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Tauranga Cross Country 2015 Results

Race report by Don Willoughby
Some 158 athletes took part in the Tauranga Open Cross Country races held at Waipuna in crisp but quite dry conditions. Some 17 Hawks travelled over the hill and showed the club flag. There were two stand out results for our members with Vice President John Crane and Year 13 Kings College student Emerson Deverell both scoring resounding wins in their respective grades. How times have changed. Older harriers commented that in the long tradition of the event  to win in the past you needed to be a national champion. Now the biggest fields are the primary and intermediate school races where the schools compete for points for a $50 prize which is scored over four races.
Here’s how our members raced.
In the 2000 G12 race Corrina Decker-Thorburn was 9th.
Lochie Montgomerie  Hamilton Boys showed potential with a fighting second in the B14 3km and should race well in upcoming secondary school races cross country events  with the WBOP SSXC being held at Tokoroa on the 10 June followed by the national event in Dunedin on the 20 June.
In the combined Youth, Junior, Senior and Masters Women race over 4km Emerson Deverell was the winner. Buoyant after her winning run in the Huntly 10km where she ran a 1.22 PB in 39.24 Emerson won in a quick 15.07  with positive front running tactics that left a quality field in her wake and sets her up for a top run in the nationals race over the Mosgiel golf course on the 20th. Other promising runs in the youth women came from Grace Ritchie 3rd in 15.27, Ani Gemmill 4th in 15.47 and Gina Butler 5th in 16.09.
In the combined Youth and Junior Mens race over 6km a Cambridge triathlete impressed with an all the way win. Fynn Thompson a member of Tri NZ’s national squad was very strong and won in 19.55.  Sam Montgomery 2nd YM ran 20.39, Connor Tristam 3rd YM with 21.13 and Finn Myles 6th YM 23.37. Hamilton Boys squad is heading to nationals with a quality team and are hoping to medal in some of the teams events. We wish them well.
Leading world masters runner Sally Gibbs won the MW 4 km race in 15.30 while Ellie Broadbridge ran her 4km in 20.34 for 2nd in the W35-49 grade.
The combined masters and senior men raced over 9kms and what an exciting race it was. The battle of the Johns Crane V Caie was worth watching and for most of the race they ran stride for stride. Crane showed superior hurdling skills and better course management by seeking out the grassier parts of the steep hill that gave him better traction. But each time his 10 metre lead was whittled away by John Caie’s downhill expertise pegged him back each time. Over the last hurdle with 500 to run the Hawks John cranked up the pace and finished fast to clearly win in 29.13 with some 12 seconds back to John Caie. Lance Brew ran a gutsy race for third and first senior man and will benefit form the race. Other Hawks to race over 9km were  Grant Budd 32.06, Ross Butler 32.25, Gary Wilson 35.32,Gilbert Macdonald 42.07 and David Southwick 45.10.
It was an enjoyable day of cross country racing in the sun and thanks to those who supported out athletes. As usual Tauranga ran a tidy event.
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