Athletics NZ ReportMurray McKinnon
Wellington Scottish made it five years in a row in the senior men’s 67.4km relay, after a close race with University of Canterbury.
Seamus Kane, Chris Sanson, Daniel Jones, Kristian Day, Ben Twyman, Niam Macdonald-Joslin and Hamish Carson won in 3:38:06, just 18 seconds ahead of University of Canterbury. Canterbury led over the first six laps and Daniel Balchin had a two minute lead as he handed over to Ben Musson for the last lap. However Carson was up to the task for Scottish and he anchored them home running the final 9.2km in 26:53 to Musson’s 29:22. Scottish can back twice from over two minute deficits and it took until lap three for Scottish A to get in front of their B team. Carson was outstanding on the last lap, almost an exact repeat of 2002 when John Henwood came from 1:30 down to overhaul Bays in the final kilometre, except this time Carson had to go faster as he had more work to do and as a result broke Henwood’s lap record.
Wellington Harriers who last won the senior women’s title in 2000, prevailed winning ahead of North Harbour Bays and University of Canterbury. The Wellington team of Melissa Black, Sarah Drought, Esther George, Ellen Shaef, Miranda Spencer, Andrea Peat and Alice Wilson led throughout to finish in 4:25:49, five and a half minutes ahead of North Harbour Bays. The defending champions University of Canterbury were third in 4:43:14.
Scottish won four of the five master titles on offer, the men 40-49 for the third year, retained the men 50-59, women 35-49 and the inaugural women’s 50 plus. Auckland University won the master men 60 plus for the first time.
Feilding Moa junior men helped their Club celebrate its 80th anniversary by winning the junior men’s title. Liam Wall, Luke Scott, William Leong, Benjamin Wall and Andre Le Pine-Day covered the 38.2km in 2:11:40 to beat Pakuranga by one and half minutes. Wellington Harriers were third in 2:13:57.
Wellington Harriers successfully defended their junior women’s title, making it number seven. The team of Maia Wilkinson, Esther Kozniak, Anna Bassett, Saskia Cosgrave Drayton and Maali Kyle Ford running 2:32:25, nearly seven minutes ahead of seven times previous winners Auckland City.
Scottish retained the top club status.
Scottish President Michael Wray said that he was delighted the Club defended their previous wins in three men’s grades and to have added the W35 and W50 titles along with the unofficial 70s grade.
“It was an exciting day with several of our winning teams coming from behind to win. Scottish teams were the first and last teams to finish and celebrating the achievements of all our members is what enables us to put together so many teams. I’m even more pleased about having the largest presence, just as we did in Akaroa, than I am at us winning Top Club – and I’m over the moon about winning Top Club!” said Wray.