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Racers get their skates on

Last updated 05:00 21/11/2012

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South Canterbury inline skaters dominated the Southern Area Speed Championships in Dunedin, winning 39 of the 58 titles on offer.

Marie Kuepper won the senior women's title, Emily van der Heyden the intermediate title, while Charli Nevin and Scott Hall grabbed their respective primary titles.

Jan Kuepper was the best of the junior boys while Kalum McAuley took out the novice grade and Josh Rewi-Watson the senior B title.

Such was their dominance the seven skaters finished unbeaten.

Other South Canterbury skaters to win individual titles were Ella Benson and Neve O'Connor in the juvenile girls, Analiese Le Roy and Judah Kelly in the juniors and Jonathan Swindells in the intermediate men.

Coach Bill Begg said the racing in the junior girls was spectacular, with eight of the top 12 in New Zealand coming from the Timaru-based club.

"While Judah Kelly and Le Roy won the titles Tyler Smith and Cassidy Oldfield picked up a second each, with outstanding youngster Smith also grabbing two thirds."

Temuka skater Cailee Autridge-Patrick also picked up a bronze, and had Laura Kuepper not kicked a block in the time trial and been disqualified, the six from South Canterbury would have split all the medals, he said.

Begg said the tournament was used as a buildup to other bigger events.

Four young skaters - Boudine Brown, Smith, Oldfied and Kelly - are heading to Whanganui to compete in the River City Speed Tour for a tough weekend of racing later this month.

Seven top South Canterbury women, including New Zealand champions van der Heyden, Kelly, Le Roy and Dahna Penty, will also race the Speed King Tour of Upper Hutt on December 1 and 2, with six men likely to join them.

Penty and Le Roy will then head across the Tasman a week later to compete in the Southern Cross Speed Tour.

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- The Southland Times

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