Each week from now until the ASB YSPOTY awards function on November 28, we will profile past winners as we count down to the 25th annual event which honours the top young college sportspeople in the region.
Daniel Bell (Massey HS) 2008In 2008, swimmer Daniel Bell followed in the footsteps of cyclist Vanessa Cheatley in 1996 and won the supreme ASB YSPOTY award out of Massey High School.
He did that largely because he qualified for and swam in the Beijing Olympics, where he raced in the 4x100m relay team which made the final. He also went to the 2012 London Olympics and raced the 100m butterfly and backstroke.
"Massey High was very supportive with not only my time away at competitions but also accommodating for my training schedule," said Bell, recalling his senior year at school.
"Unfortunately I was on a training camp in Australia at the same time as the awards evening, meaning I was unable to attend. My mother was present on my behalf."
It proved to be a big year for Bell in 2008 as he also won three races at the Fina junior world championships, which sealed his ASB award.
In 2010, Bell won silver at the Delhi Commonwealth Games but retired this year from international swimming with a clutch of national records.
"My silver in Delhi and making a final at the Beijing Olympics are two of my favourite career moments, along with junior worlds and the bronze at a world short course event in 2008," said Bell.
The 25-year-old is back living in Havelock North in Hawkes Bay.
"Currently I am working at ANZ as a retail customer service representative and doing some private swim coaching, trying to give back to the sport I love."
Bell said he would love to get to Auckland for the November 28 roll call of past champions at the ASB YSPOTY awards if he could.
Nominations for the 2015 ASB YSPOTY Awards should be submitted by 5pm next Wednesday. For further information visit www.collegesport.co.nz
Napier Girls' High withstood a fierce charge from St Cuthbert's to claim the New Zealand secondary school swimming championship for the third year in a row in Hamilton over the weekend.
Napier GHS have claimed the national title for each of the three years since a separate trophy has been at stake for girls. They had a 54-point advantage going into the final session at Waterworld and ultimately just four points separated them from a superb challenge from St Cuthbert's, with the two schools more than 200 points clear of the other challengers.
It was more clear cut in the boys, with Westlake BHS winning the title for the first time by a commanding margin from the 2014 winners and cross-bridge rivals, Auckland Grammar.
Year 13 student and Westlake team captain Oliver Wu accepted the trophy at the end of the meet. Westlake won by a comprehensive 200 points and a staggering 25 medals (13 gold, 10 silver and two bronze) was just reward.
The win by Westlake was led by outstanding 15-year-old prospect Finn Kennard-Campbell, who followed his record-breaking form in the recent national short course championships with top performances in Hamilton. He was the leading male swimmer with seven gold medals and one silver in his eight swims, completing his programme with wins in the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke. He also broke two NZ schools records. His younger schoolmate Flynn Southcombe won three golds and two bronze, plus setting a national record. Jason Churches won three golds in the 16-18 age bracket. Mats Radeck in the 15s won a gold, silver and bronze.
Pakuranga's Tyron Henry matched Kennard-Campbell's eight medal haul with four gold and four silver medals in the 14-years group.
Pukekohe's Zac Dell won the most medals overall, with nine in the 14-years age group - four gold, three silver and two bronze with victory in the 100m backstroke on the final day.
The real battle came in the chase for honours in the girls, with St Cuthbert's so close to ending Napier Girls' reign. St Cuthbert's fought hard, led by Madeline Falconer and Millie Macdonald, who won 11 medals between them including six gold. Falconer, 14, won silver medals in the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly while Macdonald, 17, had an important win in the 100m breaststroke.
Unfortunately they came up just four points short, as Napier enjoyed an outstanding hat-trick of national titles. Te Awamutu's Vanessa Ouwehand, 15, was the leading gold medal winner with four including the 100m butterfly.
There was a closer spread of talent in the girls' competition, with 26 swimmers earning gold medals, although Hannah Bates (Christchurch GHS) was again the leading individual in total medals with eight - two gold, three silver and three bronze.
There was plenty of interest in the performances of the para-swimmers including double IPC World Champion and Paralympian Nikita Howarth (Cambridge High) who won the 100m butterfly after winning the 200m individual medley the day before.
Auckland Grammar have won their first Knockout Cup since 2010 and fifth in all after downing defending champs and Auckland league champs Sacred Heart 3-1 last Saturday.
Sacred Heart were the beaten national finalists.
Despite Auckland Grammar enjoying good spells of possession, Sacred Heart carved out the better goalscoring opportunities. The Grammar defence of Jack Sinclair, George Sussock, Remek Norman and William East kept the Sacred Heart strikers quiet in the first half.
The second half started in a similar vein but within 10 minutes Auckland Grammar took the lead through captain Will Hunt, who rounded the goalkeeper and scored from a tight angle in what might be a strong contender for goal of the season. The advantage was doubled when a cross from the right ricocheted in off a Sacred Heart defender and Francesco Geldard reacted quickest to head over the stranded goalkeeper.
The third goal again came from the boot of Geldard who finished a driven free kick from six yards. Matthew Bouzaid got the final touch on the ball and at this stage it was difficult to see Sacred Heart recover.
They did, however, gain a late consolation through centre back Jardin Draper.
Westlake BHS are the national schools champions for the fourth year in a row
After winning their initial three tournament matches in Palmerston North, Westlake beat Macleans in the semifinals to advance to the finals against arch-rivals Auckland Grammar.
Auckland Grammar were undone by the most remarkable of shots by Westlake's top two players, Victor Ma and Roger Wang, in the doubles match. Westlake were 8-10 down in the fifth and last set, staring at defeat, when four extraordinary shots gave Westlake the victory 4-3.
Macleans' top side beat their second team 4-3 for the third-fourth playoff, while in the girls' section, Macleans won from Westlake GHS.
Mountain bikingMacleans, Auckland Grammar and Howick showed they are the top Auckland mountain biking schools after they finished 1-2-3 in the Lord Cup after the completion of the fourth round of the Auckland series at Woodhill Forest.
MAGS' James Kirkham won the U20 boys' event, and with it the series victory, heading Daniel Holt-Pederson of Macleans.
Kayla Russell won the U20 girls, and with it the series, from Howick's Jemma Manchester.
Jessica Manchester's win in the U17 girls helped her school to the top girls' school title.
Liam Talbot won the U17 boys' event and the series, while the overall winners in the U15 age group were Poppy Buissink of EGGS and Braeden Brown of Macleans.
Underwater hockeyMahurangi and EGGS were two of the big winners out of the New Zealand Secondary Schools underwater hockey championships.
Mahurangi won the senior open title, while EGGS took the junior girls' championship from Diocesan.
In all, 527 students, in 41 teams and from 20 schools, participated. After 134 games winners were decided.
With a first and third placing, Nelson College for Girls narrowly beat Mahurangi and Epsom Girls' Grammar to take the top school trophy. The top boy of the tournament was Forrest Axford from Mahurangi and the top girl went to Kirsty Burrows from Tauranga Girls' College. The novice coach award went to Anton Williams, coach of Tauranga Boys' College junior open team and the top coach award went to Letitia Jackson, coach of Tauranga Girls' senior team.
No less than 15 players of the Auckland 1A competition, plus Rosmini lock Jacob Pierce and Takapuna Grammar midfielder James Little, are in the two national schools squads, who will play each other this Saturday in Palmerston North.
St Kentigern captain Dalton Papali'i and Kelston counterpart TJ Vaega are joined in the NZ Schools by the MAGS duo of wing Caleb Clarke and lock Samuel Slade, plus King's prop Takaji Young-Yen. Ten others have made the second tier, though not second-rate, NZ Barbarians Schools, including Auckland Grammar captain Antonio Ripata.
NZ Schools will next week play a three-match series in Australia, culminating in their annual international against Australian Schools on October 2.
NZ Schools squad:
Fullback: Joshua Buchan (Otago BHS); Wings: Caleb Clarke (MAGS), Losi Filipo (St Pat's Silverstream), Sevu Reece (Hamilton BHS), TJ Vaega (Kelston BHS); Midfielders: Peter Umaga-Jensen (Scots), Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Scots); Wiseguy Faiane (Auckland Grammar), Josh McKay (Christchurch BHS); Halfbacks: Tom Hogan (Otago BHS), Kemara Hauiti-Parapara (Wellington); Loose forwards: Liam Giltrap (Palmerston North BHS), Slade McDowall (Otago BHS), Marino Mikaele-Tu'u (Hastings BHS), Dalton Papali'i (St Kentigern), Loosie/lock: Tom Florence (New Plymouth BHS); Locks: Samuel Slade (MAGS), William Tucker (St Bede's), Isaia Walker-Leawere (Gisborne BHS); Props: Takaji Young-Yen (King's), Xavier Numia (St Pat's Town), Alex Fidow (Scots), Harrison Allan (St Andrew's); Hookers: Asafo Aumua (St Pat's Silverstream), Brodie McAlister (Shirley BHS), Ben Power (Hutt International)
NZ Barbarians Schools squad:
Fullbacks: Sam Toa (Hamilton BHS), Stephen Perofeta (Wanganui Collegiate); Wings: Antonio Mikaele-Tu'u (Hastings BHS), Jona Nareki (Feilding), Freedom Vaha'akolo (Auckland Grammar); Midfielders: James Little (Takapuna Grammar), Raymond Nu'u (St Andrew's), Bailyn Sullivan (King's); First fives: Tiaan Falcon (Lindisfarne), Ciarahn Matoe (King's); Halfbacks: Thomas Stewart (Feilding), Melino Fineanganofo (Auckland Grammar); Loose forwards: Joshua Brown (St Pat's Silverstream), Thomas Christie (Shirley BHS), Brayden Iose (Palmerston North BHS), Ajay Mua (King's); Locks: Isitolo Maka (Sacred Heart), Jacob Pierce (Rosmini), Ben Sau (De La Salle); Props: Sione Asi (Otago BHS), Ryan Coxon (St Peter's, Cambridge), Tim Farrell (Napier BHS), Antonio Ripata (Auckland Grammar); Hookers: Samisoni Taukei'aho (St Paul's Collegiate), Flynn Thomas (Southland BHS)
Auckland SS girls' 9s semifinals, 4.15pm: 1 v 4: James Cook v Sir Edmund Hillary; 2 v 3: Tamaki v AGGS at Cornwall Park; 5 v 6: Auckland 7th Day Adventist v McAuley
Boys' crossover semifinals, 4pm: MAGS v Orewa, Westlake BHS v Mt Roskill Grammar, Rosmini v St Peter's, Pinehurst v Michael Park, Auckland Grammar bye
NZ Schools v NZ Barbarians Schools, Palmerston North BHS, 12.30pm
North Island SS snowboarding champs, Turoa Ski Area, Mt Ruapehu, Ohakune
North Harbour premier final: Long Bay v Westlake GHS, AMI Netball Centre, Takapuna, 5.30pm
Auckland SS road race championships: Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura, from 11am
North Island SS snowboarding champs, Turoa Ski Area, Mt Ruapehu, Ohakune