Southland cyclists at the top of their game

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 10/03/2014

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Southland dominated the team events on the final day of the national age group track championships.

The locals won four of the five team titles on offer yesterday across the team sprint and team pursuit, with three more New Zealand records falling in the process.

The W17 team sprint of Emma Cumming and Ellesse Andrews set a new mark in their final against  the WCNI combination of Michaela Drummond and Emily Shearman.

It was a first New Zealand title for 14-year-old Mt Aspiring pupil Andrews, who capped off an  impressive week in her debut national championships having only taken up track cycling late last year.

It took a bit of encouragement from Andrews' parents to get her onto the track, firstly at a club  event and then the Southland championships.

''They said I could do another dance lesson if I started cycling a wee bit more, so that's what happened,'' the keen jazz dancer and netballer said.

Ellesse's father Jon, a former New Zealand sprinter at Olympic, Commonwealth Games and world championship level, claimed his second New Zealand record of the week when he combined with Brett Roulston and Roger Nicholas to take out the masters sprint title.

The best ride of the final day was the powerful Southland M17 team of Tom Sexton, Brayden Stephens, Hayden Strong and Hamish Beadle.

The quartet went close to the New Zealand record in qualifying and then lowered the mark by three seconds on the way to winning the final against the WCNI combination, with sprinter Hamish Beadle turning in a strong performance over the longer distance in the final.

Southland will take a large points buffer into this week's elite championships in Cambridge, with a 49 point lead over nearest challenge WCNI.

The BikeNZ elite and under 19 track championships make their debut at the Cambridge velodrome from Thursday through to Sunday.

Results:

W17 500m team sprint: Southland 37.358 1; WCNI 37.981 2; Tasman 39.070 3.M17

750m team sprint: Southland 1 50.113 1; Southland 2 50.501 2; Canterbury 51.380 3.

W1 & 2 500m team sprint: Southland 1 37.999 1; Southland 2 40.157 2; Southland 3 42.273 3.

M1, 2 & 3 team sprint: Southland 2 50.161 1; Canterbury 50.807 2; Southland 1 50.943 3.

W17 3000m team pursuit: Canterbury 3.56.350 1; Southland 3.57.540 2; WCNI 3.54.920 3.

M17 3000m team pursuit: Southland 3.24.440 1; Canterbury 3.32.850 2; Auckland 3:30.280 3.

M1 10km scratch race: Michael White (Sld) 1; Brendan Akeroyd (Sld) 2; Craig Domigan (MSC) 3.Points Shield:Southland 94, WCNI 45, Auckland 27, Canterbury 25, Tasman 7, Mid-Sth Canterbury 7, WBOP 3, ECNI 3, Otago 2, Wellington 1, North 0.

 

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- The Southland Times

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