A group of Waitaki Girls’ High School pupils have stamped their names at the top of the South Island multisport ranks.
Three teams from the school won their divisions at the South Island Secondary Schools triathlon and duathlon championships in Oamaru on Sunday, taking out the senior girls’ triathlon (1hr 14min), junior girls’ triathlon (47min 29sec) and junior girls’ duathlon (43min 41sec).
The Waitaki Girls’ athletes were among the130 triathletes and duathletes from Invercargill to Greymouth who competed in the 37th South Island secondary schools event, and the Oamaru Duathlon and Triathlon.
Oamaru Multisport Club treasurer and stalwart Adair Craik was proud of all Waitaki athletes’ efforts.
“Waitaki Girls’ [athletes] were very impressive. They were very strong and they were well prepared,” Craik said.
“Waitaki Boys’ have some very, very good quality athletes too, but there’s also some very good South Island athletes there. The likes of Jakob Cunningham (Waitaki Boys’), he’s a real force to be reckoned with on the run, and his biking’s just coming up too, so he’s going to be a really strong athlete.”
Numbers were down due to the changes in alert levels, but organisers were still grateful to everyone who travelled and took part and thrilled the event could go ahead.
It was a picture-perfect day, the Oamaru Harbour water “sparkled”, and there was no wind, which resulted in fast times.
“We’re very pleased. It’s the highlight of our season seeing the kids and the adults .. all out there, and everybody had a fun day.
“Unfortunately the timing of the announcement on Covid-19 meant that some athletes were unable to organise travelling in the timeframe.”
More than 100 volunteers helped with the event, and the Oamaru Multisport Club was grateful for their “invaluable assistance”.
“We’re very very fortunate to have all the volunteers that come, particularly the Lions clubs. They put in over 70 volunteers, as well as the individuals that come as well so we’re very lucky.”
Organisers were also grateful to the businesses in the area that allowed the road to be closed for the event, she said.