New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships, Spa Thermal Park - 16 June 2018

Favourites Sam Tanner and Hannah OConnor retained their senior titles at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Taupo.

OConnor, from Sacred Heart New Plymouth played her hand early in the senior girls 4000m race, taking the lead from Aimee Ferguson of Rototuna High School ahead of the chasing bunch. OConnor went on to extend her lead on the second lap to win the 4km in 13:50, as Ferguson faded to third place in 14:18 with Kirstie Rae (Wellington East Girls) coming through for second in 14:13.

It was OConnors fourth consecutive schools cross country title, after winning the senior title in 2017 and the 2015 and 2016 junior titles.

OConnor adopted her usual racing tactic of going out hard from the start.

"I just went out there to have a good run and I did that and Im really happy," she said.

Baradene won both the senior girls three and six person teams title.

Tanner, from Bethlehem College in Tauranga retained his senior boys title after a tussle with two of the other leading runners in the field, Liam Back (Wanganui Collegiate) and Murdoch McIntyre (Westlake Boys).

Early leader Saxon Murphy from St Andrews Christchurch headed the field on the first lap but when McIntyre applied the pressure, only Back and Tanner were able to respond.

The three ran together for more than half the race until Tanner decided it was time to move. First McIntyre and then Back fell off the pace and Tanner went on to win the 6km race in 19:02, over Back who recorded 19:10 and McIntyre with a time of 19:18.

Tanner said he has had to juggle his training between the cross country and the 1500m at world under 20 championships in Finland next month.

"Secondary schools cross country is never easy and although Im in world shape for 1500m, I knew they were going to bring it to me so I just held on to them and did just what I had to do to win it," said Tanner.

Westlake Boys High School won the three and six person teams title.

The easy flowing running style of Isabella Richardson from St Cuthberts College in Auckland carried her to victory in the junior girls 3km. Richardson was well clear of Maali Kayle-Ford (Wellington East Girls College) and Maia Flint (Tauranga Girls) in a time of 10:56.

Richardson said that it wasnt as easy as it may have looked.

"The legs were burning on the first hill. It was really challenging and a great race. I went into it aiming for the top three," said Richardson.

St Cuthberts won both team titles.

The junior boys 4km was won by Toby Saxby (Westlake Boys) in 13:21, 20 seconds ahead of Mac Rowe (New Plymouth Boys) with Ben Ruscoe (Westlake Boys) third in 13:44.

"I was hoping for the top three but Im amazed at the outcome and Im happy," said Saxby.

Westlake Boys won the three person teams and Wellington College the six person.

Maia Wilkinson (Wellington East Girls) won the year nine girls 3km in 11:12, from Edie Kozyniak (St Katherines) and Anna Bassett (Wellington East Girls). Christian De Vaal (Macleans College) and Hamilton Boys High teammates Mathijs Wetzels and Joseph Morgan, took out the first three in the year nine boys, De Vaal, who is coached by Theo Quax, won the 3km in 9:57.

Christchurch Girls High School won both the three and six girls teams and Hamilton Boys High School won the boys three team and Wellington College the six person.

Anton Besseling was an impressive winner in the Para athlete 2000m race, from Josh Taylor and Guy Harrison.

Winners of the cross country relays held on Sunday were; Wellington senior boys and girls, Canterbury junior boys, Auckland junior girls, Waikato Bay of Plenty year nine boys and Wellington year nine girls.

Full Results


IAAF World Challenge, 57th Ostrava Golden Spike, Mstsk stadion - 13 June 2018

Tom Walsh won the shot put with a meeting record throw of 22.16m. Michal Haratyk of Poland was second with 22.08m, Tom Stank of the Czech Republic third with 21.46m and Ryan Crouser fourth 21.43m.

The previous meet record of 21.77m was set by Reese Hoffa of USA in 2007. Walshs series of throws were 20.62, 21.54, 22.16, 21.36, 21.80, x.

The World and Commonwealth champion said that he was looking for a further throw than what he achieved.

"I felt I have got much more in me tonight but I just could not get it out of me. It is unexplainable why it is like that," said Walsh.

"The 22 metre performance is always good and I liked the atmosphere and the circle was also good. I hope also the other enjoyed themselves, I certainly did. Now, going home to New Zealand and then I will be ready for the Diamond League in Lausanne," he added.


The Throwers Cup, Mt Dore, 5 May: Nathaniel Sulupo, SP 14.28m (2), DT 50.47m (1), HT 39.74m (2), JT 33.96m (8): Dame Valerie Adams, SP 18.18m (1), DT 34.52m (5), HT 37.46m (4), JT 31.65m (3): Montaya Wharehinga, SP 11.20m (6), DT 33.35m (6), HT 52.53m (1), JT 32.30m (2): Zion Trigger-Feitele 1.75kg DT 41.45 (4). Kaleb Sola 4kg HT 46.27m, 600g JT 42.58m: Max Abbot 1.25kg DT 44.27m; Jonathan Sceats JT 36.06m.


Gold Coast Winter Meeting, 3 June: Katrina Robinson 3000m 9:16.8 h mx (1).

Oceania Combined Events Championships, Townsville, 9/10 June: Christina Ryan heptathlon, 4125 points (1) (100m H 16.07, HJ 1.48m, SP 11.06m, 200m 27.92, LJ 5.13m, JT 34.43m, 800m 2:53.51).


Next Generation Athletics, Nijmegen, 8 June: Camille Buscomb 5000m 15:24.68 (7).


South of England Championships, Bedford, 10 June: Georgie Grgec 5000m 16:36.02 PB (2).

BMC Gold Standard Meeting, Watford, 13 June: Georgie Grgec 1500m 4:26.71 PB (7).


International Meeting, Geneva, 9 June: Lauren Bruce DT 48.16m (1), HT 58.74m (2).


Portland Track Festival, Portland OR, 10 June: Emily Roughan 1500m 4:28.69 PB (8RD).


Pre-World Under 20 Championships Competition, Hawkes Bay Regional Sports Park - 9 June 2018

Ryan Ballantyne 6kg SP 19.98m =PB, Nick Palmer 6kg SP 18.35m. Also competing Nathaniel Sulupo 7.26kg SP 16.04m PB, Torie Owers 4kg SP 15.42m, Zoe Rutherford 3kg SP 7.84m.


U/20 800m Trial Race, Porritt Stadium, 9 June: Samuel Tanner 1:52.09 PB, Nicholas Moulai 1:54.07 PB, Isaiah Priddey 1:54.21 PB.


Well known master runner of Auckland and latterly Thames Len Wilson died on Monday 11 June 2018 aged 84.

He was a stalwart of the Technical Athletic and Harrier Club and one of the longest serving registered athletes in Auckland. He competed with distinction the New Zealand cross country and road championships. Following a third in the 70-74 age group at both the 2008 championships, Wilson went on to win the 75-79 age group at the 2013 cross country and road championships and at the 2014 championships won the 80-84 titles at the cross country and the road, running 57:17 in the 10km road race.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand