News & Updates

22 December 2022 • Cross Country

New Zealand announce large World Cross Country Championship team

Lisa Cross (right) pictured leading the 2022 New Zealand Cross Country Championships has won selection for the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst next February. (Credit: Michael Dawson)

A team of 26 athletes brimming with an exciting blend of youth and experience have been named in the New Zealand team to compete at the 2023 World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on Saturday 18 February.

Full teams of six have been announced in the senior men’s and women’s 10km events as well as the 8km junior men’s event. Four athletes have been selected as part of the 6km junior women’s event, while for the first time New Zealand has entered a mixed relay team.

Leading the quartet in the 4x2km mixed relay is rising middle-distance star Sam Tanner, who ran a stunning 3:31.34 to place sixth in the 1500m final at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and climb to number two on the all-time New Zealand rankings for the distance.

The Athletics Tauranga athlete is in great shape as evidenced by his performance at the Daikin Night of 5s last weekend when he obliterated his 5000m PB by 45 seconds to run 13:32.74 to place second. Tanner will be joined on the team by former national 1500m champion Eric Speakman, New Zealand women’s 3000m steeplechase champion Anneke Grogan, who triumphed in the elite women’s race at the Night of 5s last weekend, and Rebekah Greene, a 4:14.81 1500m runner at her best.

The six-strong senior men’s team is led by Matt Baxter, who makes his second appearance at a World Cross Country Championships having finished an accomplished 46th in the 2019 edition in Aarhus, Denmark. The experienced 28-year-old has a strong pedigree and in 2017 won a silver medal at the ultra-competitive NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Joining Baxter on the New Zealand team is the versatile Julian Oakley, who has claimed national mile, 3000m and 10,000m titles this year and who last weekend set a 5000m PB of 13:29.74 to triumph at the Night of 5s, and 2021 national cross country champion Oli Chignell who ran an eye-catching 27:52.21 10,000m in London in May.

Reigning New Zealand Cross Country champion Matt Taylor and the two minor medallists in Taupo, Cameron Avery and Tim Robertson, a world orienteering champion, have also been selected.

The senior women’s team is led by national cross country champion Lisa Cross, who celebrates her 40th birthday in March. Hannah Miller has enjoyed a stellar year, winning national 10,000m, 10km (road), half marathon and marathon titles, and has also been selected.

Emily Roughan, partner of Matt Baxter, will be making her second World Cross Country appearance having placed 83rd in the 2019 event while Sarah Drought, national 10,000m silver medallist will also take to the start line.

The six-strong team is rounded out by New Zealand Cross Country Championship silver medallist Kerry White and three-time national 800m champion Katherine Camp.

A full complement of six junior men will also compete in Bathurst with national U20 cross country champion Christian de Vaal one of four athletes from Pakuranga AC. De Vaal’s club-mates Ronan Codyre, Angus Monro and Jamie Mora have also won selection alongside national U20 cross country silver medallist Cameron Maunder and Matt Hill.

Boh Ritchie, the national U20 cross country champion and junior girls’ 1500m and 3000m gold medallist at the recent New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in Inglewood, leads the New Zealand assault in the junior women’s race. National senior girls’ secondary schools 3000m gold medallist Bella Earl, Mackenzie Morgan and Catherine Lund will also compete.

New Zealand boasts a rich tradition at World Cross Country Championships, which celebrates its 50th anniversary edition in Bathurst next year. Kiwi running great Rod Dixon is a two-time individual bronze medallist in 1973 and 1982 while New Zealand’s senior women snared team silver medals in 1975 and 1986 and team bronze medals in 1977 and 1984. The Kiwi senior men’s team won team bronze at the inaugural World Cross Country Championships in 1973 and memorably struck gold at the 1975 edition in Rabat, Morocco.

Athletics NZ Out of Stadia Co-ordinator John Bowden: “I’m delighted we will be sending a large contingent of athletes to compete at an event in which New Zealand has such a strong heritage.

“Bringing together the finest middle and long-distance runners across the globe, the world cross is commonly regarded as the most competitive endurance race in the world, and it will once again be a huge test for all our athletes. However, I’m sure it will be a challenge our athletes will relish, and I can’t wait to see how the team performs in Australia.”

***To register your interest in a team management volunteer role for the 2023 World Cross Country Championships go here

Athletics NZ team for the 2023 World Cross Country Championships

 Senior Women

Lisa Cross (TTT Runners) Coach – James Kuegler/John Bowden

Kerry White (Hamilton City Hawks) Coach – Maria Hassan

Hannah Miller (Wellington Scottish) Coach – Laura Bowerman

Sarah Drought (Wellington Harriers) Coach – John Bowden

Katherine Camp (University of Canterbury) Coach – Maria Hassan

Emily Roughan (Egmont Athletics) – Self-coached

Senior men

Matthew Taylor (North Harbour Bays) Coach – Chris Pilone

Cameron Avery (Christchurch Avon) Coach – Chris Pilone

Tim Robertson (Hutt Valley Harriers) Coach – John Robertson

Oli Chignell (Hill City University) Coach – Chris Pilone

Matt Baxter (Egmont Athletics) Coach – Alan Culpepper

Julian Oakley (Athletics Tauranga) Coach – Craig Kirkwood

Non-travelling reserve – Craig Lautenslager (Athletics Nelson)

Junior women

Boh Ritchie (Hamilton City Hawks) Coach – Angela Russek

Catherine Lund (Ariki AA) Coach – Rebekah Greene/Alan Moir

Bella Earl (Owairaka) Coach – Adrian Earl

Mackenzie Morgan (North Harbour Bays) – Coach – Paul Hamblyn

Junior men

Christian de Vaal (Pakuranga AC) Coach – Nike Codyre

Ronan Codyre (Pakuranga AC) Coach – Nick Codyre

Matt Hill (Athletics Tauranga) Coach – Andrew Lloyd

Angus Monro (Pakuranga AC) Coach – Phil Clode

Jamie Mora (Pakuranga AC) Coach – Nick Codyre

Cameron Maunder (North Harbour Bays) Coach – Simon Maunder

Non travelling reserve – Elliott Pugh (Athletics Tauranga)

Mixed Team Relay

Anneke Grogan (North Harbour Bays) Coach – Paul Hamblyn

Rebekah Greene (Hill City University) Coach – Craig Kirkwood

Sam Tanner (Athletics Tauranga) Coach – Craig Kirkwood

Eric Speakman (Napier Harriers) Coach – Steve Willis

Non travelling reserve – Russell Green (Whippets Running Project)