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Hunter running at front of the pack

Masterton Intermediate School’s Jack Hunter won a cross-country event at the AIMS Games in Tauranga. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE


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Masterton Intermediate School’s Jack Hunter runs to the top of Mt Dick every Monday – he likes a challenge when it comes to running.

On Sunday, the 12-year-old bettered 169 of the fastest Year 7s in the country to take the top spot at a notable cross-country event.

The AIMS Games (Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools) is an yearly sporting event held in Tauranga that brings together top competitors from across New Zealand, Tonga and the Cook Islands.

Jack blitzed through the cross-country course in 10 minutes and 20 seconds, flying over two hurdles and charging up a steep hill to take the win.

He said he had one clear tactic – get out front and stay out front.

He was often looking over his shoulder to keep track of the opposition.

“You can feed off their energy when they want to pass,” he said.

Jack is no stranger to cross-country glory, having won the inter-regional cross-country competition in 2015 and 2016.

In late September, he will compete for a third consecutive win in Timaru.

He will be the only pupil from Wairarapa competing in the Year 7 boys’ category.

In summer, Jack enjoys athletics and favours the 1500m, 2km and 3km.

“I’m not much of a sprinter,” he said, although he is certainly quick enough to hold a spot as a striker for his soccer team.

Jack said he loved running and it would be cool to one day “wear that silver fern” for his country.

He wanted to thank this school for putting him forward, and thank his coach David Knox and his family for their support.

He said his coach was the one who told him to “go hard at the start and stay out front”.

Principal Russell Thompson said Jack’s win at the AIMS games was a “fantastic achievement”.



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