Bowles carries BMX form into track cycling
James Hargest College pupil Kain Bowles thrust his name on to the national cycling stage last night, winning his first New Zealand title and winning Southland's first medal of the national age-group championships.
Heading into the boys' under-15 500m time trial, he had a personal best of 38 seconds but he slashed that by close to two seconds to win gold, much to the delight of the home crowd.
For Bowles it has been a rapid rise as he has transformed himself from a BMX rider to national track cycling champion.
"That's where my sprinting has come from," he said last night about his BMX background.
He only took up track cycling competitively a year ago and if last night's performance was anything to go by he could be in for a good week and an even brighter future.
The promising 13-year-old has one eye fixed on Friday night for what he regards as his best event, and one he enjoys a lot, the derby.
For now though he can savour his first national title.
Bowles flew the Southland flag early on the programme and it was hoisted even higher minutes later by masters competitor Erin Criglington.
Not content on just defending her national masters women's (1) 500m time trial, Criglington set about breaking her own New Zealand record.
She rode a 37.889sec, which was close to two seconds ahead of fellow Southlander Kylea Gough, who was second.
It bettered Criglington's previous national best time of 38.093sec.
Cherie Champion made it a Southland trifecta on the podium finishing third.
The record breaking for Southland didn't end there as soon after Criglington's deeds, Garry Smith etched his named in the New Zealand record books.
Riding in the masters men's (2) category he was the first rider up and the Southlander set a blistering pace.
However, his national record didn't last long as Canterbury's Wayne Eyre soon toppled it and eventually won the gold medal.
Smith picked up silver while fellow Southlander Jerard Stock finished third to grab a bronze.
The championships will continue today with various qualifying events this morning before finals tonight.
Tonight's session is made up of 2000m individual pursuit events and points races.
The Southland Times