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Starzynski wins big at awards

The St Matthew’s Collegiate First XI hockey team was named Sports Team of the Year. PHOTO/DAVID BROWNLIE PHOTOS


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The best of Wairarapa’s secondary school athletes were celebrated at Thursday night’s Wairarapa Secondary School Sports Awards.

Mikael Starzynski. PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa College head boy Mikael Starzynski was the big winner on the night, taking home the Sportsman of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year awards.

Among his many achievements, at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships Starzynski was first in the under-18 men’s 400m, first in the under-20 4x400m relay and third in the under-18 4x100m relay.

He was also a reserve for the New Zealand Youth Olympic team, was part of the New Zealand Oceania team and has been selected for the under-18 Australian All Schools Athletics Championships.

Sportswoman of the year went to Natalie Austin, who has vast experience with the St Matthew’s Collegiate First XI hockey team, and is also a member of the 2018 Capital Under-18 and Capital Women National Hockey League teams.

This year she was invited to train with the Black Sticks, and she also gives plenty of her time to coaching others.

Powerlifter Katia Mackenzie won the Emerging Sport award, while Luca Molnar was named Junior Sportsperson of the Year for his efforts in football.

In March, Mackenzie competed at the World Powerlifting Championships in Canada, where she placed fifth overall, and third in the squat.

In April, she won the Central Districts Powerlifting Championships in her class, breaking New Zealand records in the squat, bench press and deadlift.

Molnar is a member of the Rathkeale First XI and also the Wairarapa United Under-17 team.

He competed at the National Age Group Championships and was also selected in the New Zealand Under-15 team that toured Malaysia in July.

The Contribution to Sport award went to Caitlin Elliot, and Sports Team of the Year was won by the St Matthew’s Collegiate First XI Girls’ hockey team.

Elliot is a talented and committed netball umpire who officiates primary grade on Saturday mornings and club and secondary school in the afternoon.

She is also a mentor in Wairarapa College’s umpiring academy.

The St Matthew’s First XI won the Wellington premier 1 grade for the second year running, and finished 13th at the national Federation Cup tournament.

The People’s Choice Award – decided by public vote – went to Mackenzie Batchelor of Chanel College.

She won the award for her contributions to Chanel basketball and netball, as well as her commitment to refereeing.

Starzynski and Austin also won a $200 grant each from the Robert Algie Memorial Sports Trust, as winners of the sportsman and sportswoman categories.

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