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Upcountry for cross country

25 Jun 2018

Hundreds of runners from all over New Zealand converged on Taupo for the national secondary schools cross country championships on Saturday 16–Sunday 17 June, among them five enthusiastic College athletes: Year 13 student Dion Houston, Year 11 students Robbie McKeown and George Lill, Year 10 student Sam Idiens, and Year 9 student Jasper Moss.

The cool, fine weather meant excellent racing conditions, while the undulating terrain of Taupo’s Otumuheke Stream, Spa Thermal Park, with steep hill climbs and descents of varying length and pitch, made for a challenging but interesting course.

On Saturday, the boys competed in the individual championship events. Dion, Robbie and George competed in the 6km Senior race, Dion for his last and Robbie and George for their first time. All ran very well, achieving personal best times. Dion came 26th overall, and was pleased to beat a couple of members of the New Zealand team who had competed with him at the world championships in France in April. George was placed 159th and Robbie 169th. As they were racing older, more experienced runners, both boys were pleased with their results. Sam had a great race, coming 22nd in the 4km Junior event, and Jasper excelled in the 2km Junior CP grade, winning the race in a personal best time.

Sam was selected to run with the Canterbury B Junior team and Dion with the Canterbury Senior A team at the regional cross country relay championships on the Sunday, with Dion’s team coming 2nd and Sam’s 9th.
MiC Athletics Graeme Christey says it was an excellent trip, and the boys did themselves and College proud. Full results can be found on the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Association website.

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