Declan Wilson of Auckland Grammar and Matt Baxter of New Plymouth Boys should go head to head for the second year in the senior boys race at the New Zealand Secondary Schools cross country championships in Ashburton on Saturday.
However a strong field has assembled for the challenge over 6km around the Tinwald Domain and Kieron McDonald and Finn Roy of Scots College, Julian Oakley and Michael Sutton of Tauranga Boys, Ben Musson of Papanui High and Matthew Taylor of Lindisfarne College should be up with the leading pace throughout. Sutton is the 2009 junior champion and Taylor won the 2008 year nine race.
Wilson won last year in 19m 50s, 11 seconds ahead of Baxter.
Rebekah Greene of St Hilda’s College Dunedin should retain her senior girls title over 4km. Others expected to feature in the top ten are Emma Dallison of Nelson, Ashleigh Williams of Epsom Grammar, Sally Wilkins of Glendowie, Jaye Atkin of Rangiora, Ariana Harper of Wellington Girls, Denise Mendonca of Pakuranga, Laura Cowling of Waiuku and the 2008 year nine champion Stephanie Dickins of Feilding.
Jean Kozyniak of St Catherine’s Wellington and Susannah Lynch of St Mary’s Wellington will resume their rivalry in the junior girls 3km. Kozyniak won last year, finishing six seconds ahead of Lynch. Audrey Gregan of St Cuthberts Auckland, Claire Erasmus of Nelson and Alana Lythe of Westlake the first three in the year nine race last year, move up to the junior field. Also in the hunt for a medal is this grade are Georgia Harris of Gisborne and Rosa Flannagan of Rangi Ruru.
Jacob Priddey of Hamilton Boys will attempt to add the junior boys 4km title to the year nine title won in Waikanae last year. Top placings should also be filled by Nicholas Pointon of Scots College, Marcus Karamanolis of St Pats Kilbirnie and Scott Croasdale of Tauranga Boys. Leo Roper of Macleans and Andrew Robinson of Tauranga have a chance in the year nine 3km.
The meeting starts at 10.30am with the senior girls race at 1pm and the senior boys at 1.30pm