Young Southland rider Corbin Strong staked a claim for higher honours with two superb rides on the second day of the Age Group Track National Championships in Invercargill.
Strong broke the New Zealand record in the under-17 2000m individual medley, set by Joshua Scott last October, with a time of 2:17.552 in the morning qualifying session.
In an all-Southland final Strong held off a strong challenge by Hamish Keast to win in 2:20.030 with Finn Fisher-Black (Tasman) third.
Fifteen-year-old Strong had a goal at the start of his campaign of improving on his three golds and a bronze at the meeting last year in the seven disciplines he’s competing in, and also had had set a goal to break the record in the individual pursuit.
He had been 0.3 seconds off it a couple of months ago but had focused his training in his favourite discipline to secure the record.
Strong hopes a strong performance this week at his home track will lead to selection in the New Zealand team for the Oceania championships in Adelaide in October.
In the girls’ competition, Waikato Bay of Plenty’s McKenzie Milne won the under-17 2000m individual pursuit final in 2:33.656 ahead of Emily Paterson (Southland) and Ally Wollaston (Auckland).
Just a day after his daughter Rhylee Akeroyd won the first event in the programme, Southland rider Brendan Akeroyd put in a solid display to win the final event on the second day, the Masters 1 points race over 20kms, after taking an early lap on the field and holding out some spirited competition.
Southland’s Michael White narrowly claimed second in a tight final sprint, with Craig Domigan (Mid South Canterbury) third.
Southland riders continued to dominate the individual pursuit portion of the programme, with the Southland Masters women squad riders again victorious in each of the age divisions they competed.
Southland’s Sam Kopae won the Masters 4 (50-54 years) division in 2:47.784 ahead of Lyn Peterken (Waikato BOP), and Mandy Gumbley (Auckland).
Not surprisingly, world masters individual pursuit champion Erin Criglington won gold in the Masters 3 (45-49 years) in 2:36.584 just 0.211 off her national record, ahead of fellow Southland rider Nicola Stevens and Canterbury’s Lyndal Donnelly (CTB).
Kylea Gough won the Masters 2 (40-44 years) in 2:47.098 ahead of Tamara Ross (West Coast North island), and Raelene Grinter (Waikato BOP).
Leanne Dalley rounded out a superb series of results for Southland riders with a win in the Masters 1 (35-39 years) in 2:43.254, ahead of Claire Sherrington (Waikato BOP) and Michelle Melis (Auckland).
More than 220 riders are taking part in the championships at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome with racing continuing until Sunday.
U15 girls points 5km race: Erin Downie (CTB) 1; Isabella Roulston (MSC) 2; Mya Anderson (WBP) 3.
U15 boys points 7.5km race: Laurence Pithie (CTB) 1; Peter Fish (MSC) 2; Mitchel Fitzsimons (MSC) 3.
Masters 3 (55+) men points 7.5km race: Grant Tyrrell (WBP) 1; Neil Familton (SLD) 2; Graham Bunn (WBP) 3.
Masters men 2 (45-54) men 15km points race: Russell Ownsworth (CTB) 1; Dean Peterken (WPB) 2; Bruce Cook (WLG) 3.
CAPTION: Southland rider Corbin Strong on his way to claiming a national record in the under 17 individual pursuit at the Age Group Track National Championships in Invercargill.
Photo courtesy Eugene Bonthuys