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Report: 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.