News & Updates

4 August 2021 • Cross Country

Preview | New Zealand Cross Country Championships

Katherine Camp (number 336) will be hoping to improve on her sixth place finish at the last national cross country championships in 2019

Three times national 800m champion Katherine Camp will be seeking to add the national cross country crown to the 800m title won in Hastings in March.

Camp, a four-time Canterbury cross country champion and South Island champion. will compete in the senior women’s 10km in a combined race with the senior men around the Chisholm Links course in Dunedin on Saturday.

The 29-year-old is eying not only the chance of taking the title, but also qualifying for the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia next February by finishing in the top three.

“I’m a bit nervous as it will be a tough race, but to get to go to the world champs would be awesome,” said Camp.

The late Sylvia Potts is the only woman athlete to have achieved the double of the 800m and cross country titles in the same year, which she did in 1970. Sir Peter Snell achieved the same feat in 1962.

At the last New Zealand championship in Upper Hutt in 2019 (the 2020 event wasn’t run as a championship due to Covid-19), Camp was sixth in the senior race.

Susannah Lynch, national silver medallist in the 1500m and 3000m this year, will line up in the senior women’s race along with 2016 champion Laura Nagel, 2017 champion Ruby Muir, Waikato champion Kerry White and Auckland champion Anneke Grogan.

The lure of the world championships has attracted a strong field for the senior men’s 10km. Oli Chignell, the 2018 champion on the extremely muddy course in Wellington and third in last year’s challenge race in Dunedin, will be looking to score a hometown victory.

Christopher Dryden, the 2018 junior champion has dominated the Canterbury scene over the last two years and showed good form with a 31:37 clocking for the 10km in the Canterbury championship. Janus Staufenberg and Caden Shields of Otago had a close race over the course for their centre title.

David Lee bypassed the Auckland championship to concentrate on the national event and the chance of making it to Bathurst. Also in the mix and capable of a high placing are Matthew Taylor, Daniel Balchin, Connor Melton, Wellington champion Daniel Jones, 2016 champion Jono Jackson, Tom Moulai, Seamus Kane, Ronan Lee and Harry Ewing.

Lisa Cross, the 2018 national senior champion, is racing in the masters 6km and will face last year’s challenge winner Kirsty Eyles, and fifty plus competitors Sally Gibbs, Shireen Crumpton, Victoria Humphries, Carolyn Smith and Margie Peat.

Dwight Grieve and Kelvin Meade, who led in the master men last year, are back and the 8km should develop into an interesting encounter between Blair Martin, Simon Mace, Iain Macdonald, Daniel Clendon, Dave King, Ben Wreford, Rodwyn Isaacs, David Fitch and Robbie Johnston in the over 50 grade.

Will Anthony, second in the under 18 in 2019 and under 18 winner in Dunedin last year, should have a close race in the under 20 8km with Cameron Clark, who will be defending the title. Max Yanzick, George Lambert, Chanel Muir and Ethan Smolej should ensure an honest pace throughout.

Hannah Gapes will be up against her Waikato Bay of Plenty teammate Charli Miller in the under 20 women’s 6km. Rosa Twyford, Penelope Salmon and Hannah Prosser will also be threatening.

The outstanding Hatea runner Bella Earl, the under 15 winner in 2018 and the under 16 champion in 2019, will be hard to peg back in the under 18 5km. Zara Geddes and Lulu Johnson will both vie for a podium placing.

Boh Ritchie and Renee Carey should dominate the under 16 4km. Imogen Barlow should repeat her Auckland championship under 14 win in the under 14 3km.

If Christian De Vaal can reproduce his winning form from the national secondary schools championships, he will be hard to beat in the under 18 6km. First and second in the under 16 challenge last year, Pai Wynyard and Hayden Waddell are entered along with Charlie Hazlett, Angus Monro, Theo Walker, Sam Berry and Ronan Codyre.

Jack Erikson and Jude Deaker head the boys under 16. Dylan Collins, third in the under 14 last year, is back to race the 3km.

The championships start with the under 14 girls and boys 3km at 10.00am and conclude with the senior 10km at 1.50pm.

Sky Sport Next will be livestreaming the 2021 New Zealand Cross Country Championships on Saturday. Please click below for the links.

Session One (from 10.15am)

Session Two (from 1.45pm)

Please click here for the full event programme, including event information, race timetable, officials list, start lists, and course map.

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