Ethan Mitchell proved his position as the New Zealand team sprint starting rider after a phenomenal performance in the men’s standing start that saw the national record lowered four times this morning in the third day of the RaboDirect Elite Track National Championships in Invercargill.
Sam Webster (Auckland) was the first to lower the one lap standing start 18.413 seconds national record in qualifying. His effort was then eclipsed by both Eddie Dawkins (Southland) and Mitchell (Auckland), with Mitchell’s 17.645 placing him as the fastest qualifier.
Mitchell faced upcoming sprint star Matt Archibald (Southland) in the final, with Mitchell laying it all on the line to post a world-class time of 17.610 to secure himself the national title. Dawkins beat Webster in the ride for the bronze medal.
Katie Schofield (Otago) was the fastest of the women’s sprinters in the same event, clocking a 19.594 to lower the national record in qualifying. Schofield faced team sprint partner Natasha Hansen (Southland) in the final, with Schofield triumphing to take her first 2012 national title. Stephanie McKenzie (Southland) rounded out the podium.
The Waikato Bay of Plenty quartet blitzed the men’s field in the team pursuit qualifying. The team of Sam Bewley, Scott Creighton, Peter Latham, Hayden McCormick qualified six seconds ahead of the Canterbury team who they will face in the final tonight. Southland will ride against a composite team for bronze.
Four rounds of Keirin qualifying this morning will ensure a spectacular battle of the big guns in the finals tonight with van Velthooven, Dawkins, Webster and Archibald expected to dominate the men’s final and Hansen and McKenzie leading the women’s.
The championships conclude tonight with the Keirin and team pursuit finals, the scratch races and the madison.
Women Standing Lap, qualifying: Katie Schofield (Otago) 19.594 (NZ record), 1; Natasha Hansen (Southland) 20.218, 2; Steph McKenzie (Southland), 20.384, 3; Vanessa Quin (Auckland) 21.353, 4.
Final: Schofield, 19.754, 1; Hansen, 20.073, 2; McKenzie, 20.392, 3.
Men Standing Lap, qualifying: Ethan Mitchell (Auckland), 17.645, 1; Matt Archibald (Southland), 17.928, 2; Eddie Dawkins (Southland), 18.095, 3; Sam Webster (Auckland), 18.345, 4.
Final: Mitchell, 17.610 (NZ record), 1; Archibald, 18.008, 2; Dawkins, 17.982, 3.
Women’s Team Pursuit, qualifying: Southland (Sequoia Cooper, Kylie Young, Sarah Tomlinson) 3.39.067, 1; Auckland (Ashleigh James, Alexandra Neems, Georgia Williams) 3.41.245, 2.
Men’s Team Pursuit, qualifying: Waikato Bay of Plenty (Sam Bewley, Scott Creighton, Peter Latham, Hayden McCormick) 4.15.185, 1; Canterbury (Will Bowman, Tayla Harrison, Dylan Kennett, Hamish Schreurs), 4.22.061, 2; Southland (Pieter Bulling, Regan Sheath, Hamish Tomlinson, Brad Tuhi), 4.22.728, 3; Composite (Denay Cottam, Lee Evans, Matiu Kaihau, Josh Haggerty), 4.23.551, 4.
Women’s Keirin, first round: Heat 1: Natasha Hansen, 1; Elizabeth Steel, 2; Henrietta Mitchell, 3.
Heat 2: Hannah Latta, 1; Vanessa Quin, 2; Steph McKenzie, 3.
Men’s Keirin, first round: Heat 1: Eddie Dawkins, 1; Matt Archibald, 2; Willie Trew, 3.
Head 2: Simon van Velthooven, 1; Sam Webster, 2; Regan Sheath, 3.
For full results click here.