School crosscountry champs had tills ringing

GOOD SPORTS - PETER LAMPP AND GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 23/06/2014

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The New Zealand Secondary Schools crosscountry championships at Massey University would have made a big contribution to the Palmerston North hospitality economy on Friday and Saturday.

There were 922 athletes from 121 schools taking part, and all schools had parents and officials with them.

The car park was loaded with vans from schools from all over the country. The event hadn't been held in Manawatu since 1975 on a course at Aokautere, and most praised the Massey course.

One Tauranga person said they "were not used to the cold", as if they had come to Antarctica. The temperature at noon was a balmy 14.7 degrees.

■ Palmerston North athlete Kara Macdermid now holds a national record which had stood for 33 years.

Her time of 9min 17.58sec for the 3000 metres set on April 15 at a Palmerston North meeting has been ratified as a New Zealand under-17 record, after prodding by the Palmerston North club. The record was held by Canterbury's Sue Bruce (9:19.76) since 1981. Macdermid is off this week to race in Europe. She turns 17 in September.

■ Bowls and squash are mourning the recent death of Julie Palmer.

As a Northern bowler, she recently won her gold star for winning five centre titles. A very steady lead, she had been in and out of the top Manawatu team and she worked as a merchandiser. In squash, as Julie Hislop, she was a New Zealand player in 1968 and before that was a New Zealand junior.

■ Palmerston North's Mark Rule made his debut at the football World Cup in Brazil as assistant referee yesterday and it wasn't without controversy.

Rule, in the refereeing team with Kiwis Peter O'Leary and Jan-Hendrik Hintz for the match between Nigeria and Bosnia Herzegovina, ruled Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko offside when he appeared to have scored in the first half. Replays showed Dzeko was onside, and Rule was copping nasty stuff on Twitter and from the players on the field, because the loss saw Bosnia Herzegovina crash out.

■ Feilding High School is again sending a mass of basketballers to the United States in December.

In December 2011, the school took a boys' team to the Polytechnic Varsity Boys' basketball in Los Angeles, but boys and girls teams are going this time and to a youth invitational tournament in Kona, Hawaii.

■ Jimmy Nicholls, a Manawatu rugby three-quarter in 62 games between 1960 and 1965, died recently in Lower Hutt aged 78.

He was an All Black trialist in 1961 and 1965, in the 1950s he played 29 games for Horowhenua out of Rahui in Otaki and also played for NZ Maori, scoring 50 tries in his 108-game career. Nicholls later lived in Wainuiomata, was a mate of Manawatu legend Jimmy Taitoko, regularly attended Manawatu old-timers days and got many under-privileged kids into sports.

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■ Manawatu rugby league must surely have set a record on Saturday.

Competition leaders Whiti Te Ra pumped Feilding 102-16 in Feilding and Kia Ora thrashed the Ohakea Magpies 106-4.

Scoring 100 points is rare, but for it to happen twice in one weekend has to be a first.

- Manawatu Standard

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