Date: Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Southland cyclist Emily Paterson only entered the under-17 Age Group National Track Championships for experience, but ended the event with a swag of medals.

She finished the five-day meeting at the SIT Velodrome in Invercargill with a medal haul of two golds, two silvers and a bronze.

What makes the 14-year-old's results even more impressive is that she still has another year in the age group.

Southland's Emily Paterson in the under-17 girls' section at the Age Group Track National Championships in Invercargill.

"I'm only first year under-17, so I came into it for experience, so to come away with some achievements is awesome," she said.

Among her achievements was an impressive silver medal ride in Saturday night's points race, after she fell off her bike.

"In the points race there was a crash and I came off," she said.

When many other riders would have pulled out of the race, Paterson's dogged determination saw her pick herself up and get back on her bike.

She received some minor injuries, but was able to battle on bravely despite missing three laps.  

"I hurt my tail bone and got some burns, but nothing compared to some other girls" she said.

The pain was temporarily forgotten about as she went on to claim second place behind winner Ally Wollaston.

"I got back on and did the last four laps by myself out the front and got silver," she said.

"It happened so fast and I didn't think I was going to get up, but then I saw my other teammate Madeleine Gough get back onto the track so I thought that I can't be the only one not getting up."

The James Hargest College student had a golden final day of the track cycling meeting, claiming two gold medals in the team sprint and the team pursuit events.

She combined with Tayla Lumsden to win the team sprint final in 37.615 seconds, ahead of Canterbury Red pair of Sammi Ogle and Sami Donnelly.

Paterson and Lumsden then returned to help the Southland under-17 girls' 3000m pursuit team of Gough, Helena Rikiti and Camryn Akeroyd take the title with an impressive time of 3:47:925, to edge Canterbury Red by more than a second in the final.

In the under-17 girls' individual events she won bronze in the 500m time trial and silver in the individual pursuit, while she also competed in the sprint and scratch race, finishing outside the medals.

Paterson has been involved in cycling for six years and although she prefers track, her attention will now switch to the NZ Club Road National Championships in Alexandra starting on April 21.

"I would like to give those a good crack," she said.

Article and photo courtesy Stuff

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