Rackham pulls out of cross-country champs
High-profile athlete Jordan Rackham has pulled out of today's Southland cross-country championships at Waimumu, near Gore.
Rackham is troubled by a knee injury and doesn't want to aggravate it by competing in the senior men's 12km.
He might attend the championships as a spectator.
His previous competitive run was in the AB Lime Climb at Winton on June 28.
"I finished fourth overall and had the second-fastest time, behind Jack [Beaumont]," Rackham said yesterday.
In consultation with a physiotherapist, Rackham plans to continue working out at Invercargill's Splash Palace and resume track-training next week.
He hopes to use the Wyndham relays next Saturday as a stepping-stone to competing at the national cross-country championships in Christchurch on August 9.
Rackham's coach, Lance Smith, said most of the Southland entries for the national championships would be in action today.
The course is where the Southern Field Days are held every two years.
"There's a hill, a creek to run through, and soft bits. It's going to be a test," Smith said.
Ricky Gutsell, of Gore, will be eager to turn the tables on Riverton's Corey Mennell in the masters section today.
Mennell (14min 29sec) led home Gutsell (14:56) over 4km at the Heather Skerrett memorial cross-country at Elizabeth Park, Invercargill, last Saturday.
Hannah Miller (16.08) and Ffion Muhl (16.14), both coached by Smith, were first and second, respectively, in the women's under-18 4km run at the Skerrett memorial fixture.
They square off again in the same division, but over 6km, today.
Miller is unbeaten this season.
Her sister Briana will have a similar battle with Kate Johnstone in the girls' under-15 3km.
Briana Miller won at the Skerrett memorial meet, while Johnstone had success at the McIndoe cross-country in Te Anau on July 5.
Other prominent runners competing today include Jack Beaumont, Liam Cullen, Buddy Small, Benji Britton and Finn Rogers.
The Southland Times