By Callum Berkett
On Tuesday the 22nd of May, Waipuna Park played host to the Bay Of Plenty Cross Country Champs. With over 260 competitors, the event was set to be a big one.
First up to the start line were the Year 9 Boys and, from a Tauranga Boys’ College perspective, this was a successful race with all three of our boys placing inside the top 20. William Bourne took the Year 9 Boys title, and eventually, after pressure from Bethlehem College, took out the Year 9 Boys three man event as well.
Next up was the Junior Boys (Under 16) runners. With six runners (Benji McManus, Hayden Collier, Louis Fitzjohn, Joseph Mortimore, Drake Walther and Myself), Tauranga Boys had strong representation in this event. At the end of four kilometers Tauranga Boys took, yet again, the three-man event and the six-man title.
Last up were the Senior Boys. Again, Boys College was going strong with nine runners competing for places. After an impressive race, Boys College took out the three-man title – with Lachlan Haycock, Russell Green, and Jamie Shields finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively. The following six TBC runners allowed the seniors to take away the Six Man title as well! After such an impressive effort across all age groups, TBC retained their title from last years event.
The following week Tauranga Boys’ College hosted the seven other boys’ schools that make up the Super 8 competition on the North Island. All teams again assembled at Waipuna Park, with the year nine lads kicking things off. William Bourne put on another strong show, taking out the year nine boys race, with the rest of the boys backing up his result, which put them third in their three man event. After that it was up to the Under 16’s to follow up with another strong race. Unfortunately, due to injury, runners started falling towards the back of the pack. After the four kilometers, it was a slightly disappointing fifth place for our Under 16 three man team.
To finish off a strong competition, it was the seniors who took to the track. During the course of the six-kilometer race our boys really lead the pack, forcing their way up near the front, eventually managing to place a very respectable second in the three-man points race, just behind New Plymouth Boys’ High School. Whilst Tauranga Boys’ College didn’t quite get the result we were looking for, everybody still put in 100% effort to finish fourth overall in the competition. A big congratulations must go to New Plymouth Boys’ High for their convincing victory, which backed up their last year’s win.