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Report: New Zealand Secondary Schools Touch Rugby Championships

The Premier Touch Rugby team

During the first week of the summer holidays, the School’s Premier Touch Rugby team travelled to Rotorua to compete at the three-day New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships.

The team had a difficult pool competing against St Bede’s College, Hamilton Boys’ High School, New Plymouth Boys’ High School, Marlborough Boys’ High School and Te Puke High School.

Day one saw the team play all opponents with wins against Marlborough Boys’ High School (9-5) and New Plymouth Boys’ High School (5-4) but losses to St Bede’s College and Hamilton Boys’ High School.

On day two, the team had wins against Te Puke High School (11-1), Palmerston North Boys’ High School (9-8), Whangarei Boys’ High School (8-2) and Shirley Boys’ High School (9-2).

Having won all the games on day two, the Premier Touch Rugby team qualified for the semi-final of the Mahuri Plate against St John’s College, Hamilton. The team played superbly; by sticking to defensive processes they went on to win 7-4 and book a place in the final against Christchurch Boys’ High School for ninth place.

The team had excellent composure and built pressure on attack and defence, and led 5-4 at half-time. Some changes on attack in the second half proved to be effective and the team went on to win 9-6.

Congratulations to the team and to Masters in Charge M. Cuming and Z. King for their guidance and support.

Report: New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships

Athletics Champs 2023

29 members of the School’s Athletics team competed at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships in Christchurch in the first week of December. Over three days, the team endured all possible weather combinations, from dry and windy through to stormy and bitterly cold. However, the squad persevered and performed superbly, earning two Gold, five Silver and six Bronze medals from the meet.

The Track and Field events were successfully opened by the Junior and Senior Middle Distance runners, with five out of six Grammar competitors qualifying for the Semi-finals in the 800m. In the 3000m Form 3 student E. B. Mora ran to an impressive eighth place amidst a strong field. Deputy Head Prefect J. A. Mora demonstrated his experience by winning the Senior 3000m race in 8:33min to claim Gold. In the same race, Form 5 student C. P. Wagener ran a strong race ahead of the pack up until the final 200m, where he crossed the line in fourth place, an inspiring feat for a first-year senior.

Grammar athletes won bronze medals in the field events. Form 6 student J. A. Thomson secured his medal in the Senior Javelin with a throw of 51.63m despite a strong headwind, while Form 5 student M. K. Jacobs threw 12.71m to earn third place in the Junior Shot Put.

At the end of the first day, the 4x100m relay preliminary races were run with both the Junior and Senior teams qualifying for the finals, placing fourth overall.

On day two, more Grammar athletes were in action with Form 3 student T. O. Henderson qualifying for the 100m hurdles final by finishing in sixth place and the Thomson brothers both qualified for the 100m in their respective age categories (L. C. R. Thomson in the junior and J. A. Thomson in the senior). Form 5 student C. G. Howlett ran a strong race in the Senior 300m hurdles event to qualify for his respective final, while Form 4 student M. E. Wilkins qualified for the Junior 1500m.

Two medals were won in the field events with Form 3 student L. J. N. Caffery claiming Bronze in the Junior Discus with a throw of 45.82m and a Silver medal went to Form 4 student O. O. D. B. O. Neely in the Junior Javelin with a throw of 43.94m. 

Day three saw the weather change, providing challenging conditions for the athletes with light showers and a cold wind. On the field, T. O. Henderson finished seventh in the country in the Junior Hurdles. On the track, Form 3 student M. C. Bailey won Bronze in the Junior Racewalk, while Form 3 student H. C. Day and Form 4 student T. C. L. MacDonald raced head-to-head in the Junior Steeplechase, eventually finishing in second and third respectively.

In the 100m sprints, J. A. Thomson ran to seventh place in the Senior grade and L. C. R. Thomson to fourth in the Junior grade in 11.01s and 11.42s, respectively. In the Senior 300m, C. G. Howlett secured second in a time of 39.39s, while 2023 Captain of Athletics J. A. Mora concluded his final race for the School in strong fashion by placing second in the Senior 1500m.

The relays were the final races of the meet, with the athletes displaying the training they have invested by gaining three medals in four races. The Junior 4x100m team, consisting of Form 3 student J. J. Licence and Form 4 students J. T. Braun, M. M. Browne and L. C. R. Thomson, claimed second place in a time of 45.99s, with only 0.01 second ahead of third. Thomson later combined with fellow classmates H. C. Day, J. A. Smith and M. E. Wilkins to win Gold in the Junior 4x400m in a time of 3:33.49min, less than two seconds off the National record.

The Senior 4x100m team – Form 5 students C. G. Howlett and S. C. Paris, Form 6 student J. A. Thomson and Form 7 student J. P. Dew – secured Bronze in a time of 44.30s, while the 4x400m team consisting of R. W. Fitzpatrick, C. G. Howlett, J. A Mora and C. P. Wagener ran to fourth place.

After his strong performance in the 3000m and 1500m, J. A. Mora was officially selected in the New Zealand team.

Congratulations to the entire squad, to Master in Charge N. Leiseder and to coaches S. Bidet, S. Blackwell and C. Oates for their guidance and support of the team.

Report: New Zealand Secondary Schools Road Race Championships

New Zealand Secondary Schools Road Race Championships

On Sunday 10 December, 10 members of the Distance Squad represented Auckland Grammar School at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Road Race Championships in Christchurch.

The course consisted of a flat and fast 1km lap that the boys had to run in particularly wet and windy conditions that resembled the conditions that they usually face during Cross Country races in winter. Despite the inclement weather, all year groups performed exceptionally well and did themselves proud amongst the high standard of competition.

In the Junior Race, Form 4 students X. R. Clark, B. D. H. Dransfield, and J. A. Smith ran bravely over the 4 kilometres of the course. Albeit only in their first year in this category, they jockeyed into great positions in the race and achieved good finishing placements. Their performance augurs well for the upcoming year.

The Form 3 team was composed of M. Bayley, F. E. M. Crump and E. B. Mora,. After their strong performance at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships earlier this year, the team secured second place. Mora ran smartly throughout the race to stay at the front and placed third, while Crump strategically gained positioning throughout the 3km of the race to cross the finish line in sixth position.

The Senior race started in pouring rain. From start to finish Form 5 student C. P. Wagener was strategically positioned near the front of the pack to stay sheltered from strong winds and poised to counter any opponent attacks. In the last lap, his acceleration stretched out the pack with only a handful of runners left to fight for the win. Despite running against opponents two years ahead of him and being overtaken 70m from the finish line, Wagener persisted, responding with an ultimate effort to regain the lead and cross the finish line as the winner, just over a second ahead of his closest competitor. A. V. Wilkins and R. W. Fitzpatrick also ran a superb race by running strategically and gaining positioning throughout the race to finish 15th and 21st respectively, securing a Silver medal in the three-man team.

After his strong performance, Wagener was officially selected in the New Zealand team.

Congratulations to the Distance Squad for their continued success in 2023 and to Master in Charge S. Bidet for his support and guidance of the squad.

The B. F. Connell Prize for Dux: J. K. D. Kumar

The B. F. Connell Prize for Dux: J. K. D. Kumar

The B. F. Connell Prize for Dux of the School is awarded to Jayden Kumar. Jayden has maintained a place in the top five students in the A stream throughout his time at Auckland Grammar School.

His academic abilities are exceptional. In Form 6, he scored 93 in A Level Mathematics, 94 in Cambridge AS Level Biology, 94 in Physics, 95 in Chemistry and 96 in English Literature.

Jayden also achieved NZQA Scholarships in English, Statistics, Earth and Space Science and Geography, and an Outstanding Scholarship in Chemistry. He was one of the 51 students nationally who were awarded Outstanding Scholarship Awards at the 2022 Top Scholars Awards Ceremony. In recognition of his achievements, he was named on the 2022 Honours Board at this year’s Scholars’ Assembly.

Jayden has continued to excel in Form 7, maintaining As for Attitude and Effort throughout the year. In his final set of examinations, he scored 88 in A Level Physics, 89 in Biology, 96 in Chemistry and 97 in Level 3 Latin, giving him an overall aggregate for the year of 370/400.

His academic achievements have been recognised previously through the award of the Delamare Prize for Biology, the Wayne Douglas Prize for Physics, and the Dr Kidd Memorial Prize. In 2023, he also received the Eric Astley Prize for the top performance in Science and Mathematics, the Ben Gould Prize for Chemistry, and the H. O. Ingram Prize for Form 7 Latin. 

In his time at the School, Jayden has actively engaged with a number of extracurricular activities. He is a member of the Chronicle Committee, the Debating Premier Advanced team and Football Senior 1, he is Captain of Debating, a Library Monitor, and a member of the Model United Nations group.

He is a 2023 Prefect and a member of the School’s Proceres Grammatici group for top scholars. In 2023, he was also selected to represent New Zealand in the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Jayden is described by his masters as “a student of rare ability”, with “acumen, motivation to succeed”, a “genuine interest” in his subjects and a willingness to work beyond the scope of the syllabus. 

Jayden embodies the School’s values in a remarkable way, working with humility, diligence and a warm and personable approach.

The 2023 Sportsman of the Year: J. A. Mora

The 2023 Sportsman of the Year: J. A. Mora

The Sportsman of the Year is awarded to the student who is the highest performing sportsman in a single code, and the 2023 recipient is Deputy Head Prefect J. A. Mora.

Jamie Mora is an able sportsman who has earned national recognition at the Under 20 level in both Distance Running and Cross Country this year.

At the New Zealand Secondary Schools Road Race in December 2022, Jamie won the 6km race setting a new record time of 18:13. He followed this up by winning the Auckland Road Race title and guiding the three and six-man teams to Bronze.

On the track, his record-breaking performances continued as he won the Senior 1500m at the Auckland Secondary Schools Championships in a record time of 3:56:06.

His performances in Cross Country are also impressive. After illness and a long recovery, Jamie returned to place fourth at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships, helping the School win the Senior Boys’ three-man race and Silver in the six-man race.

His dedication and commitment to his training have seen him secure a scholarship to the University of Missouri in Columbia in the United States in 2024, a powerhouse in NCAA athletics.

Alongside being the Deputy Head Prefect, Jamie was Captain of Athletics in 2023. He also received Colours in 2022 and 2023, and won the College Sport Young Sportsman of the Year award for Distance Running.

The Rope Cup recipient: Q. H. D. Te Tamaki

The Rope Cup recipient: Q. H. D. Te Tamaki

The Rope Cup is for the best all-round young man in the School, the young man who has been most outstanding for personality, leadership, strength of character, a sense of responsibility in performance of duties, scholarship, co-operation with staff and an athletic prowess and record in school activities.

The emphasis is on personal achievement – the best young man on the above points. Much of this could be achieved in his final year and the 2023 recipient is Head Prefect Q. H. D. Te Tamaki.

Quinlan Te Tamaki has distinguished himself for his inclusive style of leadership, a good sense of humour, self-reliance and compassion. He has acquired a broad range of knowledge that he has utilised well in the Cambridge pathway over the last two years, including Top in the World in AS Physical Education.

Quinlan has been fully committed to School life, acting with personal responsibility and courage to uphold high expectations daily. He has been held in universal esteem by staff and students because of the quality of his interactions with others, and he has represented the School with calmness and composure in all capacities. 

He has demonstrated athletic prowess and courage as a committed member of both the 1st XV Rugby Team and the Premier Touch Rugby team this year.

As the 2023 Head Prefect, Quinlan has been an exceptional leader – one who presents at first with a quiet disposition and is often self-deprecating, but it is in the consistency of his actions that his true character and ability is tangible and quickly understood.

Quinlan has personified the School’s values through his genuine interest in others, and respect of them. Alongside his personal attributes, he has achieved well, both academically and in sport. In doing so has built resilience, strength of character and integrity.

These characteristics along with his humility and empathy have engendered confidence in those around him. Quinlan Te Tamaki knows who he is, where he belongs and he has willingly served others.

The Torch of Tradition recipient: J. A. Mora

The Torch of Tradition recipient: J. A. Mora

The Torch of Tradition is awarded to the young man who has been most conspicuous for devotion to the School and its traditions, service and self-sacrifice, general conduct inside and outside the School, character, bearing and manner, and a sense of responsibility and school spirit.

The record over the whole of a young man’s school career, or most of it, will have to be considered, and the 2023 recipient is Deputy Head Prefect J. A. Mora.

Jamie Mora is an able all-round student who has worked with determination to advance his academic standing in Cambridge qualifications. 

He has been committed to School life throughout his five years at the School and has demonstrated considerable character in and outside of the classroom through his conduct and demeanour.

As an athlete, Jamie has demonstrated leadership, responsibility and service as Captain of Athletics this year. He is community-minded as has been tangibly demonstrated through his support of the School at a range of events and the sidelines of Premier sports fixtures.

Jamie has been this year’s Deputy Head Prefect. He has contributed extensively to the tone and culture of the School through his partnership with Head Prefect Quinlan Te Tamaki as well as the Prefect cohort. He has readily accepted responsibility and shown pride in his School through his actions.

Jamie has responded with modesty, respect and good humour as a representative of Auckland Grammar School and has lived our values.

Jamie Mora has made the most of the opportunities presented to him. He has excelled, understood and respected Auckland Grammar School traditions and endorsed its ethos through his service, character, bearing and manner.

The Ian Mackinlay Memorial Scholarship recipient: A. K. Baker

The Ian Mackinlay Memorial Scholarship recipient: A. K. Baker

The Ian Mackinlay Memorial Scholarship is for a young man who has shown personal excellence in every field of endeavour, whether in the classroom, on the sports field, or in cultural activities. Essential values shown should include honesty, loyalty and integrity as well as strength and determination in tackling challenges.

The recipient should have shown a responsibility to the wider community, showing a combination of individual excellence, commitment to others and pride in being part of a team, and the 2023 recipient is Senior Prefect A. K. Baker.

Angus Baker has earned the right to be described as a highly regarded member of the School community for his tenacity, humility, self-discipline and high level of personal organisation.

His ability, focus and commitment have enabled him to achieve sound academic results. In 2021, Baker produced an 89.75% average over four Advanced Subsidiary (AS) subjects and 90% in A Level Mathematics in the Cambridge International Examinations.

He has also participated in a broad range of extracurricular activities. This year alone these have included the student editor of the Chronicle, the Ethics Olympiad, the Headmaster’s Social Awareness Group, Interact, Model United Nations and Proceres Grammatici.

Angus was appointed as a 2023 Senior Prefect and Head Boy of Tibbs House. In both capacities he has displayed outstanding leadership skills. He has applied himself cheerfully and energetically to all aspects of School life, is affable and held in high regard by his peers and teachers. 

His character approach and performance have seen him awarded the Sir Douglas Meyers Scholarship to study at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University in 2024.

Angus is a personable young man with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. He has been a loyal, proud and significant contributor to Auckland Grammar School.

Angus Baker has the utmost integrity and has embodied the School’s values and he is a worthy recipient of the Ian Mackinlay Memorial Scholarship.

The Headmaster’s Prize for Proxime Accessit: O. J. Gunson

Oliver Gunson as the Proxime Accessit

Oliver Gunson is an extremely capable academic, having maintained a place in the top six of the A stream at the end of every year during his time at Auckland Grammar School.

Oliver’s academic strengths are evidenced by his remarkable attainment. In Form 6, he was first in class and recognised with the Flying Officer Alfred P. Fogerty Memorial Scholarship, the Headmaster’s Prize for the Outstanding Scholar in 6A, and awarded the Dr F. Wilson Lang Memorial Prize for Mathematics.

In his end-of-year Cambridge examinations, he scored 94 in A Level Mathematics, 87 in AS Level English Literature, 94 (and Top in New Zealand) in Biology, 96 in Physics, and 97 (and Top in New Zealand ) in Chemistry. He also achieved NZQA Scholarships in English, Calculus, Biology and Earth and Space Science, and an Outstanding Scholarship in Chemistry.

His achievements saw him named on the Honours Board for 2022, and he was one of the 51 students nationally who were awarded Outstanding Scholarship Awards at the 2022 Top Scholars Awards Ceremony. These levels of achievement saw him invited to join Proceres Grammatici, the School’s elite group of our most promising scholarship candidates, in 2023.

Oliver continued these excellent academic standards in 2023, being first in Class in A Level Biology and AS Level Accounting, third in Class in Chemistry and fifth equal in Physics in his Term 3 examinations. His achievements are recognised in 2023 with the award of the Eric Astley Prize, the O’Sullivan Prize for Biology, and the Rabone Prize for Form 7 Science.

Oliver has consistently contributed to the extracurricular life of the School. He has played Football and been involved with Orienteering throughout his time at Grammar, and was Captain of Orienteering in 2023.

He has been a Library Monitor, he completed Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards in 2021 and 2022, and in 2023 he has served as a School Prefect. He was also selected as a member of the New Zealand team for the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Oliver is highly regarded by all his masters. He has maintained a straight-A average for his attitude and effort in every end-of-year report. He embodies the Grammar values, especially in his commitment, and his masters draw attention to his “content mastery”, his “excellent problem-solving skills”, his ability to sustain a high level of performance and to act as a role model to his peers at all times.

Oliver hopes to pursue engineering later in life, and next year, he plans to study for a conjoint degree in Engineering and Commerce at the University of Auckland.

The Hal Radford Memorial Trophy recipient: A. D. Lipscombe

The 2023 Hal Radford Memorial Trophy: A. D. Lipscombe

The Hal Radford Memorial Trophy is awarded to the young man who by quality of performance and all-round effort has also contributed the administration of a sporting code.

This award is given to a young man involved in a sport that is not necessarily considered a mainstream code and the 2023 recipient is Prefect A. D. Lipscombe, for his contributions to Olympic Weightlifting.

Aidan Lipscombe has been a member of the School’s Weightlifting squad for four years, starting the sport as a Form 4 student while at Tibbs House.

He has become renowned in the Weightlifting community for his vociferous encouragement of Grammar lifters, but also for his quieter encouragement of fellow lifters from other schools. His ability to boost younger lifters’ confidence with such support has made him a popular figure on the Olympic Weightlifting competition circuit.

In 2022, Aidan won gold in the 102kg class and claimed the Jerry Wallwork Trophy for the best weightlifter in the School.

This year at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships, he earned Bronze. With his personal best 100kg snatch and 110kg clean and jerk, this 210kg total was the biggest by a Grammar lifter in the competition in seven years. 

Aidan has also continued to actively recruit students into the code.