10 Minute Sport: Slalom success, golf gains


Whitewater kayaking: New names

 With London Olympians Luuka Jones and Mike Dawson absent, new names feature on the senior trophies awarded over Easter at the canoe slalom national championships held on the Buller River near Murchison.

The Olympics paddlers' no-show, with both overseas training, meant their K1 classes were hotly contested by the next wave of top paddlers.

Malcolm Gibson, currently studying vet science in Palmerston North, claimed the prestigious open men's K1 title with the fastest time of the champs, posting a clean run at 87.03s.

Just behind him were Finn Butcher (88.42s) and Geoff Johnson (88.66s), both junior team members from Alexandra.

In the open women's K1 division, the 2012 title went to Wanaka's Jessica Bailey (103.87s), with Te Puke's Nikki Whitehead second on 104.37s and Tauranga's Jane Nicholas, who is studying at Otago University, third with 105.39s. Bailey is still an under-18 paddler and looked strong and determined as she continues to build towards the junior world champs later in the year.

Also here for some New Zealand competition were the Australian development team and their paddlers took medals in many of the classes, although they weren't eligible for New Zealand titles.

Elsa Gales (Tasmania) was first in under-18 KI in 101.94s, and in under-16 Kate Eckhart dominated with a 98.92s time ahead of all the women's field except Australian senior team member and squad coach Kate Lawrence (91.04s).

The men's C1 was won by Tauranga's Shaun Higgins, another currently studying at Otago University. Higgins (89.77s) edged out his closest rivals Ben Gibb (91.55s) and Shaun Travers (94.38s).

Kelly Travers, also from Tauranga and studying at Massey, claimed the women's C1 ahead of Elsa Gales (Aust) and Jane Nicholas.

For the second year Cole O'Connor Stratton and Ben Gibb took the C2 title in 112.46s. O'Connor Stratton had one of the busiest days, also taking the under-18 C1 and bronze in under-18 K1 with 89.22s, the fourth fastest time of the day.

Tauranga's Jack Dangen continued his winning form from the secondary school nationals to take top honours in under-14 K1.

National champions:

K1 men: 1 Malcolm Gibson, 2 Finn Butcher, 3 Geoff Johnson. K1 women: 1 Jessica Bailey, 2 Nikki Whitehead , 3 Jane Nicholas.

C1 men: 1 Shaun Higgins, 2 Shaun Travers, 3 Ben Gibb. Women: 1 Kelly Travers, 2 Jane Nicholas, 3 Haylee Dangen.

C2 men: 1 Cole O'Connor Stratton-Ben Gibb, 2 Matthew Arnott-Nick Pascoe, 3 Shaun Travers-Jack Dustin.

National ranking trophies for the season were awarded to:

K1M: Mike Dawson (Tauranga).

K1W: Nikki Whitehead (Te Puke/Waikato University).

C1M: Shaun Higgins (Tauranga/Otago University).

C1W: Jane Nicholas (Tauranga/Otago University).

K1M (junior): Finn Butcher (Alexandra).

K1W (junior): Jessica Bailey (Wanaka).

 

Golf: Local lads do well

Tauranga's Kieran Muir and Ben Taylor have had a collect at the latest New Zealand PGA golf tournament, the Croucher and Crowder South Taranaki Pro-Am at Hawera.

Muir (Omokoroa) was tied for fifth after a five-under par 67, with Taylor (Mount Maunganui) tied eighth, a shot further back.

David Klein from Te Anau ran hot, with a nine-under par round of 63 giving him the win by two shots from Mark Brown (Wellington) and Auckland's Ryan Fox.

On a perfect day at the coastal course, Klein racked up eight birdies, an eagle and a solitary bogey on the par four 14th. Brown was free of errors with five birdies and an eagle while Fox had six birdies, an eagle and a bogey on the par three 16th.

School sport: Taste of victory

It could well be described as a "watershed moment". When the Aquinas College Year 7-8 mixed boys' cricket team faced up to Tauranga Intermediate's cricketers in the New Zealand Cup (previously knows as the Milo Cup) competition recently, not many would have expected Aquinas to come out on top.

But for the first time in the college's sporting history that is what happened.

The challenge was an intermediate grade cricket competition played across the cricket regions in Term One to determine regional winners.

The regional winners then go on to the national finals in term four to decide who is crowned national champion. Making the Aquinas win all the more impressive this year was the fact Tauranga Intermediate was the 2011 national winners.

This was a real milestone for Aquinas and reflects the growing strength of the college's cricket base.

After defeating Tauranga Intermediate the Aquinas boys then had to face the other local pool winners Te Puke Intermediate. Once again it was victory for Aquinas.

This means Aquinas has ended up top of the Bay of Plenty final round with Tauranga Intermediate second.

Aquinas now goes through to finals day to play the top two Waikato schools. It is knock-out competition so the winners progress to the final, and the winner of that match then heads to the national final later in the year.

Aquinas' NZ Cup squad was formed in early February and consists of a mix of Year 7-8 boys. All the boys play for either the Aquinas Intermediate Black or White teams in the Western Bay premier grade Saturday competition.

The squad has been selected and managed by the respective Black and White team coaches, trained by talented Dutch cricketers from the Ben Williams Academy and coached on game days by Warren Presley.

The wider squad is: Brendon Fletcher, Callum Aubrey, Dominic Crombie, Jackson Fowler, Jarod Schneebeli, Jason Jacobson, Joel Willis, Louis Grindrod, Louis Robinson, Reuben Fitzgerald, Ryan Young, Sam Wylie and Sean Dykes (capt).

Some of the highlights of games this term are:

Beat Rotorua Intermediate: Aquinas 193/1 after 20 overs: batting Sean Dykes 79, Reuben Fitzgerald 58, bowling Louis Robinson, Joel Willis and Brendon Fletcher each got a two wicket bag.

beat Katikati Intermediate: Aquinas 195/2 after 20 overs: batting Jarod Schneebeli 62, Sam Wylie 58, Sean Dykes 53, bowling Ryan Young 2-7 from three overs.

beat Tauranga Intermediate: Aquinas 130/1 after 20 overs: batting Sean Dykes 58, Jarod Schneebeli 41, bowling Brendon Fletcher 5-18 from four overs.

 

Athletics: High on rankings

New Zealand, with Tauranga schoolgirls Isabella Kirk and Anneke Grogan in the team, have finished sixth nation overall at the ISF international schools crosscountry event in Malta. Kirk (Tauranga Girls' College) was 35th in the 55-strong girls' race over 3.4km in a time of 12.44, with Grogan (Aquinas College) 44th in 13.35 after being troubled by a stomach complaint.

Neither Tauranga runner's finish position counted towards the New Zealand tally (best four of six runners), with New Zealand sixth overall on the flat course with an average time of 12.08, half a minute behind winners England who had all of their six runners inside the top 14 and their top four inside the top seven.

New Zealand's boys' team were second overall behind Australia, averaging 16.46 over 5.3km.

 

Tennis: Top seed champs

Waikato-Bays, with two Tauranga players in their team, have won the national 14s girls' teams tennis title at the Waikato Tennis Centre.

The hosts went into the event as top seeds and justified that ranking with an unbeaten run to date, downing third seeds Northern 6-0 in the fourth and penultimate round.

Going into the final day Waikato-Bays needed to win three of their last six matches against Canterbury to take the title. They split the singles rubbers but Ella Hassall (Hamilton) and Tahlia Walsh (Waikato) took the top doubles to earn the three wins.

Tauranga's Ashleigh Harvey and Taylah Stack and Olivia Addis (Hawke's Bay) made up the rest of the squad.

In the four rounds preceding their clash with Canterbury Waikato-Bays had dropped only two individual matches.

Disabled sport: Chance to help

Parafed Bay of Plenty has organised a meeting in Te Puke next week looking for volunteers to support the running of the revitalised Eve Rimmer Games for 2013. In previous years, the Eve Rimmer Games have run in Whakatane as a competition for disabled athletes, taking place every two years.

Last year a new format was introduced to run the games as a tri-series of Have a Go fun days for people with disabilities to come and try different sports in three areas - Rotorua, Whakatane and Tauranga.

Sophie Jackson, regional Coachforce Parafed development officer, was hoping next Thursday's meeting at Kiwi 360, just south of Te Puke, would pull together people who were interested in volunteering, supporting or sponsoring next year's event. The meeting is at 6.30pm.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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