Waimea girls best in country

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 10:17 09/04/2014
Val Smith, Jo Edwards and Shannon McIlroy
WINNERS: Waimea College’s girls team of Katie Malthus, left, Michelle Heslop, Libby Malthus, Ali Burrell have been crowned the New Zealand secondary schools adventure racing champions.

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College teams have continued the proud Nelson tradition of excellence in adventure racing, with four out of five teams grabbing a podium finish to go with a national title.

The Waimea College girls' team of Katie Malthus, Michelle Heslop, Libby Malthus and Ali Burrell were crowned the New Zealand secondary schools adventure racing champions following the 2014 edition of GO-4-12 in the Kereru area of Hawke's Bay, on Sunday.

Garin College entered three teams and had a perfect podium record with each of the senior girls, senior boys and junior team placing third overall. Waimea College also recorded a sixth in the senior boys event.

The GO-4-12 Youth Adventure Race is the official New Zealand secondary schools adventure racing championships and the New Zealand youth adventure challenge.

It is an authentic adventure race with the core disciplines consisting of mountain biking, walking/running, tube rafting, rope skills and navigation. The race is 12 hours in duration and the teams of four will face both physical and mental challenges while covering a picturesque course designed by experienced adventure racers.

GO-4-12 is open to all New Zealand secondary school students. There are four categories: boys, girls, mixed and juniors. It is expected at least one member of each team must be a confident navigator.

Waimea College adventure racing mentor and coach Jane Orbell said the girls' result was all the more impressive given it was their first attempt at the 12-hour race.

"They won the girls' race convincingly due to their fitness, navigation and very importantly their teamwork and communication," said Orbell.

"One of the girls was always asking the map reader where they were, where were they going next which made them always focus on the map and be totally aware of their surroundings.

"It was the first time Waimea have been to the national youth adventure race competition and it is traditionally dominated by New Plymouth, who often win the Hillary Challenge."

Orbell said the race was also good preparation for the Hillary Challenge in May. The other race the Waimea teams are preparing for is the Ultimate Wilderness six-hour race in Murchison in three weeks.

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