Date: Thursday, 28 February 2013
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Reon Park rides to gold in M1 Individual pursuit - Photo by Robyn JordanWest Coast North Island youngster Campbell Stewart confirmed his status as one of the sport's brightest talents, winning double gold on the third night of racing at the 2013 Age Group Track Cycling Championships at Stadium Southland Velodrome in Invercargill tonight.

Stewart, who turns 15 in two months, has dominated the Under 17 racing in just his first year in the age category, with a medal haul of three gold and a silver medal over the opening nights of this year's Nationals.

Tonight he dominated the sprint competition, qualifying fastest in a time of 11.626 and was untroubled through the sprint rounds, defeating Waikato-Bay of Plenty's Lewis Eccles two-straight in the final. Hamish Beadle defeated Southland team mate Tom Sexton for bronze.

Later in the night, he showed no ill-effects from his earlier sprinting to kick clear over the final lap of the Under 17 Scratch race final, avoiding a nasty final lap crash in the process, to secure another win ahead of Mid South Canterbury's Jack Ford and Waikato-Bay of Plenty's Sam Dobbs.

Stewart swept all four gold medals in the Under 15 ranks at last year's nationals and is well on his way to bettering that tally this year.

Elsewhere East Coast North Island's Regan Gough and Southland's Laura Heywood claimed the Under 19 Omnium gold medals after two days of gruelling racing. 

After winning the Individual Pursuit earlier in the day, Gough kept a close eye on his nearest rival Josh Haggerty of Southland, over the final two races, finishing a single place behind him in both the Scratch Race and Kilo time trial to finish four points clear in the overall standings. Haggerty turned in another super-consistent performance with top-five finishes across all six disciplines while Mid South Canterbury's Fabian Wybrow's win in the time trial earned him the third medal.

Heywood's victory in the penultimate event, the scratch race, saw her leap to the top of the standings, a position she was able to defend with a third place finish in the 500m Time Trial to end the competition two points clear of Maxyna Cottam. Auckland's Nina Wollaston won bronze.

Auckland's Richard Justice broke the national record in qualifying in the Masters 3 Men Individual Pursuit. His time of 2:31.507 broke the former set by Southland's Bruce Jones last year. Justice then backed up well to take gold over Steve Chapman (Wellington) by just under 1.5 seconds while Feyes Botha (Auckland) took the bronze.

Auckland's Brett Slater added the Masters 2 Individual Pursuit to his resume with a comfortable final victory over silver medal winner Jerard Stock of Southland while Garry Smith claimed bronze. World and national record holder Reon Park won the all Mid South Canterbury final against Craig Domigan in the Masters 1 Men, with Brendan Akeroyd earning his first Masters medal in the bronze ride against Southland team mate Derek Tan.

West Coast North Island's Emily Shearman won the exciting Under 15 Girls Derby final ahead of team mate Sophie Bloxham and Canterbury's Kate Ward while Southland's Kain Bowles added another national title in the Under 15 Boys Scratch race, beating home Corbin Strong (Southland) and Thomas Garbett (West Coast North Island).

The first ever Masters Women Scratch race final was a Southland trifecta with Erin Criglington winning her third gold medal over Jacquie Dearlove and Nicola Stevens while Canterbury's Olivia Podmore added a second gold to her tally, winning the Under 17 Girls scratch race final ahead of Michaela Drummond (West Coast North Island) and Emma Cumming (Southland).

Racing continues over Friday and Saturday with sessions at 10am and 6:30pm.

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