Southland's Erin Criglington again provided the individual highlight in today's qualifying session at the 2013 Age Group Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill.
The evergreen Cycling Southland member followed up her record-breaking ride in the Masters 1 Women's Time Trial last night with another record ride, this time over 2 kilomtres in the Individual Pursuit. Criglington took nearly a full second off her previous best performance in clocking 2:35.085 to qualify fastest by more than 10 seconds. She will ride West Coast North Island's Tamara Ross in the final while Southland sisters Kylea Gough (2:46.147) and Nicola Stevens (2:51.524) will square off in the ultimate case of sibling rivalry in the ride for bronze.
Southland is also assured of another five competition points in the Masters 2 Women (45+) with Jacqui Dearlove and Sam Kopae riding off for gold while bronze will go to Otago with team mates Viv Allen-Kelly and Glenda Bruce battling for the third podium spot.
The Under 17 Boys and Girls Iindividual Pursuit medals will also be confirmed tonight. Auckland filled the top three qualifying placings with Holly White and Bryony Botha riding for gold after the pair were separated by less than 0.1 seconds over their 2000 metre journey. Lydia Rippon will square off against West Coast North Island's Michaela Drummond for bronze with just 0.15 seconds between them in qualifying.
In one of the most impressive rides of the morning, Campbell Stewart (West Coast North Island) blasted out of the gates and had to be held back by his coach, before ripping home in 2:20.849 - just two seconds outside Pieter Bulling's long-standing record of 2:18.093. That national mark may be under threat tonight when he rides for gold against Otago's Lachie McGregor while Mid South Canterbury's Jack Ford will take on Waikato-Bay of Plenty's Sam Dobbs in the bronze-medal ride.
After some early jitters, finalists were found in the Under 15 Girls Points Race with Libby Arbuckle, Shaane Fulton, Lakein Cottam, Christine Lambley, Madeleine Gough, India Domigan, Jenna Merrick, Jessie Banks, Amy Horn, Sophie Bloxham, Lucy Dawkes and Kate Ward to line up for the medals this evening.
Today also saw the start of the Omniums for Under 19 Women and Men. After the first two events (Flying Lap and Points Race), both competitions look to be very even affairs. Nina Wollaston (Auckland) leads the Women's standings with 4 points courtesy of her Flying Lap victory and third place in the Points Race with Southland's Laura Heywood and Jennifer Muhl and West Coast North Island's Maxyna Cottam all locked together in equal second on 7 points.
The Men's Standings see Regan Gough leading on 5 points after a second place in the Flying Lap and third in the Points Race with Mid South Canterbury's Fabian Wybrow second on 7 points, followed by a trip on 10 points - Nick Kergozou (Southland), Danyon Inwood (Waikato-BOP) and Josh Haggerty (Southland).
Racing continues from 6:30pm with the Omnium Elimination races, Under 17 and Masters Women Individual Pursuit finals along with Points race finals for the Under 15s and Masters Men.