Medals galore at secondary school sports week

NICE CATCH: Hillmorton High's Dallas Edens takes a ripsnorter of a catch in the outfield against Wellington College.
NICE CATCH: Hillmorton High's Dallas Edens takes a ripsnorter of a catch in the outfield against Wellington College.

Canterbury secondary school students were busy last week with national summer tournament week.

ROWING

Christchurch schools secured eight gold medals at last week's Maadi Cup secondary school rowing nationals at Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel.

Christ's College rowers tasted glory in the boys' under-17 eight, and the under-18 lightweight four also finished on top of the podium.

St Margaret's College crews notched four gold medals for the regatta. The school's under-16 eight held off Christchurch Girls' High to finish first in the A-grade final, with the under-15 eight also winning their final.

St Margaret's under-15 coxed four produced a strong performance in the final to beat Diocesan School for Girls' by seven seconds.

The school's under-18 lightweight four also saw off Christchurch Girls' High at the finish to win the final.

It was a memorable regatta for St Margaret's students Wallis Russell, Saskia Klinkenberg, Star Davidson and Biddy Tothill, who won three gold medals in three different crews. Natalie Bocock also won two gold medals and claimed the Simon Briggs Cup for coxswain of the regatta.

Rangi Ruru duo Lucy Hutchinson and Kate Hayman won a thriller in the girls' under-18 coxless pair final, pipping Waikato Diocesan School to take gold.

Rangiora High also won an A-grade final, with the talented under-18 lightweight double sculls combination of Rose McEwan and Alice Pallister taking the spoils by three seconds from Westlake Girls' High and St Peter's School.

McEwan performed well over the week-long regatta, also claiming a silver in the under-17 girls' single sculls. She was beaten by just three seconds in the final  by Napier Girls' Georgia King.

Timaru schools fared strongly in the coxed four events with Craighead Diocesan's under-15 crew and Timaru Girls' High under-16 crew winning their respective finals.

In the signature event of the Maadi Cup, the under-18 eight, St Bede's College delivered a brave effort against defending champions, Hamilton Boys' High, finishing second in the final. Christ's College were fourth, with Christchurch Boys' High fifth.

St Margaret's were unable to make it a Levin Jubilee Cup three-peat in the girls' under-18 eight final, finishing third.  Waikato Diocesan School were deserving victors of the title, crossing the finish line more than eight seconds ahead of Westlake Girls' High. Rangi Ruru placed fourth with Christchurch Girls' High fifth.

Following the regatta, New Zealand junior triallists for 2014 were named. Cantabrians include:

Girls: Alice Murdoch (Craighead Diocean), Davina Waddy (Christchurch Girls' High), Kate Hayman (Rangi Ruru), Lucy Hutchinson (Rangi Ruru), Renee Olley (Craighead Diocesan), Sara-Jane Back (St Margaret's)

Boys: Angus Coull (Christchurch Boys'), George Perkins (Christ's College), Hugo Elworthy (Christ's College), James Walker (Timaru Boys'),  Matthew Lilley (St Bede's), Tom Clyma (Christchurch Boys'), Tremaine Cragg-Love (St Bede's), William Morris-Whyte (Rangiora High).

VOLLEYBALL

Burnside High School's girls' team was the best performed of the Christchurch sides at the national secondary schools championships, held last week in Palmerston North.

The team finished a creditable fifth in the strong first division, after winning their final playoff against Auckland champions Orewa College.

Eighty-eight girls' teams entered the 46th annual tournament, with 57 boys' teams also playing.

Teams from the strong Bay of Plenty region dominated the top tiers of both boys' and girls' grades, although Canterbury sides certainly figured.

In first division, Riccarton High School boys (9th) and Riccarton girls (14th) also performed strongly.

In second division, Aranui High boys (6th),  St Margaret's College girls (10th) and Shirley Boys' High (12th) all held Canterbury region positions in the important top-32  group for 2015 - the only group with a chance of challenging for national titles.

In the lower sections, 2013 title runnerup Christchurch Girls' High  won the third division, while Burnside High boys took out fourth division gold.

In all, 14 Canterbury teams participated in the 145-team championships, an expensive exercise for any South Island team.

TOUCH

The Lincoln High School mixed touch team followed up their status as Canterbury champion by winning the South Island secondary schools' title, held at Sheldon Park at the weekend.

Lincoln ran out 8-6 victors over St Andrew's College in the final. Both teams advance to the New Zealand secondary schools championships in December, courtesy of finishing in the top four.

They will be joined by Christchurch Boys' High (boys) and Burnside High (girls), who both finished in the top four of their tournaments.

Christchurch Boys' High notched third place in the boys' section after beating Southland Boys' High 7-3 in the third place playoff. Nelson College won the boys' final, overpowering King's High 9-6.

Burnside High lost 5-4 to Nelson College for Girls in their third-fourth place showdown. Southland Girls' won the final, beating Columba College 5-4.

Lincoln were unbeaten in topping their pool on the first day of the mixed competition.

Victories were achieved over Geraldine High School (11-1), Motueka High School (3-2) and Kaikorai Valley College (8-4). Rangiora High School pushed Lincoln closest in earning a 6-6 draw.

Sunday's semifinals tapped off at 8am, with Lincoln matched up against the winner of the other pool, St Andrew's College. It was St Andrew's that made the most of their chances, running out upset 4-3 winners and booking their place in the final.

Lincoln had another opportunity to make the final with victory over Motueka High School in a ''second-chance'' match. After a tense first half, Lincoln demonstrated their superior fitness and clinical finishing in running out 7-4 victors.

The final against St Andrew's was a high scoring, energetic contest. The teams traded touchdowns in the first half and went to the break at 3-3. Lincoln made the crucial first score of the second half and St Andrew's were forced to play catch-up from that point on. Lincoln managed to stay in front and take the game.

This was Lincoln's first South Island title in their seventh attempt,  with the coaching-management team of Blair Johnstone and Stu Gilpin delighted with the victory.

WATER POLO

Burnside High are the South Island secondary schoolgirls' champions after beating St Hilda's 4-3 in a tense final in Invercargill last week.

It was a well fought out match and came down to Burnside's defence, which just managed to hold St Hilda's off in the final quarter.

Burnside's only loss of the championships came during round robin against St Hilda's 4-3. They beat Otago Girls' High 19-2, James Hargest 15-3, Columba College 10-2 and Southland Girls' High 4-3. Rangi Ruru narrowly missed out on the bronze medal, losing to Southland Girls' High 9-8.

Otago Boys' High and Christchurch Boys' High fought out an epic duel in the boys' final with Otago victorious 7-6. Christchurch Boys' High scored a last minute equalising goal  resulting in the third penalty shootout of the round.

Burnside High beat James Hargest 8-6 to take the bronze in the boys' tournament.

The boys' most promising players were Nick Johnson (Burnside High) and Jackson Olds (CBHS), while the most promising girls were Lottie Eglinton (Rangi Ruru) and Sophie Williamson (Burnside High).

SOFTBALL

Cashmere High were the top placed boys' side at the national division one secondary school championships, finishing 10th, after posting three wins during the tournament.

St Thomas of Canterbury College were 11th with Hillmorton High, 12th.

In the girls' competition, Aranui High were third in the top four section, with Hillmorton High fourth. Kaiapoi High placed second in section B.

The division one boys' championship was captured by Mt Albert Grammar School, with Wellington East Girls' College the girls' victors.

Several Canterbury players were named in tournament teams from the championships:

Boys' rest of team: Papa Mutu, catcher, (Hillmorton High), Hunter Martin, infield, (Hillmorton High), Nick Kwant, infield, (St Thomas').

Girls' New Zealand tournament team: Cassie Siataga, pitcher, (Aranui High) Cheyann Whyte, catcher, (Aranui High) Whitney Richardson, infield, (Kaiapoi High), Mikayla Werahiko, infield, (Aranui High), Nerissa McDowell (Kaiapoi High), Jasmin Smith, outfield, (Aranui High), Jessica Thornley, designated player, (Hillmorton High).

Top batter: McDowell (Kaiapoi High), Top catcher: Whyte (Aranui High)

TRIATHLON

Christchurch Boy's High's Zachary Taylor was the standout Canterbury competitor at the national secondary schools triathlon in Gisborne.

 Taylor won the under-14 boys' event in a time of 38 minutes 47 seconds, finishing ahead of Gisborne Boys' High's Josiah Ney.

The under-14 race consisted of a 350m swim, a 10km bike and a 2.5km run.

Taylor finished second in the under-14 aquathlon, missing out to Ney by 21sec. He was also narrowly pipped for first place in the under-14 open swim, with Matthew Clough holding on to win by just one second.

 St Andrew's College's Quinton Hurley also impressed, winning the under-13 boys' open water swim and finishing second in the under-13 aquathlon.

Christchurch Boys' High and Christchurch Girls' teamed up to win the mixed-19 super sprint event, which is made up of a 200m swim, 5km cycle and 1.5km run. Christchurch Boys' were second in the under-14 team tri behind St Kentigern College.

Canterbury secondary schools senior girls' triathlon winner, Jess Kikstra, of Christchurch Girls' High, was sixth in the under-19 event, crossing the finish line 14min after winner Jaimee Leader, of Palmerston North Girls' High.

DRAGON BOATING

Avonside Girls' High are the queens of national secondary schools dragon boating.

At Saturday's championships at Lake Hood in Ashburton, Avonside claimed both the 200m and 500m titles.

In the 200m final, they prevailed over Epsom Girls' and third placed Marian College in a time of 55.33sec.

They were too strong again in the 500m final, winning in 2min 18.76sec, with Marian forced to settle for second.

Avonside just missed out on complete domination of the schools event, finishing third in the 2000m turns race, which Christchurch Girls' High won in 10min 34.95sec.

Avonside have enjoyed plenty of success recently, winning the 200m, 500m and 2000m turns events at last month's South Island championships.

Hillmorton High's Horomaka Shock crew shone in the mixed section, completing a clean sweep with gold medals in the 200m, 500m and 2000m events.

In the 2000m turns race, teams must complete four legs of 500m with three left-hand turns. Finish positions are based on their elapsed times.

Hillmorton started in position six out of eight boats. They demonstrated their endurance and fitness, powering past four competitors and closing the gap to the boat that started first.

With a time of 10min 27sec,  Horomaka Shock easily took the gold for the mixed schools race and posted the fastest time a team from Hillmorton has ever achieved at the national regatta.

A total of 32 teams competed at the dragon boating nationals, with 10 school teams featuring. That consisted of seven schoolgirl crews and three mixed crews.

FUTSAL

Cashmere High were the top Canterbury girls' school at the futsal secondary school nationals in Wellington, finishing fifth.

Marian College were sixth and St Andrew's ninth in the open girls' section.

St Andrew's recorded a sixth place finish in the senior boys' competition, with Cashmere High seventh.

St Andrew's also topped the junior boys' section for Canterbury schools, placing fifth, with Shirley Boys' next best in 10th spot.

The Press