On Thursday last week, with thunderous looking clouds looming, the best Year 5 – 8 cross country runners from the Franklin region battled it out at the Pukekohe Showgrounds for the Zone Day Cross Country Competition.
To reach this stage, all runners had to have placed well in their school cross country event to qualify for the Group Day Cross Country Competition held the week before, from which the top eight boys and girls from each year division went on to represent their school at Thursday’s Zone Day.
Mud, puddles and an aptly nicknamed slope called “Killer Hill”, challenged the runners as they ran distances ranging from 1500 metres to 3500 metres. The event was postponed the previous day due to wet weather which meant the course was the wettest organisers had seen to date, providing a true cross country experience as Pene Travers found out. The Year 8 girl from Bombay School met with the mud as her feet slid from under her after the first gate. She may have been down, but she wasn’t out! A quick jump back onto her feet and she was off again, completing the race, qualifying with a well deserved fifth placing.
Caitlin Hull from Pukekawa School ran hard to take out the Year 6 girls’ division after a shocker at last year’s event. “Last year I came 32nd place at Zone Day after falling off my pony the night before. This feels much better!” says Caitlin.
A similar story applied to Pukekohe Hill School runner Jack Shaw, who led from the front early on to secure first place for the Year 6 boys’ category. “I had been really sick before Zone Day last year. I started well, but then I had no energy and finished in 38th place which wasn’t good at all.” When asked if he thought 38th place to first place was a pretty mighty improvement, the grin was huge.
Waiuku Primary School took three of the top eight placings for the Year 7 boys’ division, with Dre Shelly picking up second, Slade McKay taking fifth and Quinn Gardiner-Hall securing seventh. Principal Simon Drewery gave the boys a last minute strategy chat about tackling “Killer Hill” before the race start. They were listening.
The top ten runners from the Year 7 and 8 races will now go on to represent Franklin at the Auckland Inter Zone Cross Country Championships. The event is being held at the Pukekohe Showgrounds on Thursday September 7, with a start time of 11am. So if you’re around, why not drop by and support the Franklin kids. Just remember your gumboots.
FRANKLIN ZONE DAY RESULTS:
Year 5 Girls – 1st Maia Kervin, 2nd Jessica Loxton, 3rd Charlize Toner. Year 5 Boys – 1st Jack Haslip, 2nd Henry Smith, 3rd Jake Walden.
Year 6 Girls – 1st Caitlin Hull, 2nd Jenne Fletcher, 3rd Chloe Tapp. Year 6 Boys – 1st Jack Shaw, 2nd Oakley Hewitt, 3rd Harry van Hellemond.
Year 7 Girls – 1st Imogen Short, 2nd Zanya Collins, 3rd Sasha Robinson. Year 7 Boys – 1st Johno O’Brie, 2nd Dre Shelley, 3rd Liam Quinn.
Year 8 Girls – 1st Bronwyn Mitchell, 2nd Aleisha Pyke, 3rd Jordyn Hobman. Year 8 Boys – 1st Kurtis Hana, 2nd Blake Manning, 3rd Josh Vesper.