Collegiate excel at nationals

By David Ogilvie


The Collegiate cross-country juggernaut just keeps rolling on.

Athletics guru Alec McNab's squad picked up two gold medals and a silver, all in team events, at Saturday's New Zealand cross-country championships in Auckland.

The school took the gold in the year nine six-to-score girls' event, and the senior boys won the three-to-score.

At the same time, the year nine girls were second in the three-to-score race, giving credence to McNab's demand that teamwork is hugely important.

Members of the boys senior team were Antoine Bonnet, who finished fifth, Jamie Wells (12) and Geordie Beamish (26). For Bonnet there was also selection in the New Zealand "paper team" which entitles him to coaching assistance, and he and Wells are also members of the New Zealand Secondary Schools team going to August's Australian championships in Adelaide.

Bonnet was the only one to really make a race of it with ultimate winner Matt Baxter (New Plymouth), going with him for four of the six laps before fading.

But McNab was happy.

"I like athletes who want to win," he said.

Alice Bird (13th), Jazmin Phillips (20) and Kayla Hanright (31) were second in the year nine three-to-score and were joined by Megan Mackay (33), Billie Gibbs (48) and Rosie Steuart-Muirhead (76) to win the national six-to-score title.

Wanganui High School was ninth in the year nine male six-to-score and ninth in the three-to-score, while Collegiate were ninth in the junior female and male three-to-score.Leading Wanganui athlete Brad Mathas had a heartening final run in New Zealand before leaving for the junior worlds.

Mathas recorded 1min 50.9sec in the 800m in icy conditions at Mt Smart on Friday night, showing him to be in good touch.

Long jumper William Cowper also had a good meeting in Auckland, producing a personal best of 6.65m just a few days before he leaves for the Oceania Regionals in Cairns.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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