Huntley School went close to a repeat of last year when finishing second at the National Schools Triathlon in Wānaka earlier this month.
The collective score of their athletes was enough to claim second behind Mt Aspiring College, but not quite as good as last year's effort to win the Overall Best School title, knocking St Kentigern from Auckland off its perch after a 15-year dominance.
The small Rangitīkei school open to Year 3 to Year 8 students took athletes to compete against far larger schools with secondary school and intermediate age athletes on their teams.
Huntley headmaster Sam Edwards said the team collectively won nine medals, including three silver and six bronze. Last season they won six gold, three silver and two bronze to take the overall title.
"I'm really proud of how we performed," Edwards said.
"To win it last year breaking St Kentigern's 15-year stranglehold was great, but to back that up this season with another podium finish was fantastic, especially with just eight young athletes."
In several of the tag team relays, Huntley athletes were joined by students from other schools to make up composite teams that placed.
"Rebecca Boden-Cave from St George's, who placed ninth in the U13 girls individual race, teamed up with three of our Huntley students to take silver in the under 13 tag team relay, while Tayla Cornwall from Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School teamed up with our kids to make another composite team.
"It was great to see the independent schools in our region working together to compete in a national event," Edwards said.
Huntley School results from the National Schools Triathlon (Individual results followed by team placings):
Henry Speedy 3rd, U13 Boys, Tag Team 2nd
Hugo Giblin 3rd, U12 Boys, Tag Team 2nd
Lucy Hobbs 3rd, U12 Girls, Tag Team 2nd
Hamish Cranstone 6th, U12 Boys, Tag Team 3rd
Angus Wilton 8th, U13 Boys, Tag Team 3rd
Maddie Stephenson 5th, U12 Girls, Tag Team 3rd
Ashleigh Morton 7th, U12 Girls
Reagan Carver 9th, U13 Boys