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School mountain bikers shine at nationals in Rotorua

Friday, March 23, 2018

Josh Burnett, U20 XC winner. Photo: Clint Trahan

Over 100 schools from throughout the country gathered in Rotorua this week for the Professionals National School Mountain Bike Championships.

The championships comprised cross-country individual on Monday and team relays on Tuesday, both at Waipa Mountain Bike Park, with the downhill races at Skyline Rotorua which was hosted by Crankworx, the international mountain bike carnival.

Josh Burnett of Southland Boys High took top honours in the under-20 boys race on cross-country day, while local Ruby Ryan of Rotorua Lakes High took control of the under-20 girls race.

In the under-17s Angus Riordan of St Pauls Collegiate Hamilton won for the boys and Isobel Wotton of Trident High School took out the girls race with a 25sec lead.

The under-16 races saw Adam Francis of Palmerston North Boys win by nearly five minutes with Emma Lord of Mt Maunganui College winning it for the girls.

Hot off her win of both cross-country and downhill at the Altherm Mountain Bike National Championships last month, Rebecca Hufflet secured the win in the under-15 girls while local John Paul College rider Cameron Beck won the boys race with a comfortable 4m 30s lead on the field.

The under-14 titles went to Coen Nicol of Taupo-Nui-a-Tia and Seana Gray of Waikato Waldorf while the under-13 golds went to Tauranga Intermediate’s Harry Kneebone and Mokoia Intermediate’s Milla Phipps.

Day two was the Cross-Country team relay where Palmerston North Boys High won the junior (under-16) boys race with Baradene College winning the girls and Marlborough Boys for the composite team.

The senior (under-20) boys relay title was taken out by Macleans College with Trident High School winning the girls and Mt Maunganui College the composite race.

The final day was downhill which was staged amongst the Crankworx action at Skyline Rotorua. Local Ryan Hasting of John Paul College won the Uunder-13 boys in 3:47.68 while former world BMX champion Sacha Earnest of Saint Kentigern won the girls race in 4:21.71.

The under-14 races saw Hamish Powell of Nelson College and Caitlyn Flavel of John Paul College prevail while under-15 titles went to Wakatipu High School’s Max Caulton and Nelson College’s Rebecca Hufflett.

James MacDermid of Hamilton Boys High and Kalani Muirhead from Mt Aspiring College won the under-16 titles while Blake Ross of Cambridge High School and Maia Jowett of Wakatipu High School took out the under-17 grades.

The under-20 races were hotly contended for the boys where Subway National Performance Hub riders filled the podium with Josh Oxenham of Saint Kentigern taking the top spot followed closely by Sam Gale and Nico Fernandez. Brooke Robertson of Waimea College took out the girls.

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