Schools turn out in force for annual cross country

Thursday 19 May 2011, 3:39PM

By Sport Manawatu



Secondary school students from around the region raced at Manawatu College for the annual Manawatu Inter Secondary School Cross Country Championships yesterday (May 18).

All grades had good numbers of competitors with around 300 runners fronting up to race around the scenic Manawatu College track.

After exploding onto the secondary school athletics stage, Kara MacDermid (Awatapu College) was back to claim yet another victory and with it the Junior Girls Record with a time of 13 min 53 sec, beating the existing record held by Olivia Burne by 48 seconds.

Stephanie Dickins (Feilding High School) won the Intermediate Girls, crossing the line ahead of Raquel Lopez Lozano (PNGHS) and Renee Bacon (Horowhenua College). Kate Spencer (PNGHS) crossed the line more then 30 seconds in front of her closest rival Ariana Blackwood (Freyberg) and Dayna Mercer (Tararua College) in the Senior Girls race..

A large contingent of students competed in the Athletes with Disabilities race, with Feilding High School’s Alex Wood Luxford getting across the line in front of class mate Joshua Abbott and Awatapu College’s Orlando Kerepa.

“It was great to see so many athletes coming out to compete for their school, the students determination was extraordinary, some pushed themselves to the limit”, says secondary school sports advisor, Ben Koch.

Palmerston North Boys’ High School dominated all of the male grades taking the top three spots in each of the races. Nate Levin took out the junior boys’ grade followed by Carlos Lopez Lozano and Dion Spackman.

In the intermediate grade the Manawatu Inter Secondary School 800m and 1500m champion, Joshua Baan, held of the challenge of school mates Liam Woolford and Jake Jackson Grammer to claim the title. Meanwhile in the senior race, Damien Lardner defeated Jamie Gardner and JJ McInnes to claim the senior boys’ title.

“A big thanks to Kylie, John and the team at Manawatu College for hosting the day and for the use of their picturesque track. Also a big thank you to all teachers, principals and parents for your support of the athletes,” says Mr Koch.