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Wairarapa’s next generation of stars going well

Bridget Allan won several age group medals. PHOTO/FILE

Times-Age sportswriter CHRIS COGDALE looks at the big moments Wairarapa students produced this year.

HOCKEY

Waicol celebrate their win in the Wellington hockey premiership.

The Wairarapa College Boys First XI provided the highlight beating Wellington College in a shootout in the final of the Wellington schools premiership.

Rathkeale finished third in the same competition and then went through the Johnson Cup [national tournament] unbeaten.

St Matthew’s made the Wellington schoolgirls premiership final but were no match for Wellington Girls’ College.

Waicol and St Matthew’s teams finished mid-table at their premier national tournaments.

Waicol’s Oliver Bunny and Amy Rossiter-Stead were selected for national under-18 squads.

FOOTBALL

Nina Kondo

Rathkeale and Wairarapa College competed in the Wellington premier championship, with Rathkeale qualifying for the top four.

Rathkeale finished a creditable 14th at the national schools tournament.

Waicol successfully retained the Trident Trophy, winning a penalty shootout in the final against St John’s Hamilton.

Rathkeale’s Noah Boyce made the national Under-19 team that played a series of matches in Australia, while Riley Grover was selected for the Under-16s.

Solway’s Nina Kondo was picked for the New Zealand team to contest the Oceania women’s Under-17 qualifiers.

ATHLETICS

Promising middle-distance runner Liam Lamb [Waicol] represented New Zealand at the Australian cross-country championships, finishing a respectable 23rd.

Rathkeale student Joe Quinn won silver in the hammer throw at the national secondary schools championships.

Jarrod Yee

Kuranui’s Jarrod Yee taught himself the triple jump after watching a YouTube video and broke several records within a couple of months.

Athletes with disabilities were to the fore, with Josh Taylor [Waicol], Ben Taylor [Waicol] and Jack Lewington [Kuranui] winning numerous medals at national and regional level.

NETBALL

Wairarapa College provided the highlight, qualifying for the final of the Wairarapa premier one championship, losing to perennial champions Harcourts in a close tussle.

Waicol were 19th in the A Grade at the Lower North Island Championships, and St Matthew’s had a top 10 finish in the B Grade.

Waicol student Vyktah Tamihana broke new ground when he was picked for the national men’s team for the Under-20 world championships.

RUGBY

Waicol finished sixth in the strong Wellington Premier Grade, with three wins from their nine games.

Rathkeale finished the Central North Island Championship without a win in 10th place.

CRICKET

St Matthew’s third placing at the Gillette Venus Cup national secondary school tournament was the highlight of a busy season.

Rathkeale completed their second consecutive unbeaten season in the Umpires Cup. Wairarapa College finished the Wellington Premier Reserve Term Four competition with three wins from their six games.

OTHER SPORTS

Waicol’s Mia Thomas captained the Under-18 Paddle Ferns at the Oceania canoe polo championships. Safi Thomson [St Matthew’s] was in the B team.

Wellington Kartsport Rookie of the Year, Tyler Edney [Kuranui], and junior women’s national motocross runner-up Ella Shannon [Solway] shone in motorsports.

Wellington bowls champion Olivia Mancer [Solway], equestrian champions Rebecca Mobberley and Hollie Falloon [both Waicol], national age-group swimming medallist Bridget Allan, rising softball star Beau-Leah Karaitiana, national squash development squad members Hunter Wyeth [Rathkeale] and Mark Steventon [Waicol] were just some of the other outstanding achievers.

There are probably some missing but that’s a brief look back on the successes of some of our rising secondary school sports stars.

For my overall highlight it must be Kondo’s selection in the NZ Under-17 team for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Team-wise, it’s hard to go past St Matthew’s cricketers and their third placing at the Gillette Venus Cup.

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