Another 14 national titles were handed out and another three national records were lowered during the third night of racing at the 2012 RaboDirect Age Group Championships in Invercargill tonight.
The tone for the night was set early as Southland's Jacqui Dearlove and Erin Criglington both successfully defended their national titles in the Masters Women Time Trial with both lowering their national records in the process.
Dearlove completed her 500 metre journey in 39.209 to sneak inside her previous best in Masters 2 by 0.004 seconds with Sam Kopae and Viv Allen-Kelly sharing the podium. Criglington had even less respect for her old mark, setting 38.329 and taking 0.4 off the record. Kylea Gough and Rachel Sime claimed second and third respectively.
Canterbury's Holly Edmondston claimed a deserved victory in the Under 17 Girls Individual pursuit finishing just three tenths of a second off the fastest time recorded for the age group over 2000 metres. Her gold medal ride saw her beat Laura Heywood in to second by a shade over half a second in a great spectacle. Auckland's Holly White took bronze by a second over Kate Stewart.
Tasman's Quinn Karwowski charged around the Velodrome faster than any Under 17 Boy ever has. His gold medal-winning time of 33.812 smashed the previous mark (held by Dylan Kennett) by more than 0.4 seconds and pushed last year's champion Michael Culling into the silver medal position. Cameron Ford of Tasman was a further half second back in third place.
The Under 15 points races were dominated by West Coast North Island. Michaela Drummond has been one of the most impressive young talents on display this week in Invercargill and again she dominated the field to take gold comfortably from Isobella Smith and Phoebe McCaughen. And team-mate Campbell Stewart was just as dominant in the Boys race with the diminutive flyer securing yet another gold ahead of Sam Thorpe-Loversuch and Hamish Beadle.
The Masters Men Team Sprint saw an all Southland battle in the final with Jerard Stock, Garry Smith and Mike White shading Scott Milne, Richard Eade and Neil Familton and claiming gold by 1.4 seconds. Canterbury claimed bronze after Auckland were relegated in the bronze medal ride.
The Keirin finals saw Paige Paterson add another title to her blossuming resume. The Auckland sprint was always in control and she took the title over Racquel Sheath and Kate Dunlevey. The Men's race was a beauty with a Southland one-two. Tom Beadle and Jeremy Presbury were not to be denied to claim the top two steps on the podium with Dylan Kennett third across the line to claim a different coloured medal than he has been used to winning this week.
Holly Edmondston teamed with Olivia Podmore to win her second gold of the night in the Under 17 Girls Team Sprint. The pair beat Southland's Libby Bayne and Laura Heywood in to second place by 1.3 seconds. Auckland's Lydia Rippon and Holly White took bronze ahead of West Coast North Island's Ruby Perry and Kate Stewart.
The boys medal went to the Auckland combo of Hamish Jeffries, Reon Sheath and Kurt Standen ahead of WCNI's Jordan Castle, Kyle Davie and Connell Leahy. Mid South Canterbury's Josh Connor, Brendon Whalley and Jack Ford took out the bronze medal.
The Under 19 Women Team Pursuit final pitted Auckland against Southland with the northerners taking the honours. Devon Hiley, Racquel Sheath and Georgina Wilson had to withstand a late Southland comeback which saw Sophie Williamson, Jennifer Muhl and Georgia Timpany close the race right up in the last kilometre. The composite threesome of Julia Main, Alice Hay and Lauren Hobson took out the bronze medal.
The Men's finals provided all sorts of drama. In the ride for bronze Waikato Bay of Plenty's Hayden McCormick anchored his composite team's winning effort over Otago along with team-mates Boris Clark, Blair Treymane and Auckland's Hardy Michel.
The Men's Final lined Southland up against top qualifiers Canterbury. The red and blacks employed similar tactics from the morning qualifying sessions using George Tutton as their lead-out man for the first three laps before he pulled up to let the star-studded threesome of Tayla Harrison, Hamish Schreurs and Dylan Kennett. Southland stuck with more traditional tactics with their four man team of Liam Aitcheson, Tom Vessey, Josh Haggerty and Tom Beadle looking to limit the early damage and try and reel Canterbury back in the second half of the race.
Canterbury's tactics unraveled when a Harrison puncture meant that they could not finish and as per UCI rules the race and the gold medal was awarded to Southland. It was a disappointing way for a highly anticipated match up to end. Further inspection of the UCI racing rules was clear however. After the first half lap no mishap will be taken in to consideration. The team shall continue if they still have three riders on the track. Otherwise the team will be considered beaten in the finals. So it proved for Canterbury this eveNing.
The final event of the night saw Justin Stott and Garry Smith take a lap on the field in the Masters 1 Men Points Race with Stott taking gold, Smith the silver and Michael White the bronze.
The championships conclude on Saturday with sessions starting at 10am and 6pm. Live trackside text commentary updates, race results, video highlights and more can be found by clicking here.