Beach Volleyball: NZ reps
Four Bay of Plenty beach volleyball players are heading to China and India this weekend to represent New Zealand in the Asian Beach Volleyball Champs (an open men's tournament) and the Asian Under-21 Beach Volleyball Championships.
Rene Kapa, Paora Morunga and Morgan Seymour (originally from Whakatane) and Griffin Muller (Tauranga) have been training all year in preparation for an international competition, and the opportunity to test their skills. While studying and working part-time, they have also sacrificed many social opportunities to focus on their strict training schedule which includes an average of three weekends out of four training together as a squad, while also training individually during the week. This is essential for building the squad, both as a team and friends, and developing the skills to compete on the world stage. Darrell Boyd and Anthony Joe (AJ) have coached the boys in their beach volleyball aspirations.
They have all been inspired by other NZ players who have achieved at world champs level. Some of those include Edwin, Sam and Ben O'Dea (well known brothers from Tauranga), who share their knowledge and train against the four reps occasionally, and also local volleyball coaches and teachers, BR Horlock and Damon Haenga.
The Pro-Tour, that has historically been held in the Mount and Ohope Beach, also provided opportunity to see first-hand international competitors and get a taste of what it might be like to compete at that level. The German men and women competed at the Mount, placed first and fifth at the London Olympics.
Even though our four New Zealand team members are all aged under 21, they are looking forward to competing at the open men's grade in China. They have represented NZ in beach and indoor volleyball many times, attending Youth Beach World Championships in Turkey, Portugal and Croatia. All of this experience leads to their development in the goal of representing New Zealand at the Olympics. This Asian Tour is also part of the pathway to getting there. Paora and Griffin travelled to Thailand and Indonesia earlier this year to the Open Men's Asian Tour and although the competition was very tough, they learnt how to adjust to the Asian heat and rest well before and after the competitions.
The boys are also playing indoor volleyball for Mauao Volleyball Club, which is holding a fundraising event for this newly established club tonight at 45 Kawaka Street, Mt Maunganui at 7.30pm. They acknowledge the support of their club team mates who provide another support group through their leadership and experience.
Golf: Key tournament
This weekend signals the serious build up to the Interprovincial Championships with the annual Central North Island Quadrangular at Taupo.
Players endeavouring to make the interprovincial team only have this and the Garrard Shield in a fortnight to stake their claims. The CNI Quadrangular is an annual fixture played at Taupo Golf Club between Bay of Plenty, Eastland (Poverty Bay-East Coast), Taranaki and Manawatu-Wanganui
There are eight seniors and four juniors (under-19) players with trophies for each section. The event also sees the battle on Sunday of two of the country's leading amateurs, in Carrus Tauranga Amateur winner Brad Kendall taking on Manawatu-Wanganui's Josh Munn, who won last weekend's Charles Tour event at Harewood. Munn also won the Bay of Plenty Open at Whakatane this year. However, Kendall has been putting in the hours on the practice fairway at Tauranga and looks like getting back to the form that won him the National Strokeplay title in 2010.
There is a real battle on for the Bay Interprovincial selection.
Apart from Kendall, the only other certainty is Rotorua's Peter Lee. Ranked seventh on the New Zealand Order of Merit, Lee is competing at the Asia Pacific Amateur Championships in Thailand next week so will miss this weekend's event at Taupo.
The player who has shown the most consistency this year is last year's reserve Victor Janin. The selectors have given him every opportunity this weekend by giving him the number three slot behind Kendall and proven performer Landyn Edwards, so the pressure goes on Sam Davis and Craig Hamilton who were part of the team beaten in the interprovincial final in 2011 at Poverty Bay.
Others staking a claim include 16-year-old Bailey Smith from Mount Maunganui, the big hitting William Howard from Rotorua and Otumoetai's Cameron Neal, who is juggling rep cricket and golf commitments.
Golf: BOP win title
Bay of Plenty won the Booth Shield by five shots from Taranaki at the New Zealand Junior Golfing Society's Under-25 Annual Tournament held at Mania Golf Club, Hawera, in windy conditions over Labour Weekend.
The win was the second year in succession, and third in four years for the Bay, and this year five players were competing at their first Booth Shield. Players ages ranged from Kahu Tataurangi,12, to Jordan Golding,18.
The players had 36 holes on Sunday and 18 holes on Monday, with five boys and five girls per team, and the seven best nett scores counted each round. EmmaLee Morrell won individual girls' nett, Jordan Golding boys' gross. Jordan Golding, Jordi Langton, Alanna Campbell and Erikah Waiariki gained selection in the North team (best six gross totals boys and girls) which lost to the South Team in the Clements Cup.
Boys; Jordon Golding Omanu 3 handicap, 69,73,67 209 nett
Kahu Tataurangi, Taupo, 27, 73,66,71, 210 nett
Jordon Cooke, Tauranga, 8, 75,77,74, 226 nett
Mitchell Fairweather, Omanu, 14, 79,78,69, 226 nett
Jordi Langton Otumoetai, 7, 83,71,72, 226 nett
Girls; EmmaLee Morrell, Tauranga, 30, 73,67,68, 208 nett
Jazmin Brown, Taupo, 30, 76,74,70, 220 nett
Erikah Waiariki, Taupo, 7, 76,74,80, 230 nett
Madison Gartner, Tauranga, 21, 73,86,79, 238 nett
Alanna Campbell Omanu, 2, 79,78,82, 239 nett
Cricket: History makers
The Aquinas College girls' cricket team have made their own piece of history, becoming the first Aquinas team to win through to play in a NZ Cricket Schools National Finals tournament.
On Wednesday the Aquinas team travelled to Hamilton to take part in the ND finals day of the NZCT Secondary Schoolgirls' competition. First up they played Northland's Kamo College for the right to progress to the afternoon final and a berth at the national finals at Palmerston North on December 7-10.
Kamo batted first and posted a solid 114 in the Twenty20 encounter. Macy Adams was the pick of the Western Bay bowlers taking two wickets. The Kamo bowlers grabbed the early ascendancy in the Aquinas turn at bat. However Joanna Taris steadied the ship, posting a 51 run partnership with Tia Robinson and then a 34 run partnership with Annabel Anderson, before the Bay won in the 16th over.
In the afternoon game, where the ND Championship was on the line, Aquinas squared off against Waikato Diocesan. Batting first Aquinas were dismissed for 106. Joanna Taris top scored with 44 while Tia Robinson contributed a handy 37 runs. The Waikato team passed the Aquinas total in the 17th over to take home the regional title. However both teams qualified to represent Northern Districts at the NZCT Finals in Palmerston North.
Aquinas College Secondary Schoolgirls team: Tia Robinson (captain) Joanna Taris, Macy Adams, Meg Johnston, Sammy Schuck, Rebecca Brebner, Jessica York, Charmaine Lees, Kelsey Russell, Morgan Schuler, Annabel Anderson.
Tauranga Boys' College will now meet St Peters, Cambridge in the next round of the Gillette Cup, to be played at Nicholson Field next Tuesday.
Next Monday will be a big day for two Tauranga Intermediate cricket teams. The Tauranga Intermediate boys' side will contest the NZ Cup Northern Districts finals while the girls will play in the NZ Shield regional finals.
Cricket: New competition
A six team Western Bay of Plenty Secondary School First XI cricket competition has been put in place for term four of the school year to try and keep teenage talent in the game. "In the past a good number of our teenage players have been lost to the game through lack of a challenging competition," Western Bay of Plenty Cricket Administrator Don Warner said.
The introduction of the six-team First XI competition, aims to give year 11, 12 and 13 players competitive cricket and provide a pathway to representative level. Tauranga Boys College, whose first and second XIs play Western Bay senior cricket, will add to their cricket pathway with their third XI playing in the new competition.
Eastern Bay of Plenty's Trident High School, traditionally strong in school cricket, will play in the Western Bay competition along with the first XIs from Bethlehem, Aquinas, Otumoetai and Katikati Colleges.
In term one, Bethlehem College finished top of the standings in a Baywide First XI competition, followed by Otumoetai College, Trident and Katikati. Bethlehem will open their new campaign when they host Tauranga Boys, Aquinas will be at home to Otumoetai, with Trident travelling to meet Katikati.
Triathlon: World champion
The ITU World Championships held in Auckland produced two Western Bay world champions and a third placing.
Michael Pugh is world champion in the Men's 40-44 category. He was fourth out of the swim, ninth off the bike but then stormed home with a magnificent run to take the gold medal after 35m 02s time over the closing 10km run. In the men's 65-69 age group, Murray O'Donnell led from start to finish to romp away with the gold medal and claim the world title. To prove just how dominating he was, he finished a massive 5 minutes ahead of the silver medalist.
In the men's 18-19, Hayden Moorhouse did superbly to come home with a bronze medal. He was second out of the swim, but was first after the cycle leg. However, he was unable to hold off two Australian runners and had to settle for third.
It was an outstanding effort by the three athletes, considering the awful conditions.