Report by Don Willoughby
The annual Tauranga Open Cross Country was held on a remarkably dry Waipuna Park course with no surface water or mud despite the heavy overnight rain. The Bay of Plenty sun shone down and 177 finishers enjoyed the racing in excellent conditions. A small number of Hawks chose to take part and there were a number who caught the eye. Jae Davies Campbell won the senior mens race over 8160 but he had to work really hard as in the combined race an outstanding run came from Bethlehem College’s Samuel Tanner. The talented teenager ran aggressively over his 6160 to be a convincing win of the Y18 race. I will watch his national SSXC race at Rotorua with interest and learned that his mum ran 800’s in 2.08 when she was in Whakatane as a teenager.
Jae kept touch throughout and easily won the senior race with a solid 29.07 clocking to show he is in good shape for the upcoming winter races. John Crane in 6th spot was the best club masters runner with his 2nd M50 run ahead of Mike Harris, Paul Ritchie and Garry Wilson.
In the combined womens race over 4043 Charli Miller youth woman ran superbly placing 2nd in 15.59 behind the world’s best masters W50 runner Sally Gibbs. Charli is approaching top form as she gears herself up for the nationals in Rotorua. Grace Ritchie was next with a 16.29 clocking to be 2nd youth woman behind Charli. Grace is also looking in good form prior to Rotorua.
Malese McNearny finished strongly to head off Emerson Deverell 16.39 to 16.49 with Veronica Lang next to finish in 17.06.
I was delighted to see the Hawks singlet so prominent in this race.
In an earlier G14 race over 2960 metres Hawks were also to the fore with Jemima Antoniazzi in 2nd spot 12.50 followed by Lucy Farrell 12.26.
Other Hawks runners were scattered through the small fields and their results can be seen here: