Daniel Hoy took it to the next level in his final crack at the NZ Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Rotorua today, finally winning gold after four years of silver medals.
The Westlake Boys High School athlete ran at the font of the field for the entire race, before attacking on the penultimate hill of the final lap, recording 19:22 for the 4km distance.
Mitchell Small (St Andrews) kept him company on the first two laps, but wilted near the end, while Angus White (New Plymouth Boys) finished strongly to claim second place. Goiteom Gebremedhin (Papanui) also finished well for third.
Tessa Webb from Fielding High School won the senior girls race from Amelia Persson (Christchurch Girls) and Ari Graham (St Andrews).
Webb also ran in the leading bunch before getting away from Persson and going on to win by two seconds in 14:43.
Murdoch McIntyre made it two wins for Westlake Boys, taking the junior boys race by four seconds from Luke Hill (Waitara) and Liam Chesney (St Pats Kilbirnie). McIntyre's winning time was 13:19 for the 4km distance.
The most dominant run came from New Plymouth Girls High athlete Hannah O'Connor in the junior girls 3km, winning in 10:28 with a margin of 25 seconds from Liliana Braun (Cashmere) and Kirstie Rae (Wellington East Girls).
Laurence Pithie (Christchurch Boys) took out the Year 9 boys 3km title in 9:58 from Finn Seeds (Hutt International) and Jeremy Burke from McLeans College.
The winner of the Year 9 girls race was Charli Miller (St Peter's School) from Brianna Irving (Gisborne Girls) and Olivia Cummings (Otumoetai).
Anton Besseling (New Plymouth Boys) and Siobhan Terry (Rotorua Lakes) were winners in the Para athlete championships.
Over 950 athletes from 120 schools took part in the championships, in their 43rd year, at the Agrodome in Rotorua.
Senior boys 6km:1 Daniel Hoy 19:22, 2 Angus White 19:33, 3 Goiteom Gebremedhin 19:42.
Senior girls 4km: 1 Tessa Webb 14:43, 2 Amelia Persson 14:45, 3 Ari Graham 14:49.
Junior boys 4km: 1 Murdoch McIntyre 13:19, 2 Luke Hill 13:23, 3 Liam Chesney 13:28.
Junior girls 3km: 1 Hannah O'Connor 10:28, 2 Liliana Braun 10:53, 3 Kirstie Rae 11:02.
Year 9 boys 3km: 1 Laurence Pithie 9:58, 2 Finn Seeds 10:04, 3 Jeremy Burke 10:24.
Year 9 girls 3km: 1 Charli Miller 11:00, 2 Briana Irving 11:04, 3 Olivia Cummings 11:17.