Our sporting stars have been busy in the school holidays with representative tournaments globally.
Firstly a big congratulations to two new caps who have been selected in New Zealand teams. Alex Hart is in the under-17 windsurfing team competing at the world windsurfing champs in the Netherlands this year.
Blair McKenzie is in the New Zealand under-14 indoor cricket team competing in the junior world series in Johannesburg in October.
Danny Kayes was selected in the Chiefs development week-long training camp for rugby and had a great week in camp learning heaps.
Danny and Jackson Edwards were named in the Bay of Plenty under-18 rugby team.
Our three New Zealand volleyball internationals, Nat Moore, Jackson Ellis and Tyla Welsh, have just returned from Australia where they played in an international series. Tyla was in the girls' under-17 team that won the series 2-1 and the boys were in the New Zealand under-17 team that lost their series, although the Australian team was under-19 so the boys went away with some valuable tools for future games.
The Eastern Region surf lifesaving awards were held in the holidays and Mount Maunganui College students were well represented in the prizewinning circle.
Under-14 Female Sportsperson of the Year was Maia Bryant (Papamoa), under-14 Male Sportsperson of the Year was Kane Sefton (Omanu), under-16 Male Sportsperson of the Year was Ben Johnston (Papamoa), under-19 Male Sportsperson of the Year was Mason Pickering (Papamoa) and Sports Team of the Year was the Papamoa beach relay team comprising Danny Kayes and ex-pupils Kodi Harman, Jordan Hills and Bethlehem College student Hamish Smith.
The Pan Pacific championship waterpolo festival was held in Auckland with Danny Kayes in the men's youth team that won 2-1 in their series against New South Wales. Kahleiha Josephson was in the NZ under-16 team that went down to New South Wales, with only one goal separating the teams in each of the three matches.
Ben Elisara was in the Tauranga under-16 team which finished third, beating North Harbour in a thriller 9-8 to be the top under-16 team nationally.
Sophie Millar played in the Tauranga under-18 premier hockey nationals in Dunedin in the holidays and they won their pool with two wins and a draw, finishing the tournament seventh.
Congratulations to Maia Bryant who has been selected in the Tauranga under-15 hockey squad competing in the under-15 nationals in October in Albany.
World rugby schoolboy champions Kelston Boys' High travelled to Tauranga to take on Tauranga Boys' College first XV. The final result was close, but it was a great game from both sides. As one spectator was heard to say: "this is far better than any prem games I've watched". It was true.
The skills, the continuity and the physicality of the players is something to behold, and if you are able to, get down to Nicholson Field to watch Tauranga Boys' play. What a fantastic result for the boys, winning 32-29 against the best school side in the world.
Tauranga Boys' College second XV lost 20-8 against Kelston Boys' second XV.
In hockey, our first XI played Westlake. An early second minute goal from a Westlake break and a defensive error saw the runners-up at last year's Rankin Cup take an early lead. Some territorial advantage wasn't immediately taken advantage of by Tauranga as they struggled to hold possession and construct attacks from the back.
Tauranga earned a penalty corner after some consistent pressure, with Jeremy Youngman scoring from a good deflection. Westlake immediately replied from a long overhead to an unmarked player in the circle who clinically finished the break. We had two great scoring opportunities early in the second half with a good run by John Preece into the circle but failed to convert and another defensive lapse saw Westlake score their third goal. A fourth Westlake goal was slotted home from a well-taken penalty corner.
While slippery conditions were a feature, it was the same for both teams. I'm sure the focus at training will be on effective passing, better communication and constructing their attacks from the back with patience.
Aquinas is celebrating recent sporting success across a myriad of disciplines as varied as crosscountry, synchronised swimming, badminton, judo and squash.
Top Aquinas College Year 7 and 8 crosscountry runners competed at the Bay of Plenty championships at Opotiki and came home with some excellent placings. Those to achieve within the top 10 in their events were: Year 7 girls, Jessica Robinson (2) and Alice Williams (8); in the Year 7 boys, Jeremy Guernier (6); in the Year 8 girls, Isobel Straffon (2); and in the Year 8 boys, Sean Dykes (6).
Aquinas students recently competed in the North Island synchro champs and North Island secondary schools' synchro competition. At the latter event, Larissa Wilson and Sophie Ning scored a second placing in the duet. Sophie went on to score third in a solo event and then Sophie and Larissa achieved second in the aquarina duet.
In badminton, Aquinas fielded a team comprising Gregory Cross, Daniel Hughes, Jin Won and Patrick Low at the Bay of Plenty secondary schools finals late last month. They were entered into division one (as Jin is a Bay rep player) and managed a commendable fourth placing, beaten by the third placegetters only on points.
Patrick replaced Chris Cavell for the event as Chris was attending a qualifying tourney.
Aquinas was also represented at the secondary schools' judo competition this month, when Cole Maguire pulled off arguably the most spectacular throw of the day to earn himself a bronze medal.
Meanwhile, Year 8 student Sean Dykes has been displaying more than his crosscountry prowess of late. Sean played in the North Island junior age-group squash championships in Hamilton over the holidays and came third in the under-13 age-group.
In the Bay of Plenty secondary schools badminton championships, our boys' A team of Ben Robinson, Michael Lewis, Paul Vanapan, Josh Pepper and Tristan Downs-Hetet won all their pool matches. They faced Tauranga Boys' College in the final and although the score was three games each they lost by one on points countback, giving them silver.
The girls' A and B teams did well, finishing third in their respective divisions. The boys' B team of Thomas Stemmer, Phillip Cho, Scott Young and Sean Minkhorst came first in division two, with the boys winning all six matches to take the title for the second year running.
Michael Lewis and Clare Murray gained selection for the Bay of Plenty badminton under-15 team and Josh Pepper and Tristan Downs-Hetet played for the under-17 team in recent tournaments.
In the Central triangular tournament in Hastings against Manawatu and Hawke's Bay, Michael Lewis won gold. Michael was also selected to join the NZ under-15 high-performance training programme. In the North Island championships at Palmerston North, the under-15 team came second in division 2, while the under-17s beat local rivals Waikato to get into division 1 and finished eighth.
Ben Robinson has qualified for the under-19 national championships at Rotorua at the end of July.
At the New Zealand secondary schools crosscountry championships, Madison Rennie ran well and came sixth out of 110 girls in the Year 9 event. She was one out of three girls representing Bay of Plenty to finish in the top 10.
During the holidays, the first XI boys' football team and the first XV rugby team went to the Southern Skies tournament in Brisbane. The football team was surprised at the pace of the game, but showed great improvement as they quickly adjusted. They ended up seventh overall, with the highlight being a 5-3 victory over St Peter Claver College, the eventual tournament winners.
The team enjoyed the experience with Luke Davison named the best and fairest player. In rugby, the team had three wins and three losses in pool play. They lost the semifinal playoff, but the whole squad was well used and many different combinations tried. Good progress was made by many of the players in the wider squad who had not had a lot of game time previously.
Marinus Abrie was the top try-scorer and Matthew Cole and Dominic Burton were named in the "all-stars" team voted on by opposition teams. Dave Fellows was named by the coaches as our player of the tournament for tireless work and attitude.
Congratulations to those who have made representative rugby teams. Josh Kingsbury, Aidan Smith and Ross Burton were selected in the Tai Mitchell team, while David Fellows, Michael Booth and Matthew Cole made the Bay of Plenty under-18 training team. - Kelsey Randrup - Sports Captain.
Sportswomen of our school were not relaxing over the holidays!
Megan Burrows, Courtney Coughlan and Kelly Saunders were representing New Zealand at the transtasman underwater hockey championships on the Gold Coast. Kelly was in the under-18 women's team, which competed very well to come first in their division. Megan and Courtney were in the under-23 women's team but they played up a division in the elites grade.
This put them up against some tough competition but they performed well, having many close games against some strong teams to come fifth in their division, a good achievement considering the youth of the team.
Also performing in the water over the break was the Tauranga Girls' College synchronised swimming team. They competed at the North Island inter-school championships at Diocesan School in Auckland and came out with some good results. The team consisting of Beth Taylor, Eva Morris, Janaya Worthington and Emma Weston finished first place in their division.
Beth's Dolphin team, which she coaches and swims in, also took out first place. Emma and Janaya gained a second place for their duet, and Eva came first with duet partner Jazzlee Thomas. Eva also took out an impressive third in the interschool solo.
Emma, Eva and Janaya also swam in the successful 15-and-under team, winning by a significant margin. Former Girls' College student Sarsha Younger, who continues to swim with Tauranga Synchro, took out top honours in the senior tech and free solos. The girls are now preparing for the national championships held in Invercargill in October.
The start of the new term has signalled the restart of weekly sports. Tauranga Girls' inline hockey team No Pucks Given had a close game against Matamata senior girls on Tuesday night. They battled long and hard with an injured player and only one substitute, and came out victorious 3-2.
Tauranga's under-18 hockey team came seventh out of 16 teams at the national tournament in Dunedin over the holidays. Five of our students were in the team - Michelle Prendiville (capt), Amy Robinson, Rachel Cook, Stephanie Chapman and Isabella Kirk. After this tournament the New Zealand under-18 squad was named. Congratulations to Michelle and Amy on their selection in this squad.
The Tauranga under-15 hockey team has also been announced with six of our students selected - Isabella Puchner, Alice Barrett, Brydie Mangos, Sophie Barrett, Keeley Grantham and Yazzmine Woodhouse.