There were some split-second results separating placegetters when a field of around 60 young riders descended on the Teretonga raceway circuit for the Southland Secondary School Road Champs yesterday – but James Hargest College riders fought consistently throughout the day to take the overall title.
Students representing James Hargest College – senior and junior campuses – Southland Girls, Southland Boys, St John’s Girls, Winton, Dunstan and an impressive entourage of 12 girls from Dunedin’s Columba College took to the circuit in cool morning conditions for the first event, the Individual Time Trials.
Dunstan’s Nicole Shields immediately stamped herself as the one to chase in the U15 Girls with a 28sec lead over her next rival and it was the first of two clear TT and road race wins to take the title from Columba’s Megan Foley and James Hargest Junior’s Madeleine Gough.
Winton School’s Rachel Alexander took a first in the TT and second in the road race from Columba’s Charlotte Wheeler who had matching results in reverse order, with Tully Paterson (JHJ campus) in third.
2012 Yunca Junior Tour U13 winner Hamish Keast (JHJ) proved he hasn’t lost any form to pip Corbin Strong (SBHS) from top spot in the U15 boys, with Samuel Miller (JHC) third. Meanwhile, the U17 girls had a tough battle at the top with Makayla Smith (SGHS) holding off Columba’s Bailey Saville for the win while Emma Cumming (SGHS) took a first in the road race to finish third.
The ever-tight battle of Southland’s U17 mates saw Tom Sexton (JHC) firing to take two wins for the top spot, with school mate Brayden Stephens consistently sliding into second and Hayden Strong sneaking into third.
Columba’s Laura Bridger showed some classy results for two outright wins from Jen Muhl (JHC) with Sophie McMurdo (JHC) taking two thirds and the overall spot in their field of six. But it was tighter in the U19 boys when Josh Haggerty (SBHS) sliced out Jeremy Presbury by 0.3sec in the TT before Presbury got his own back to win the road race and SBHS’s Nick Kergozou jumped up for a second placing in the road race. It was a close result but Presbury scraped through for first with Haggerty second and Kergozou in third.
Columba College’s girls put up a good fight after their early morning van ride to finish second overall with 2012 winners SBHS having to settle for third spot.
Overall school results:
James Hargest 20