Cross Country Nationals

Posted on June 24, 2019

On Friday 14 June, a team of 20 Macleans College students travelled to Timaru to compete in the 46th New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Nationals event.

Upon arrival in Timaru, the team walked the track in preparation for the races the following day. After checking in to the accommodation they had dinner at the local RSA. The next morning, the team gathered together to undertake preparations for the event while having breakfast. An hour before the event was scheduled to start, the first group of students made their way to the venue to prepare for the first race of the day.

The event is split into three different categories; Year 9, Junior and Senior and also separated into male and female groups. The course at Ashbury Park comprised both flat running and moderate hills and two steeplechase jumps for the runners to negotiate. The Year 9 Boys and Girls, as well as the Junior Girls ran a 3km course. The Junior Boys and Senior Girls ran a 4km course and the Senior Boys ran a 6km course. This year, our top year 9 athletes were unable to make the trip to Timaru due to illness and injury and instead, plan on competing for the first time next year in the junior categories.

Jessica Hong (Rutherford House), Kayla Winiata (Rutherford) and Lucy Bird (Snell) were the first Macleans College students to compete, running in the Junior Girls race. Jessica and Lucy finished 64th and 72nd respectively in a very strong field with Kayla picking up an injury agonisingly close to the finish line and was therefore unable to finish.

Christian de Vaal (Kupe) had a Top 10 finish, coming 7th in the Junior Boys race with a time of 14.05. Ronan Codyre (Batten) was next across the line for Macleans College, finishing 12th. Ryan Mayer (Mansfield), Logan Marshall (Batten) and Andre Layawen (Snell) finished 61st, 67th and 101st respectively in the same race.

Krystal Clark (Rutherford) and Caitlin Harley (Upham) finished the Senior Girls race within split seconds of each other, each registering a time of 17.06 with Krystal slightly in front and placing 45th and Caitlin right behind in 46th place. Maddi Hohneck (Snell) and Danielle Chen (Mansfield) also raced in the Senior Girls event, finishing 75th and 104th respectively.

In the final individual event of the day, Macleans College had seven students compete in the Senior Boys event. David de Vaal (Kupe) was the first to finish in a time of 21.54 which saw him placed 42. Following him was Lakshay Bawa (Kupe) who finished 77th, Luke Hitchcock (Snell) 2 seconds behind him in 78th place, Joe Shiozawa (Rutherford) in 98th place, Kalani Hokianga (Kupe) in 113th place, Jake Hellawell (Rutherford) in 116th place and Andre McKay (Te Kanawa) who finishing in 126th place.

In the 3-person team events, the Junior Boys team comprising Christian de Vaal, Ronan Codyre and Ryan Mayer finished in 5th place, the Senior Girls team comprising Krystal Clark, Caitlin Harley and Maddi Hohneck finished in 10th place and the Senior Boys team comprising David de Vaal, Lakshay Bawa and Luke Hitchcock finished in 12th place.

In the 6-person team events, the Senior Boys also comprising David de Vaal, Lakshay Bawa, Luke Hitchcock, as well as Joe Shiozawa, Kalani Hokianga and Jake Hellawell finished in 7th place.

After a quiet night of rest and recuperation, the team was back at the park the following morning to compete in the relays. Representing Counties Manukau, Krystal Clark, Maddi Hohneck and Danielle Chen ran as a part of the Senior Girls race with the team finishing 12th, Andre Layawen, Logan Marshall, Ryan Mayer, Ronan Codyre and Christian de Vaal ran in the Junior Boys race finishing 6th and Lakshay Bawa, Kalani Hokianga, Joe Shiozawa, Luke Hitchcock and David de Vaal ran in the Senior Boys race, finishing in 16th place.

At the end of the relays, the team flew home to Auckland, concluding what was both an enjoyable and successful trip to the South Island.

Well done to all of the students who represented Macleans College with pride.