Athletics Wellington Cross Country Season got under way in earnest with the Annual Shaw Baton Relay event at Battle Hill farm in Pauatahanui with 4-person relay teams. Relays are one of the most enjoyable aspect of cross country and the turn out of teams provided great evidence of their popularity. The Olympic Club host this longstanding event, which was first run back in 1929 and has run in various parts of Wellington has come including courses around Miramar, Johnsonville, various places around Porirua and now firmly entrenched to finally have a home at the superb Battle Hill farm. .
Over 110 teams took part with 40 teams in Women’s race, 23 teams in Under 14 race and 54 teams in Mens race. Around 48 young under 10’s athletes also ran a 1 km lap for a taste of Cross Country
In the Women race the very strong in form Sarah Drought continued with an excellent 7.06 min first lap and fastest lap overall to lead out but Olympic Under 20 Women took line honours ahead of the WHAC team with their strong Under 20 line up of Lucy Jurke, Ava Sutherland, Lucy Hannah and Kate McHardy
Sarah Drought WHAC teammate Esther George ran 7.32. The strong junior runs by Ava Sutherland & Kate McHardy 7.24 and 7.26 respectively lead in the Olympic team. Another junior women to run strongly Poppy Healy 7.35
The Wellington Scottish men’s’ team of Max Hodge, Niam MacDonald, Seamus Kane and Dan Jones eclipsed the strong Trentham United team predominantly with under 20’s who took line hours in 2022 with quick team time of 25 mins 22 7 seconds ahead of Trentham with WHAC men back in 3rd . Top lap times went to Seamus Kane [WSCO] with a smart 6.06 ahead of leading junior Ben Brunner [WSCO] 6.09 and Thomas Strawbridge [Trentham United]. Lead in for lap one Daniel du Toit [TU] and Dan Jones [WSCO] both lcoked 6.16.
Future looks bright for Trentham United with an excellent win in the Under 14 race. A stand out time in this event was recorded by Under 14 athlete Jacob Williams [Hutt Valley Harriers] with 7.08 mins