Bright future for medallist
Pressure, tears and a nervous wait were all rewarded with a gold medal as Waimea College's Shaane Fulton excelled at cycling's age group track nationals.
Shaane returned from the Invercargill Velodrome with three medals after nailing her goal to win the 500 metres time trial in her under-15 age group. The 13-year-old flyer then went on to pick up a silver medal in the 750m derby and a bronze in the 2 kilometre scratch race.
On Sunday afternoon, Tasman won a bronze in the under-17 girls' team sprint won by Laura Anderson and Michaela Kerr, who are both also at Waimea College.
Shaane was a standout competitor while at intermediate, and she hoped that being at college would help her stay motivated and enjoy cycling while having a larger group of riders to bounce ideas and talk two wheels with.
Yet, it is a very lonely place sitting on the start line before the start of a time trial, as Shaane explained.
"The first night was the 500 metre time trial, and that was my main focus," she said. "I got on to the start line and put a heap of pressure on myself and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes because I had put too much pressure on myself."
But in a dash the race was over, Shaane had turned that emotion into energy and looked up to see how she had done. "We found that the electric time wasn't working, so we had to wait for the manual timing. No one knew who had won, so that was just a nervous wait. But when the times came out, I was first."
Describing herself as more of a "short, sharp" specialist when compared with the longer distance, Shaane said she had been building to this event since last year's event. Shaane beat out the impressive Sammy Ogle of Christchurch.
For someone who is "not a big fan" of long-distance rides, the first-year college student is still successful on the road. Her next goal is to improve on second place she claimed as a 12-year old in the under-15 at the road nationals in Cambridge next month.