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Course ideal for nationals

By Gary Caffell

The course was the big winner when the New Zealand road racing championships were held in Masterton on Saturday.

Both competitors and spectators were generally agreed that the decision to use a route taking in Cole, Coradine and Perry streets, including the town square, which measured just 1km per lap, provided a superb atmosphere for this particular event.

The senior titles were taken out by two of the favourites, Daniel Balchin (Canterbury) and Laura Nagel (Hawke’s Bay).

Balchin was always up with the pace in the 10-lap men’s race and with 4kms to go it had become a battle royal between five runners, Balchin, Caden Shields (Otago), Jono Jackson (Auckland), Nick Rennie (Canterbury) and Michael Banks (Auckland).

They stayed together until the last lap when Balchin and Shields took control and it was Balchin who was stronger over the closing stages, posting a winning time of 31mins 43secs. It was his first national winter title, and goes alongside his four senior track titles over 3000m and the 3000m steeplechase. Shields was second in 31.47 and Jackson third in 32.02.

Nagel, winner of the national 10km cross country title four weeks earlier, made no race of the senior women’s race, also held over 10km. She opened a commanding lead early in proceedings and maintained the momentum all the way through. Lydia O’Donnell (Auckland) was second in 35.46 and Katie Kemp (Wellington) third in 36.08.

Not even the fact he was ill during the week preceding the championships stopped Michael Voss (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) from taking out the under-20 men’s 8km race for the second successive year. He finished in 26.44 with Sean Eustace (Canterbury) coming on strongly over the last lap to take second in 26.57. Remarkably there was only just the one entry in the women’s under-20 race over 5km and that title went to Kelsey Foreman (Wellington) in 19.29.

There was just a small contingent of Wairarapa athletes participating in the championships and the highlight for them was provided by talented youngster Jack Hunter who was third in the under-13 boys 2km event in 6.48, just 5secs behind winner Jack Julian (Olympian). Also making it to the podium in their Masters age groups were Andrea Harris, Tony Price and David Farlow.

Major results:-


Senior 10km: Daniel Balchin (Canterbury) 31m 43s 1, Caden Shields (Otago) 31m 47s 2, Jono Jackson (Auckland) 32m 2s 3. Teams: Canterbury 1, Wellington 2, Auckland 3.

Masters 10km: Steve Rees-Jones (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) 33m 42s 1, Daniel Clendon (Wellington) 34m 0s 2, Dan Nixon (Wellington) 34m 7s 3. Teams: 35-49yrs, Wellington 1, Waikato Bay of Plenty 2; 50yrs plus, Wellington 1, Auckland 2, Canterbury 3.

U20 8km: Michael Voss (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) 26m 44s 1, Sean Eustace (Canterbury) 26m 57s 2, Stefan Przychodzko (Wellington) 26m 58s 3. Teams: Canterbury 1, Wellington 2, Auckland 3.

U18 6km: Mitchell Small (Canterbury) 19m 7s 1, James Uhlenberg (Auckland) 19m 13s 2, Max Karamanolis (Wellington) 19m 36s 3. Teams; Wellington 1, Manawatu/Wanganui 2.:

U15 3km: Finlay Seeds (Trentham) 9m 41s 1, Ollie Marshall (Napier) 9m 52s 2, Mitchell Snell (Napier) 9m 57s 3.

U13 2km: Jack Julian (Olympic) 6m 43s 1, Alex Martin (Olympic) 6m 45s 2, Jack Hunter (Wairarapa) 6m 48s 3.

Race walk 10km: Mike Parker (Auckland) 53m 2s 1, Lyndon Hohaia (Auckland) 1h 3m 22s 2. 45-49yrs: Sean Lake (Wellington) 1h 3m 10s. 50-54; Des Hussey (Taranaki) 1h 17m 29s. 55-59yrs: Rodney Gillum (Taranaki) 1h 1m 54s 60-64yrs Peter Fox (Taranaki) 1h 00m 58s .65-69yrs: Eric Kemsley (Taranaki) 55m 50s 1, Peter Baillie (Wellington) 59m 49s 2.

Senior 10km: Laura Nagel (Hawke’s Bay-Gisborne 35m 14s 1, Lydia O’Donnell (Auckland) 35m 46s 2, Katie Kemp (Wellington) 36m 8s 3. Teams:Wellington 1, Auckland 2.

Masters 5km: Sally Gibbs (Waikato-Bay of Plenty)) 17m 52s 1, Victoria Humphries (Wellington) 19m 38s 2, Lindsay Barwick (Wellington) 19m 53s 3. Teams; Wellington 1, Auckland 2, Manawatu-Wanganui 3.

U20 5km: Kelsey Forman (Wellington) 19m 29s 1.

U18 5km: Hannah O’Connor (Taranaki) 17m 35s 1, Tessa Webb (Manawatu-Wanganui) 18m 20s 2, Grace Ritchie (Waikato-Bay of Plenty) 18m 40s 3. Teams: Wellington 1, Auckland 2.

U15 3km: Charli Miller (Hamilton) 10m 10s 1, Briana Irving (Gisborne) 10m 34s 2, Caitlin Bassett (Wellington) 10m 42s 3.

U13 2km: Maia Wilkinson (Wellington) 7m 9s 1, Millie Jenkins (Olympic) 7m 37s 2, Bella Ives (Feilding) 7m 47s 3.

Race walk 10km: Laura Langley (Hawke’s Bay-Gisborne) 50m 26s 1, Rozie Robinson (Cant) 53m 4s 2. Under-18 km: Laura Kehely (Egmont) 31m 42s 1.

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