Report by Jen Muhl
On the 2nd of July 25 riders, representing James Hargest College, Southland Girls High School, Southland Boys High School and Verdon, College travelled to Christchurch to compete in the South Island Secondary Schools Championships which were held at the Ruapuna Raceway.
The first day of racing was the next day, Saturday. The riders competed in both the individual time trial and the team time trial. Southland cyclists picked up seven medals, two golds, one silver and four bronzes, in the individual time trial. All the grades rode one lap, a distance of 3.4km. The first success of the day was Hamish Beadle, James Hargest College, who took out the gold medal in the U13 boy’s field with a fast time of 5min 30. Bronwyn Graham, of Southland Girls High School, collected the next medal, a gold in the U14 girl’s field, with the time of 5min 41.
Soon Southland Boys High had their first medal too, when Michael Culling came second in the U15 boys with the time of 5min 45 missing out on the gold by 3 seconds. Brooke Brazier, SGHS, had an excellent ride, beating her teammates to take home the bronze medal in the U15 girls. The next medallist was Jennifer Muhl, JHC, who came third in the U16 girl’s category. This was soon followed by Kate Dunlevey, SGHS, who got bronze in the U17 girls. The last Southland medallist in the ITT was Pieter Bulling, SBHS, who narrowly missed out on second place by 0.2 seconds.
A one hour break then the team time trials began. The Southland contingent entered seven teams in the TTTs. The first team to compete was the JHC U16 girl’s team, Jennifer Muhl, Monique Raggett and Sophie McMurdo who were soon followed by the SGHS U16 girl’s team of Brooke Brazier, Laura Heywood and Bronwyn Graham. Both teams rode amazingly well and got very good times. JHC came second with a time of 10min 54 by one second from Rangi Ruru and SGHS came fourth with 11min 6. The first SBHS team of Josh Haggerty, Michael Culling and Nick Kergozou had an excellent ride in the U16 boy’s grade and came third. The next team was the SGHS U20 girl’s team of Kelsey Timpany, Georgia Timpany and Kate Dunlevey who took home the silver medal. In the U20 boys category SBHS had entered Pieter Bulling, Jamie Culling and Ethan Thwaites. JHC had two teams; JHC 1 Tom Beadle, Paddy Daly and Marcel Baird and JHC 2, Jordan Copeland, Jeremy Presbury and Chris Sexton. SBHS got the bronze and beat JHC1 by only a second while JHC2 came 11th. The first day racing was hard and competitive but rewarding and everyone was tired by the end.
The second day had only the road races. Hamish Beadle once again took out first place in his grade with an excellent finish sprint. Bronwyn Graham also had a good ride and was just beaten on the line and took out second place. The U15 girls struggled a little in their race but most had bunch finishes, Laura Heywood had an unfortunate crash at the start but rode well to finish only a few minutes behind the main bunch. Michael Culling was just beaten in the sprint and took home the silver medal. In the u16 girls race Jennifer Muhl was pushed out of the medals in the sprint to take out 5th while the racing was disrupted by a nasty crash which took out quite a few riders. The U16 boys rode well and Josh Haggerty came third while Jeremy Presbury also finished in the bunch. Kate Dunlevey had an excellent ride and managed to win the U17 girls division while Georgia Timpany came close to a medal coming across the line in fifth place. Tom Beadle tied for fourth place in the U17 boy’s race with Jordan Copeland and Ethan Thwaites also finished in the bunch. Paddy Daly had a disappointing result with a nasty crash forcing him to DNF. In the U20 girls Kelsey Timpany rode very well coming third. The U20 boy’s race was won by a rider who broke away a few laps before the finish but Pieter Bulling managed to take third place.
The weekend was mostly successful and all the riders performed far better than expected.