Sprinters lead way for NZ at Oceania champs

Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012

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New Zealand sprinters Katie Schofield and Eddie Dawkins won three medals between them on the opening night of finals at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships in Adelaide.

Amid scorching conditions, Schofield partnered London Olympian Natasha Hansen to win the team sprint.

The Otago rider then finished second to Australian Olympic medallist Kaarle McCulloch in the 500m time trial.

Dawkins dominated the field to win the men's 1000m time trial, finishing more than two seconds clear of fellow Southlander Cam Karwowski, and establishing a personal best in the process.

The highlight for the endurance riders came in the last event of the night, when a superb team effort led to victory for Waimate's Dylan Kennett in the 15km scratch race.

Te Awamutu rider Hayden McCormick pushed to the front with nine laps remaining while Kennett and Bulling latched on behind.

The big Waikato rider produced a powerful display of time trialling to remain in front until two laps remained before Kennett took over. He pushed clear to claim the win with Bulling holding off world junior omnium champion Caleb Ewan (Australia) for second.

It proved a relatively quiet opening night for the BikeNZ contingent in what is the start of their summer campaign, targeting the national championships in February which will play a key part in selection for the international season.

Schofield and Hansen topped qualifiers and improved in the evening final to record 34.450, close to their best time, to beat home Australians Rikki Belder and Stephanie Morton.

Schofield clocked a classy 35.342 in the 500m time trial with the Australian winning in 34.260. Southland's former triple junior world championship medallist, Steph McKenzie, was third in 35.562.

Dawkins, back into full training only four weeks ago, reeled off a world-class time to win the men's 1000m in 1:01.363.

"It means that regardless of the time I've had off, you can always come back and come back stronger," he said.

"I've cut down on the socialising and the late-night feeding, to stick to a diet and keep away from the pub.

"Everyone puts on a bit after time off but I am coming down slowly and surely and happy where I am at."

The other medal performance was by Christchurch's Alice Hay, who took out the junior women's scratch race. She chased home New South Wales' Josie Talbot in a sprint finish but the Australian was relegated for not holding her line in the sprint.

The championships continue until tomorrow.

Day 1 finals results. -

Elite men - Team sprint: Australia (Alex Bird, Peter Lewis, Matthew Glaetzer) 44.066, 1; New Zealand (Eathan Mitchell, Matt Archibald, Sam Webster) 44.451, 2; NSW, 44.851, 3.

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3000m team pursuit: Australia 4:02.106, 1; New Zealand (Scott Creighton, Dylan Kennett, Hayden McCormick, Pieter Bulling) 4:10.324, 2.

1000m time trial: Eddie Dawkins (NZL 1:01.363, 1; Cameron Karwowski (NZL) 1:03.670, 2; Matt Dodds (Southland) 1:05.360, 3.

Scratch race 15km: Dylan Kennett (NZL) 1, Pieter Bulling (NZL) 2, Caleb Ewan (NZL) 3.

Elite Women - Team sprint: New Zealand (N Hansen, K Schofield) 34.450, 1; Australia (R Belder, S Morton) 34.622, 2.

3000m team pursuit: Australia (Ashlee Ankudinoff, Annette Edmondson, Isabella King) 3:23.812, 1; New Zealand (Georgia Williams, Gemma Dudley, Alysha Keith) 3:33.100, 2; Australia B 3:27.595, 3; New Zealand Junior (Holly Edmondston, Alice Hay, Laura Heywood) 4:05.600, 4.

500m time trial: Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) 34.260, 1; Katie Schofield (NZL) 35.342, 2; Steph McKenzie (NZL) 35.562, 3.

Scratch race 10km: Ashley Ankudinoff (AUS) 1, Isabella King (AUS) 2, Annette Edmondson(AUS) 3.

Under 19 - Men 3000m individual pursuit: Jack Edwards (AUS) 3:10.250, 1; Zac Shaw (AUS) 2, Callum Scotson (AUS) 3, Joshua Harrison (AUS) 4.

Men team sprint: Australia (Jai Angsuthasawit, Pat Constable, Alexander Radzikiewicz) 46.669, 1; New Zealand (Quinn Karwowski, Jeremy Presbury, Callum Saunders) 47.649, 2.

Women's scratch race 7.5km: Alice Hay (NZL) 1; Samantha Fromentin (AUS) 2, Ruby Greig-Hurtig (AUS) 3.

- The Southland Times

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