It was an ominous start to the morning as the showers continued and more than 60 intermediate and secondary aged riders representing nine schools converged at Teretonga for the 2014 Secondary School Road Champs on Tuesday 25 March.
But the weather gods played kindly as the skies cleared and only a couple of brief skiffles and a cool breeze were offered as the elements to contend with once racing kicked off over a two-lap, 5km course for all age groups.
In the under 13 girls the lone duo of Milla Rollo and Rebecca Rietveld, both from Columba, had good battles in both the time trial and road race to each share a win, with Milla taking the overall gold with the fastest time trial result.
Hunter Gough (James Hargest Junior) held out his Cycling Southland Age Group team mate Josh Miller (Waikaka) to win both events in the under 13 boys, with Lachie Baird (Woodlands) in third).
A 17-strong field lined up for battle in the under 15 girls, including 11 Columba students who were new to road racing competition. Fresh from Age Group Track Champs and still very much in form Emily Paterson (JHC) took out the time trial and finished second in the road race to take the overall gold, from Southland team mate Madeleine Gough, who finished third in the time trial and first in the road race, while a strong show from novice Rachel Alexander (Winton) with a second and third placing potted her the bronze medal.
Always battling it out on the track and the road, the Southland duo of Hamish Keast (JHC) and Corbin Strong (SBHS) again gave it everything at the champs, but it was Keast who took both event wins to take gold from Strong, while an impressive showing from road and track newcomer Jamie McIntyre (JHC) netted him third place with two third placings for the time trial and road race.
Southland racing demon Emma Cumming (SGHS) continued her good form with two wins and the gold in the under 17 girls, while Columba College had Anna McDonald place a second and third for the silver and Ella Harris placed second and fifth for bronze.
The under 17 boys was another hotly contested battle with Brayden Stephens (JHC) having a great day placing first in the time trial and second in the road race to finish with gold, while Southland team mate Tom Sexton (JHC) took two consistent second placings for silver and Samuel Miller (JHC) finished fourth and seventh to slip in for the bronze after third placing time trialist Hamish Beadle (JHC) got taken out on the back straight well into the race.
Small fields in the men’s and women’s under 19s mean competition was tight but Bailey Saville (Columba) proved too strong with a double win and gold, from Kate Wilson (CSC) who also took two second placings, while Holly Barclay (Columba) took bronze.
Meanwhile, Nick Kergozou (SBHS) proved unbeatable in the men’s time trial and road race to take gold, while Anton O’Connell (JHC) took second in the time trial and third in the road giving him the edge for silver over Josh van den Arend (SBHS) who took bronze with a third in the time trial and second in the road race.
James Hargest College proved too strong taking out the top scoring school trophy with 19 points, from Columba College with 12 points and Southland Boys’ High School with seven points.
The day finished with some team time trials with the James Hargest College combination of Brayden Stephens, Anton O’Connell, Tom Sexton and Matt Nunn taking out the boys win, from Southland Boys’ High School trio Nick Kergozou, Josh van den Arend and Corbin Strong, while Sam Miller, Kain Bowles and Hamish Keast placed third.
Columba College dominated over the girls field with first going to Ella Harris, Anna McDonald, Ruby Knight and Phoebe Swale, second going to Southland Girls Aly Doherty, Sally Bodle, Kendall Kilpatrick and Emma Cumming and third going to Helena Rikiti, Lucy Dawkes, Brook Hargest and Molly Wheely.
A huge thank you to Olivia Kennedy and Julie McMahon for freighting down their bus load of 21 girls and supporting them and the spirit of competing so well – always a pleasure to have you here team!
Also a huge thank you to our ever helpful and willing volunteers – Ray Robinson, Helen Presbury, Andy Whyte, John Taylor, Walter Lettink, Waine Harding and Dave Beadle – along with Secondary School Sports Fiona Ward and Megan McKenzie for all giving up their time to help make the day run so successfully and smoothly.