College Sport: Ulufonua big on sporting talent

By Campbell Burnes

Sam Ulufonua says rugby training helps with his athletics. Photo / Auckland Grammar School
Sam Ulufonua says rugby training helps with his athletics. Photo / Auckland Grammar School

Sam Ulufonua gives the impression he is a gentle giant, but stick a discus or rugby ball in his big mitts and you will soon discover a competitive streak infused with sheer talent.

The 18-year-old hurls the discus in the summer and then adds real grunt to the Auckland Grammar School scrum in the winter. His physique looks perfect for his core tasks of firing the discus out close to 60m and the shot put close to 18m; he weighs in at 123kg, stands 1.98m and has the long levers and solid trunk that are ideal at the scrum or clearing bodies out at the breakdown.

Ulufonua is a king-pin in field events, and at last week's Auckland schools Champion of Champions event at Mt Smart Stadium, he cleaned up in the senior boys' discus and shot put, and just for good measure placed third in the javelin.

"It's pretty hard doing three throwing events, but I was pleased with my results," he said modestly.

He won the discus by no less than 11.18m in 55.31m, which was still short of his personal best of 58.60m. His 16.59m in the shot was short of his 17.56m PB, but still gave him the victory by more than 2m.

On the immediate horizon are this weekend's club nationals (where he will turn out for Manurewa) and the North Island schools champs in Masterton on April 5-6.

Ulufonua got into field events as a raw year nine student, and now comes under the wing of Nigel Edwards in the Throw for Gold programme. Edwards helps a lot of young, often Pacific Island, talent achieve their goals.

There is plenty of gym and field work, not to mention rugby training, to fit in around his growing schoolwork commitments.

Ulufonua would love to break his North Island schools discus record of 57m next week in Masterton. But his biggest athletics experience to date came at the World Youth Olympics in Ukraine last year.

"It was difficult because the competition standard was higher than in New Zealand. I came 18th. It wasn't my best throw, but the experience was good for me."

That hefty athletics commitment last year ruled him out of much of the First XV rugby programme, though he did return for the 1A semifinals and final. He is adamant he scored a try that was not given in the contentious final against St Kentigern.

"The ref was standing on the other side, so he couldn't see it!"

His athletics training complements his rugby conditioning, and vice- versa.

"Rugby training helps my athletics; just the contact makes my body better for throwing," he said.

Ulufonua said sometimes it was challenging to get himself mentally in the right space to throw.

"Rugby is a team environment, so you've got the boys pumping you up. In athletics, it's just yourself, so you have to focus on what you do at training and do it on the day."

As for the future of this strapping athlete, rugby may win out, but then again, the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast is a juicy carrot.

Auckland SS Champion of Champions meet (Mt Smart Stadium):

Long jump/girls
Senior: Gabriella Molloy (Marist College) 1, Sara Reynolds (Botany Downs) 2, Chloe Venter (Macleans College) 3
Intermediate: Natasha Eddy (St Cuthbert's College) 1, Greer Noble (Westlake Girls HS) 2, Jamie Speer (Massey High School) 3
Junior: Imogen Ayris (Takapuna Grammar School) 1, Cara Lonergan (Rangitoto College) 2, Lucy Makaea (Avondale College) 3

Long jump/boys
Senior: Hamish Gill (Westlake BHS) 1, Patrick Herbert (St Kentigern College) 2, Matthew Peters (Dilworth School) 3
Intermediate: Oliver Miller (St Peter's College) 1, Ngarimu Ruapapera (Auckland Grammar School) 2, David Pulu (Southern Cross Campus) 3
Junior: Lemeki Namoa (Sacred Heart College) 1, Matthew Timoko (AGS) 2, Emanuel Tuimavave-Gerrard (Marcellin College) 3

High jump/girls
Senior: Christie Anderson (Glendowie College) 1, Charlotte Hunter (St Cuthbert's) 2, Georgia Lloyd-Burgess (Glendowie) 3
Intermediate: Alex Hyland (Onehunga High School) 1, Jade Tulp (Strathallan College) 2, Sarah Christiansen (Marist) 3
Junior: Cara Lonergan (Rangitoto) 1, Bernadette Doyle (Westlake Girls' HS) 2, Hayley Marx (Pukekohe High School) 3

High jump/boys
Senior: Hamish Kerr (AGS) 1, Matthew Peters (Dilworth) 2, Aaron Booth (Mt Albert Grammar School) 3
Intermediate: Michael Gardner (MAGS) 1, Mika Seltner-Jones (Avondale) 2, Issac Letoa (Westlake BHS) 3
Junior: Micah Marsh (AGS) 1, James Moors (Westlake BHS) 2, Marquise Rogers (Manurewa High School) 3

Pole vault/girls
Open: Grace Steele (Kristin School) 1, Hannah Lunday (Kristin) 2, Kazaya Vos (Rangitoto) 3

Pole vault/boys
Open: Vincent Hobbie (Rangitoto) 1, Rizvan Caukwell (Rosmini College) 2, James Steyn (Rangitoto) 3

Triple jump/girls
Senior: Georgia Glover-Clark (Pinehurst School) 1, Chloe Venter (Macleans) 2, Rosie Hubbard (Macleans) 3
Intermediate: Elenoa Toutaiolepo (Diocesan Schools for Girls) 1, Sarah Christiansen (Marist) 2, Sarvarna Asofa-Tavita (Waiuku College) 3
Junior: Paige Witehira (MAGS) 1, Tahina Heta (Pukekohe) 2, Isobella Ng (St Cuthbert's) 3

Triple jump/boys
Senior: Freedom Vaha'akolo (MAGS) 1, David van den Boogaard (Pukekohe) 2, Sam Waring (Long Bay College) 3
Intermediate: Johannes Leituala (King's College) 1, Rodney Tongotea (AGS) 2, Harrison Zhang (King's) 3
Junior: Tawanda Marowa (Sacred Heart) 1, Joshua Shih (AGS) 2, Jack Kelleher (Rosmini) 3

Shot put/girls
Senior: Ofa Hakeai (Auckland Girls' Grammar School) 1, Sarah Doyle (Kristin) 2, Mauga Feagaiga-Fagasa (James Cook High School) 3
Intermediate: Ivanja Po'uhila (Marist) 1, Madison Wesche (Lynfield College) 2, Makenzie Vitasovich (Orewa College) 3
Junior: Mellata Tatola (St Mary's College) 1, Amelia Vaka (Aorere College) 2, Seluvaia Aukafolau (Southern Cross) 3

Shot put/boys
Senior: Sam Ulufonua (AGS) 1, Bernard Togiatomai (MAGS) 2, Andrew Jackson (St Kentigern) 3
Intermediate: Kaynan Sitiene-Tua (AGS) 1, Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa (MAGS) 2, Leon Bongare (Rosmini) 3
Junior: Raymond Taumalolo (Otahuhu College) 1, Matthew Timoko (AGS) 2, Silafono Titiuti (St Kentigern) 3

Senior: Ofa Hakeai (AGGS) 1, Brooke Urquhart (Howick College) 2, Chasity Tugaga-Maxwell (Epsom Girls' Grammar School) 3
Intermediate: Grace Lui (Kelston Girls' High School) 1, Makenzie Vitasovich (Orewa) 2, Tessa Peace (Edgewater College) 3
Junior: Mayah Coleman (St Kentigern) 1, Mellata Tatola (St Mary's) 2, MacKenzie O'Neil (Carmel College) 3

Senior: Sam Ulufonua (AGS) 1, Alexander O'Neil (Rosmini) 2, Andrew Jackson (St Kentigern) 3
Intermediate: Brandon James (Westlake BHS) 1, Metuaiviivitoa Herman (AGS) 2, Jay Morris (Mahurangi College) 3
Junior: Raymond Taumalolo (Otahuhu) 1, Rowan Brown (Rangitoto) 2, Malu Howard (Mt Roskill Grammar School) 3

Senior: Saane Kaufanga (Avondale) 1, Vera Kesala (Dio) 2, Marike De Wet (Kingsway School) 3
Intermediate: Grace Lui (Kelston GHS) 1, Rona Wharawhara (Glenfield College) 2, Natasha Eady (St Cuthbert's) 3
Junior: Mayah Coleman (St Kentigern) 1, Paige Witehira (MAGS) 2, Bernadette Taumaoe (McAuley High School) 3

Senior: Julian Abraham (Macleans) 1, Andrew Jackson (St Kentigern) 2, Sam Ulufonua (AGS) 3
Intermediate: Ricky Xu (Macleans) 1, Arthur Lin (AGS) 2, Noah Tovio (Sacred Heart) 3
Junior: Jermaine Malaga (Manurewa) 1, Vincent Liku (MAGS) 2, Andy Lin (Rangitoto)

Open: MacKenzie O'Neil (Carmel) 1, Katie Sadlier (Westlake GHS) 2

Open: Anthony Nobilo (Westlake BHS) 1, Andrew Jackson (St Kentigern) 2

Senior: Brenagan Salt-Bernard (King's) 1, Gabriela Molloy (Marist) 2, Mariam Cisse (Green Bay High School) 3
Intermediate: Symone Tafuna'i (MAGS) 1, Natasha Eady (St Cuth's) 2, Kiani Anthony (Pakuranga) 3
Junior: Isla Norman-Bell (Rangitoto) 1, Gabriella Hayton (Baradene) 2, Katherine Groome (Orewa) 3

Senior: Peauope Fifita (Massey High School) 1, Austen Heuvel (Macleans) 2, Jake Hurley (Westlake BHS) 3
Intermediate: Jordon Bolland (Northcote College) 1, Lewis Soosemea (Aorere) 2, Tommy Wild/Jamie Spowart (Botany Downs) 3=
Junior: James Guthrie-Croft (St Peter's) 1, Marcel Connal (AGS) 2, Lemeki Namoa (Sacred Heart) 3

Senior: Gabriela Molloy (Marist) 1, Brenagan Salt-Bernard (King's) 2, Rosalind Crickett (Rangitoto) 3
Intermediate: Symone Tafuna'i (MAGS) 1, Jade Tulp (Strathallan) 2, Alex Hyland (Onehunga HS) 3
Junior: Delwyn Lewis (Long Bay) 1, Isla Norman-Bell (Rangitoto) 2, Zoe Taylor (Rutherford College) 3

Senior: Bailey Stewart (Sacred Heart) 1, Hamish Gill (Westlake BHS) 2, Abdul Al-Kashoosh (Alfriston College) 3
Intermediate: Cameran McIlraith (AGS) 1, Lucas Imrie (Sacred Heart) 2, Jordon Bolland (Northcote) 3
Junior: James Guthrie-Croft (St Peter's) 1, Marcel Connal (AGS) 2, Charles Spragg (King's) 3

Junior: Delwyn Lewis (Long Bay) 1, Lucy Makaea (Avondale) 2, Waiana Jones (MAGS) 3

Junior: Lemeki Namoa (Sacred Heart) 1, Matthew Palmer (Sacred Heart) 2, Chicayne Pryor (Kaipara College) 3

Senior: Megan Kikuchi (Birkenhead) 1, Kirsty Sutherland (Kristin) 2, Celine Pearn (MAGS) 3
Intermediate: Maria Hodge (Long Bay) 1, Stella Pearless (Pinehurst) 2, Charlotte Smaill (Macleans) 3

Intermediate: Oliver Miller (St Peter's) 1, Cameran McIlraith (AGS) 2, Markos Ingham (Rosmini) 3
Senior: Bailey Stewart (Sacred Heart) 1, Liam Fitzsimons (AGS) 2, Nick Stanfield (St Kent's) 3

Senior: Natasha Tulp (Strathallan) 1, Courtney Varney (King's) 2, Rebekah van Dort (MAGS) 3
Intermediate: Sophie Bowman (Pukekohe) 1, Stella Pearless (Pinehurst) 2, Ainsley Thorpe (Howick College) 3
Junior: Julia Giurgiu (Takapuna Grammar School) 1, Isabelle Robinson (St Cuthbert's) 2, Hayley Marx (Pukekohe) 3

Senior: Guy Kilmisler (AGS) 1, Troy Lonergan (Westlake BHS) 2, Ethan Vaughan (Pukekohe) 3
Intermediate: Alex Morreau (AGS) 1, Aron Mago (Howick) 2, Liam van der Boom (Rangitoto) 3
Junior: Matt Conroy (Westlake BHS) 1, Matthew Palmer (Sacred Heart) 2, James Hellriegel (MAGS) 3

Senior: Samantha Baldwin (Rangitoto) 1, Audrey Gregan (St Cuthbert's) 2, Sophie Rees (St Cuthbert's) 3
Intermediate: Maiya Christini (St Mary's) 1, Alana Sherman (Glendowie) 2, Tessa Wylie (St Cuthbert's) 3
Junior: Isabelle Robinson (St Cuthbert's) 1, Julia Giurgiu (Takapuna Grammar School) 2, Hayley Marx (Pukekohe) 3

Senior: Luke Fielding (Avondale) 1, Guy Kilmisler (AGS) 2, Troy Lonergan (Westlake BHS) 3
Intermediate: Dan Hoy (Westlake BHS) 1, Alex Morreau (AGS) 2, Flynn Palmer (Macleans) 3
Junior: Nick Burke (Macleans) 1, Mitchell Pallister (AGS) 2, George Cory-Wright (King's) 3

4x100m relay/girls
Senior: Kristin 1, King's 2, Howick 3
Intermediate: MAGS 1, Westlake GHS 2, Macleans 3
Junior: MAGS 1, St Kentigern 2, Dio 3

4x100m relay/boys
Senior: Sacred Heart 1, Westlake BHS 2, St Kentigern 3
Intermediate: King's 1, AGS 2, Sacred Heart 3
Junior: Sacred Heart 1, AGS 2, Kelston BHS 3

4x400m relay/girls
Open: Rangitoto 1, Strathallan 2, St Mary's 3

4x400m relay/boys
Open: Sacred Heart 1, Long Bay 2, St Peter's 3

100m hurdles/girls
Senior: Rebekah Bradley (EGGS) 1, Chloe Venter (Macleans) 2, Gina Robson (St Cuthbert's) 3

100m hurdles/boys
Intermediate: Matthew Watson (Pinehurst) 1, Harrison Zhang (King's) 2, Jacob Blundell (Sacred Heart) 3

110m hurdles/boys
Senior: Aaron Booth (MAGS) 1, Peauope Fifita (Massey) 2, Kilian Segers (MAGS) 3

70m hurdles/girls
Junior: Malia Longopoa (MAGS) 1, Delwyn Lewis (Long Bay) 2, Cara Lonergan (Rangitoto) 3

80m hurdles/girls
Intermediate: Alex Hyland (Onehunga HS) 1, Amy Robertson (Rangitoto) 2, Kodi Barlow (MAGS) 3

80m hurdles/boys
Junior: Joshua Shih (AGS) 1, Joshua Penney (Manurewa) 2, Lionel Ngendahayo (AGS) 3

Premier 9-hole

Semifinals: AGS 1 220 beat Westlake Boys' 247; Massey 222 beat St Kentigern 1 226

Senior boys' A1: AGS 9 Rosmini 0; Westlake BHS 9 MAGS 0; Sacred Heart 5 King's 4
Senior girls A1: MAGS 6 Diocesan 3; Westlake GHS 9 EGGS 1

Water polo
Premier boys' championship: St Kentigern 7 Westlake BHS 5; AGS 1 8 Kristin 4; Sacred Heart Sharks 8 Rangitoto 7
Premier boys' plate: King's 7 AGS 2 4; Sacred Heart Dolphins 7 MAGS 4
Premier girls' championship: Diocesan 3 EGGS 1; Rangitoto 11 Kristin 8; Westlake Girls' 10 St Cuthbert's 6
Premier girls' plate: Baradene 8 Carmel 3; St Mary's 7 MAGS 4

Gillette Cup Northern Districts regional playoffs

(At Jansen Park, Hamilton, day one results):

Pool 1:
St Paul's Collegiate 195 (A. Blackett 53, C. Swanson 50) beat Bethlehem College 57 (E. Spadoni 4-7); Whangarei BHS 144 (F. Coutts 61) beat Gisborne BHS 108 (R. Tallot 47, J. Crawford 4-26)

Pool 2:
Tauranga Boys' College 327/5 (G. Wallace 120, J. Grigson 110) beat Strathallan 112 (G. Wallace 4-7); Hamilton BHS 167/9 (P. Carsons 40, T. Anderson 40, S. Mahal 4-15) beat St Peter's School (P. Carsons 4-14)

Auckland SS novice league

Papatoetoe HS Team Zhang defeated Long Bay Team Gibbons 4-0; Papatoetoe Team Ha defeated Epsom Girls' Grammar Mirihana 4-0; Long Bay Team McDougall defeated Epsom Girls' Millar 2-0; Birkenhead College Unicorns defeated Epsom Girls' Talia 3-0; Papatoetoe Team Cheang defeated Rangitoto College Team McLeod 3-0
Rangitoto Team McLeod defeated Epsom Girls' Talia 2-0; Epsom Girls' Team Thomson drew 1-1 with Birkenhead Team Akimoto drew; Birkenhead Unicorns defeated Papatoetoe Team Sakaria 3-0; Papatoetoe Team Ru defeated Rangitoto Team Lovis; Papatoetoe Team Saufoi defeated Birkenhead Team Igarashi 3-1

Schools nationals (Palmerston North)

Boys' honours division: Tikipunga High School beat Westlake BHS 3-2, Whakatane High beat Hillcrest High 3-0, Manurewa HS beat One Tree Hill College 3-0, Otahuhu College beat Gisborne Boys' High School 3-1, Trident High A beat Mangere College 3-0, Western Heights HS A beat Taradale High School 3-0, Mt Maunganui College A beat Marlborough Boys' College 3-0, Otumoetai College A beat Aranui High School 3-0, Nelson College beat Auckland Grammar School 3-0, Orewa College beat Long Bay College 3-0, Tauranga Boys' College A beat Western Heights B 3-0, Rangitoto College b Timaru Boys' High School 3-0, De La Salle College beat Palmerston North BHS A 3-0

Boys' premier division: Tarawera High beat Mt Maunganui College B 3-0, Matamata College beat Katikati College 3-0, Waimea College Green beat Otumoetai College Green 3-1, Bethlehem College beat Glendowie College 3-0, Tauranga Boys' College Yellow beat Riccarton HS B 3-0, Tauranga Boys' B beat Tauranga Boys' Red 3-0, Rutherford College beat Mt Maunganui College B 3-0, Wellington College beat Katikati College 3-0, Lincoln High School beat Otumoetai College Green 3-0

Girls' honours division: Otumoetai College B beat Tikipunga HS 3-1, Whakatane HS beat Chilton Saint James School 3-2, Orewa College beat Havelock North HS 3-0, Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate beat St Margaret's College 3-0, Riccarton HS A beat Otahuhu College 3-1, Tauranga Girls' College A beat Matamata College A 3-0, Mangere College beat Westlake Girls' HS 3-0, Otumoetai College A beat Hastings Girls' High 3-0, Burnside HS Girls' A beat Onehunga HS A 3-0, Mount Maunganui College A beat Nayland College 3-0, Trident HS A beat Western Height HS 3-0, Manurewa HS beat Tarawera HS 3-0

Girls' premier division: Rangitoto College B beat Aranui HS 3-0, Taradale HS A beat One Tree Hill College 3-1, Te Puke HS A beat Tauranga Girls' College B 3-0, Hillcrest HS beat Tauranga Girls' College C 3-0, St Peter's Cambridge beat New Plymouth GHS A 3-2, Trident HS B beat Katikati College 3-1, Lincoln HS beat Long Bay College 3-0, Rangi Ruru Girls' School beat Otumoetai College C 3-2, Newlands College beat Glendowie College 3-0

Challenger division: Fraser HS beat Te Aroha College B 3-0, Otumoetai College D beat Taradale HS B 3-0, Whangarei Girls' HS beat Feilding HS 3-0, Kapiti College beat Te Aroha College A 3-0, Riccarton HS B beat Te Aroha College B 3-0


Counties zone

Boys: James Cook 3 Alfriston 1 1; James Cook Puutake 9 Alfriston 2 3; Tangaroa default to Manurewa; James Cook 4 Papakura 2
Girls: Alfriston default to Papakura 1; Tangaroa default to James Cook Puutake
Mixed: Tuakau 5 Pukekohe Red 2; Alfriston Mixed 8 Manurewa Mixed 3

Southern zone
Boys: Mangere default to King's; De La Salle default to Otahuhu
Girls: Mangere default to Papatoetoe; Aorere 5 McAuley 2; Otahuhu 7 Auckland 7th Day Adventist 0
Mixed: Otahuhu default to Mangere

Eastern zone
Boys A grade playoffs: St Kentigern Prems 7 Sacred Heart A 6
Boys B grade playoffs: St Kentigern Senior A 3 Howick Blue 1; Howick Red 6 Sacred Heart C 2; St Kentigern Senior B 3 Sacred Heart C 1
Girls A grade playoffs: St Kentigern Prems A 9 Botany Downs 1 2; Pakuranga 3 Botany Downs 2 2; St Kentigern Senior A 7 Macleans 0
Girls B grade: St Kentigern Senior C 3 Botany Downs 3 1; St Kentigern Senior B 4 Selwyn 2

Central zone
Girls A grade playoffs: Diocesan A 6 Onehunga 1; St Cuthbert's A 6 EGGS 3; MAGS 9 Baradene 2; AGGS A 4 Marist 2
Girls B grade: St Mary's Red 8 St Cuthbert's B 1; Baradene B 5 Lynfield 1; Baradene C 12 Marist Gold 0
Boys A grade: St Peter's B default to Dilworth A; Lynfield 4 Dilworth B 3; St Peter's C 5 Dilworth C 4
Mixed: MAGS 7 Western Springs 2; Marcellin A default to MRGS

Western zone
Boys: Kelston BHS 2 default to Massey 1; Henderson 5 Waitakere 4; Liston default to Kelston BHS 1; Massey 2 5 Rutherford 1
Boys: Avondale A default to Massey 2; Liston 4 Waitakere 3
Girls grade crossovers: Avondale A 5 Waitakere 3; Massey 1 1 Henderson 0; St Dominic's 1 2 Rutherford 1; Avondale B default to Massey 2; Kelston GHS default to St Dominic's 2
Mixed: Massey Mixed 6 Waitakere Mixed 1

North Harbour
Boys A grade: Westlake BHS A 10 Mahurangi 0; Orewa default to Rosmini; Rosmini 7 Westlake BHS B 3; Orewa default to Mahurangi
Boys B grade: Hato Petera 4 Takapuna 3; Birkenhead 8 Northcote 7
Girls A grade: Pinehurst 3 Kristin 2; Rangitoto A 9 Whangaparaoa 2; Westlake GHS A 8 Mahurangi A 3
Girls B grade playoffs: Hato Petera 3 Rangitoto B 2; Westlake GHS White 4 Westlake GHS Green 0; Westlake GHS Red 3 Carmel Cruisers 1
Mixed grade playoffs: Mahurangi A 5 Kaipara 1 3; TKKM O Te Raki Paewhenua A 10 Orewa 9; Birkenhead Blue 5 Kaipara B 4

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 31 Mar 2017 09:19:02 Processing Time: 1192ms