News & Updates

6 August 2019 • General

Weekly Round Up: August 06

Welcome to the Athletics New Zealand Weekly Round up.This week’s edition includes:

Results from the New Zealand Cross Country Championships
International results from Belgium, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Australia
Road and Trail race results
Murray McKinnon
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent
P: 0274 806086
New Zealand CompetitionResults

New Zealand Cross Country Championships, Harcourt Park, Upper Hutt – 4 August 2019

Back in the country for 48 hours after training in Cyprus with New Zealand’s world championships bound marathon runners, Cameron Graves showed no signs of fatigue as he put in a faultless display of running to claim his first national cross country title. Seamus Kane shot to the lead from the start but Graves was soon into his groove and was out front being chased by Daniel Balchin. The further the laps were reeled off the further Graves moved into the lead and he finished after a solid last lap cutting out the 10k in 31:25. Balchin was second in 32:04, nine seconds ahead of fast finishing Jacob Priddey.

“I didn’t know how I actually was going to go coming into the race as I’ve only been back in the country for 48 hours and I was pretty tired after 20 hours of flights coming back from Cyprus,” said Graves. “So I’m happy with the race overall, it was pretty hilly but I had the strength in the legs to pull it through and go to the front from the start and just hold it out from there.”

“The first lap or two Balchin was on me, but I just kept the pace down, didn’t put any surges in and held a constant speed and thankfully that was enough to pull away,” he added.“I’ve been a dark horse for ten years, second, second, second and third last year and I’ve finally got one.”

Balchin said that he still has some unfinished business after his third second placing at the national cross country. “Cam took the pace from the get go and you’ve got to go with it if you want a shot, but Cam was far too good today. I was still able to hold on to second place so that’s a good result. I’ve also had a third so this is my fourth time on the podium, but still some unfinished business,” he said.

The women’s title was contested in the combined 10k with the men. The leading contenders Kara Macdermid, Maiya Christini, Rebekah Greene and Lisa Cross kept together over the first two laps. Cross who was nursing an ankle injury was the first to drop off. However into the third lap Christini decided it was now or never and took off and went on to win in 35:49 from Macdermid 36:33 and Greene 36:49 with Cross fourth in 37:04.

Christini, was almost speechless after her surprise victory. “I don’t know what to say, I was hoping for a medal today, but I didn’t quite believe that gold would be the one I’d be coming home with.”

“I know these girls, amazing runners, and I thought 10k is a long way so I thought just get in a good rhythm and then in the third lap I was feeling good and it wasn’t quite where I was thinking of taking the lead and then I thought if I’m going to do it I’ve got to stay strong and I saw a gap open up and then it was hold on to the finish,” said Christini.

“I’ve been competing since I was seven years old, doing relays and everything and I realised early on that the shot put is not my thing,” she added.

World junior cross country championship representative Toby Gualter won the under 20 8km in 26:14 from Taonga Mbambo who ran 26:34 and Logan Slee 26:37.

Just a month after having an appendix operation Gualter was pleased with his ability to recover and take out the title. “I had my appendix out and I came back and trained pretty well so very happy with my performance today. It’s great to be able to get back, it’s my first race in a month,” said Gualter. “The first part was a bit slow so I decided to speed up and a group of us went and I felt really good at 6k and I thought why not just go for it and hold them off, I knew I had the endurance as my training has been going very well.”

“My next goal is the New Zealand half marathon and the road championships,” he added.

Brian Garmonsway led in the master men 35-49 raced with the under 20 men. He finished in 26:51, from Greg Darbyshire 27:07 and Dougal Thorburn 27:10. Master grade winners 35 Thorburn, 40 Garmonsway, 45 Nick Moore 27:19, 50 Blair Cossey 29:59, 55 Peter Stevens 29:48, 60 Geoff Anderson 31:27.

Kirstie Rae was an impressive winner of the under 20 6km in 21:45. Hannah Knighton was second in 22:15 with Sarah Lambert third in 22:46.

“This was my second ever 6k race, my first was at worlds. At worlds I had lots of runners to chase and lots of distractions, lots of fun going on around the course but this course is quite open and I had a lot of time to think so I had to stay focussed mentally. I took the lead half way around the first lap and got into my own rhythm and didn’t want to push it too hard too early as it was a bit longer than I used to with that extra 2k,” said Rae. “I’m looking forward to the Australian champs where I’ll be racing in three weeks.”

Sally Gibbs in the 55 division won the masters 6km in 23:03 outright from MW40 Mel Aitken 23:35 and Mel Stevens 24:18. Master women grade winners 35 Kirsty Eyles 24:32, 40 Aitken, 45 Katie Jenkins 25:32, 50 Sian Dawson 28:44, 55 Gibbs, 60 Margie Peat 26:23, 65 Joy Baker 34:51, 70 Barbara Patrick 31:53.

A slip and a fall on a corner on the last lap didn’t hold back Liam Back from going on to retain his under 18 title. Back was two seconds ahead of Will Anthony in 19:18. William Taylor was third in 19:22. Back said there is currently strong competition in the under 18 ranks.

“It was a good tough one out there. I’m getting ready for Australia and I know a few of the boys up front are all psyched up for that. It was a good little hit out by Will Anthony, he’s continually getting stronger,” said Back. “Good to retain the title, it’s a lot faster course than last year’s one, Grenada North was pretty muddy.”

Master men 65 plus in the same 6km race saw Graeme Lear win the 65 in 24:40, 70 Fred Needham 29:04, 75 Michael Bond 32:08 and 80 Peter Hanson 44:22.

Martina Conner was a cut above the rest in the under 18 5km. Out of action since winning the bronze medal in both the under 18 and under 20 New Zealand 3000m championships earlier this year Conner was a clear winner in 19:23 half a minute faster than Arabella White with a further 30 seconds to Isabella Richardson.

“I went with the early pace set by Isabella and Arabella and stuck on them and all of a sudden some girls started dropping off the front bunch,” explained Conner.“It was at this point I thought I’ve got to make a move as I don’t want to miss this opportunity. It has been a rocky way to get to this event after getting third in our regional champs and a fall, but still managed to keep the great mind-set that I can be up with the top girls in this race and give it my best shot.The Canterbury champs was my first race since track and field nationals, as I’ve been out injured for a long time and doing a lot of cross training. My coach Craig Kirkwood has me doing lots of swimming in the pool and lots of bike rides, so I managed to get the fitness up from there to be able to perform here.”

Joseph Morgan won the B16 4km in 13:09, Bella Earl the G16 4km in 14:35, Daniel Prescott the B14 3km in 10:41, Renee Carey the G14 3km in 11:14, Ben Oxford the B12 2km in 7:17 and Amy Hurly the G12 2km in 7:25.

In the teams championships, Wellington won the senior men, senior women, master men 35-49 and 50-64, master women 35-49 and 50 plus, and men under 20. Auckland won the under 18 women and Canterbury the under 20 women and the under 18 men.

International Results
Memorial Rasschaert, Ninove, 3 August: James Preston 800m 1:47.04 PB (5R1), Julian Oakley 1500m 3:39.14 PB (5R1), Geordie Beamish 1500m 3:41.71 (9R1), Cameron French 400m H 49.80 (1R1), Michael Cochrane 400m H 52.28 (6R1). Ariana Harper 800m 2:10.67 (3R1).

Citius Meeting, Bern, 3 August: Camille Buscomb 3000m 9:09.03 (2).

Belfast International, Mary Peters Track, 1 August: Samuel Bremer 800m 1:50.49 PB (4). Oli Chignell 5000m 13:46.68 PB (5).

Lee Valley Sprint Series, London, 31 July: Joshua Hawkins 100m 11.09 -0.6 (1R5), 200m 21.88 +2.3 (1RF).

Sunshine Coast Marathon Festival, Mooloolaba Queensland, 4 August: Sasha Daniels 2:40:49 (15) (2 45-49), Lydia O’Donnell 2:41:14 (1). Half marathon; Lindsay Barwick 1:27:42 (30). 10km; Esther Keown 36:43 (7).

Road and Trail Races Around the Country
Rat Race 5km, Takapuna, 31 July: Damon Nicholas 18:25, Mike Wanden 18:27, Dominic Cook 20:18.

We Run The Forests, The Redwoods, 3 August: 21.1km; Chris Sanson 1:28:24. Corrine Melrose 1:51:00.

Hoka ONE ONE Taupo Marathon, 3 August: Michael Wanden 2:56:46, Marwane El Kamraoui 2:57:30, Alan Kirkpatrick 3:01:45. Sue Crowley 3:10:55, Fleur Bromley 3:14:27, Kirsten Milne 3:24:48.

South Island Half Marathon, Lake Hood, 4 August: Jared Millar 1:18:23, Nathan Hey 1:21:20, Damien Cook 1:21:59. Julia Grant 1:24:40, Sonya Cameron 1:27:36, Tracy Abbott 1:28:19.