olivia are brand new to the Club so it was terrific to see them make the trip through to Spa Park.
Boys 12 saw the Club have two runners with Robin Moore and Cody Munro on the start line. There was not much between them at the finish with Robin 22nd out of 36 in 8 min 35 sec for the 2km and Cody 4 sec back in 24th. This is one of the tougher grades as youngsters from all around the North Island use this event as their target being as a close to a national title as you can be.
Girls 14 were first to use the full 3km lap. Aniela Apperley knows all about what it takes to compete at this level and the little tyro battled away to be 8th out of 26 recording 12 min 10 sec. Olivia Johnson produced an encouraging result to be 12th in 12 min 52 sec – must be something in that Central Hawkes Bay air. Libby Stewart rounded out our G14 girls with a 17 min 36 sec to be 26th – Libby has a get out and do it attitude and wherever she finishes doesn’t to bother her. Long may she continue running and enjoying it.
Johnathon Moore flew the flag in B14 and had to suffer on the run as he was nursing a pretty nasty cough. He soldiered around in 13 min 37 sec to be 25th out of 31.
Masters Men 35-49 were next up and Graeme Buscke (35-39) left it in no doubt he wasn’t there to look at the scenery. Leading early on, Graeme had a couple of well performed Wellington runners for company with Daniel Nixon (40-44) and Ben Winder (35-39). Nixon eventually pulled away for the win from Winder with Graeme 3rd in 21 min 27 sec from the 6km to be 2nd in his age group. Damien Christoffis was 5th out of the 6 in 35-39 in 24 min 17 sec.
The Masters Women had next bash and while the legendary Sally Gibbs was in her own race out front, our Gina Finlayson was toiling away to be 8th out of 9 in 40-44 running 32 min 01 sec for the 5km.
The real old guys were up next with Stephen Lindsay and I battling our Hastings rivals (we both won on that count). Steve has been running like the wind and his 26 min 45 sec for the 6km was good enough to see him finish 5th out of 17 in 60-64. R Morrison arrived just before the next bus in 30 min 23 sec to be 9th out of 14 in 55-59 – negative split though so I put that down to “experience” (plus a Hawks runner with a surge syndrome kept me honest).
The combined WU20/WU18 were next up over 4km. With the impressive Phoebe McKnight setting terms up front, Brianna Lee fought the good fight the only way she knows how with a creditable 4th out of 17 in 15 min 20 sec. Alia Wentz was next NHC across the line to be 7th in 16 min 23 sec. It was a mini AHBG section with Hastings Ruby Brett next ahead of Nina Boesch in 17 min 07 sec – this group always in and around each other. Kate Stewart was 4th of our good numbers in this race to run 18 min 14 sec to be 14th.
It was BU20/BU18 next up over 5km. Mitchell Snell led the way in the U18 grade with a terrific 6th out of 35 to stop the watch at 17 min. Mark Day was 30 sec behind Mitchell to be 13th and well pleased with the result. Matthew Apperley had his best result for a while to clock 19 min 58 sec to be 32nd while Alex Langley was a further placing back in 20 min 41 sec. We did have two U20 runners but both Bradley Christison and Zach Manning had DNF’s – Bradley I knew was crook so presume Zach was the same.
Senior Women lined up with a NHC top on the line as Laura Langley put away her race walking shoes and brought out her spikes to gallop around in 22 min 03 sec for the 5km to be 14th out of 17.
Senior Men brought an end to the racing, with AHBG well represented up front with Matthew Taylor (Hastings) and Lucas Duross prominent. Matthew and Lucas were part of an early break of 5 that became two as Jono Jackson and Matthew forced the pace. Jackson eventually surged ahead to win ahead of Matthew with Lucas hanging tough for 5th in 30 min 52 sec for the 9km. Steve Charles was a bit further back in 21st out of the 25 starters in 34 min 57 sec – still a respectable time. Our US visitor Darian Sorouri also had a good run being one place behind Lucas in 31 min 14 sec.