Tributes to the winners at the NZ Cross Country champs in Wingatui Dunedin on the weekend. Of note were the senior winners including Edwin Henshaw and Maria Akkeson from Auckland.
The race of the day was the M19 race with Dominic Channon winning by 2 seconds from Matthew Mildenhall with Terefe Ejigu only 1 second back! 3 across the line in 4 seconds is one heaven of a finish. The W19 race was won well by Ruth Croft from Haley Green and Katie Wright from Auckland. Katie is recovering from glandular fever, so this was a special effort.
Esther Keown won the W16 race from Nicki McFadzien and Hannah Newbould. This was Esther's first national cross country title in schools or provincial after podium finishes in 5 previous races. She has recovered from a lay off with a hip injury so it was a special win. Nicki and Hannah remain very consistent, Nicki having 2 seconds this year at schools and provincials.
Promising Margot Gibson ran the W14 race. It would have been interesting if she had run the W16 race as she beat Esther in Christchurch at the schools race earlier in the year. However, Esther was recovering from injury at that point.
The quality of the fields was a bit down in the W19 and 16 races without Kelsey Patterson, Camille Buscombe, Olivia Burne, Hannah Morgan and others there.
Hopefully the fields will be stronger next year