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Palmerston North Boys High reign supreme for the second year running!!

North Island Secondary Schools Cycling Champs update

PNBHSDay 2  – The day dawned clear and crisp without the heavy frost of the day before. All the Manawatu school riders were having to front up from the rigors of the Team Time Trial from Day 1 in search of their own individual glory over a flat and fast road race course. This was the major moving day for Palmerston North Boys High Schools riders to stamp their authority in their own age groups and get a permanent hold of that prestigious NISSCC Top Schools trophy.

The Manawatu U13 riders to race were Palmerston North Intermediate Normal cyclists Flynn Yates who placed 3rd, Adam Martin 4th, Daniel Kendall came 10th and Harrison Kinghorn rounded the top 20 coming in at 17th. In the girls race Anna Robson was our only U13 rider and she had an admirable performance coming in at 12th.

In the girls U14 grade, our Manawatu representatives were Emily Shearman in 1st place from Palmerston North Girls High School, who had a difficult race due to constantly being forced to the front to drive up the pace and which she had a storming run into the finish to pip a Waikato Diocesean girl on the line to take the win. Libby Arbuckle, Palmerston North Intermediate Normal , also with a strong sprint finish, secured herself a much deserved podium spot for 3rd, missing out on the silver by mere millimetres. Gorgi Van Lienen, in 13th and Megan Gardner in 21st both from Palmerston North Intermediate Normal contributed to a strong representation in this age group from the successful Manawatu schools program. There were however no Manawatu boys represented in this U14 grade.

U15 riders in the boy’s race were Campbell Stewart 1st, Chris Denholm 2nd, Mitchel Kinghorn 3rd, Fergus Allan 4th, Cody Simpson 6th, Carn Groube 11th, Cameron Huston 17th, Jacob Sievwright 18th, David Martin 24th and Hayden Winterburn rounded up the Manawatu contingent in 62nd out of 80 starters. This is again shows the justification of the strength in schools cycling in the Manawatu and therefore leading to our outstanding successes in the Junior age groups. Palmerston North Boys High School taking out 5 of the top 6 placings was awe inspiring. From the words of the commissaires following in behind this group, it was said the “Palmy Boys had complete control of this race from start to finish”.

There was also great success with the U15 Girls where Michaela Drummond, Freyberg High School got on the podium in 2nd place in an extremely close sprint finish for the gold. There was another consistent and strong ride from Simone Davie to place 12th.

The U16 boys race was just as compelling as the U15’s with another strong representation from Palmerston North Boys High School, resulting in another win for Palmy Boy’s with Connell Leahy 1st. Also impressive were Josh Kendall 4th, Nate Levin 6th, Hamish Mikkelsen 12th equal with Jake van Lienen. After an unfortunate crash, Joel Yates came across the line in 30th place, Hayden Washington Smith was involved in the same crash, showing grit and determination to finish in 65th, however not so lucky was Connor Wilkinson who was unfortunately too cut up and had to abandon the race.

Both u17 races were highly contested races in which talent was at a premium and Manawatu riders definitely made an impact with George Robets and Cameron Howell making countless attacks off the front but as with flat courses like these and the bunch being so strong breakaways couldn’t last and coming into the finish it suited Jordan Castle to a tee and he made a flawless routine sprint finish to take a comfortable and confidence boosting win for Jordan ahead of Canberra. Jordan Castle 1st, James Denholm hung on for 15th, George Robets 25th in a bunch sprint of 28! Cameron Howell was a victim of the puncture and the following vehicle had no wheels but he managed to find one and finished last but only 17 minutes down on Jordan. In the girls race Kate Stewart, Palmerston North Girls High School, earned herself a respectable 3rd in another tight sprint finish with cyclists right across the road. Our other U17 representative Ruby Perry also had a strong ride, finishing in the lead bunch.

In the U20 race Kelsi Eccles, Palmerston North Girls High School finished within the top 30 in what can only be said was an extremely tough age group.

In the large group of U20 boys race Jonty Hapeta, Palmeston North Boys High School had a powerful run into the finish, and was only a whisker from being on the podium, therefore getting an impressive 4th. Damien Lardner had a strong ride and finished in the bunch for 25th, and after an unfortunate crash in the first lap, Jaycob Humphreys stormed home to finish only 4:21 from the winner in 45th place as well as Cameron Gibbons finishing 52nd.

Overall it was a brilliant weekend for the Manawatu schools with Palmerston North Boys High winning the prestigious NISSCC top boys school trophy for the second year in a row. It was with a landslide 95 points next to Auckland Grammar with only 54 points… 41 point difference! This is to be said an amazing result considering that points are not only allocating for top 10 results but also on the number of cyclists entered, of which Palmy Boys were well down on numbers entered compared to 2011 entries. But with the strong talent coming through the junior grades at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal, Palmerston North Boys High and Palmerston North Girls High, there can only be more great things to come.