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Report: New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships

On Saturday 17 June, 19 members of the Distance Squad represented Auckland Grammar School at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Palmerston North.

The course was exciting with some long fast straights, as well as challenging hills in uneven farmland terrain, making it particularly gruelling for ankles. 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, J. A. Smith and B. J. Worrall ran bravely over the 4km course. Albeit young, being only in their first year in this category, they jockeyed into great positions in the race and achieved good finishing placements, setting them up for strong seasons to come.

Despite having only ever raced cross-country once before, the Form 3 team, composed of M. Bayley, F. E. M. Crump, A. J. Edward, K. A. Jones and E. B. Mora ran strategically. The tactics of Crump, Edward and Mora to run the entire race closely together rewarded them with a Silver medal in the three-man team.

The Senior race started at an incredibly fast pace with Form 5 student C. P. Wagener and Deputy Head Prefect J. A. Mora maintaining solid positions at the front of the pack, with Form 5 students R. W. Fitzpatrick and A. V. Wilkins following closely behind.

Using their experience in this type of race, Mora and Fitzpatrick strategically gained positioning throughout the race. Wagener, who was running against opponents two years ahead of him, fought valiantly for his spot, gaining a second-place finish in the Grammar senior team. Mora finished fourth overall, followed by Wagener in 10th place and Fitzpatrick in 15th, altogether becoming National Champions as a three-man team.

Wilkins, along with Form 5 student S. C. Randerson, and Form 7 student J. E. M. Park gave their all throughout the 6km of the course to secure a Silver medal as part of the six-man team.  

After their strong performances, J. A. Mora and C. P. Wagener were officially selected in the New Zealand team that will compete in Australia later this year.

These performances across all categories augur well for the upcoming New Zealand Secondary Schools Road Race Championships that will be held in Christchurch at the end of the year.

Congratulations to all members of the squad and to Master in Charge S. Bidet for his constant support, encouragement and guidance of the squad.