Monday, April 20, 2009

NZ Secondary Schools MTB Champs at Levin

Originally uploaded by
This photo shows Jared at the bottom of the awesome downhill course in Levin. The other photos can be viewed here.

We had 10 students (one of the biggest teams there - Lucy, Amy, Gareth, Kyle, Jared, Kurt, Joe, Michael, Ben, Matty - along with myself as manager, Hedley as mechanic, Lea as cook, Paul as dentist (for Amy who face planted on the downhill), Delwyn and Dana, and Casey and Doug. Most of us stayed at a neat whare at Waitarere Beach which was mush easier than the camping of previous years.

Everyone performed well, but most would agree they needed much more training. Gareth finished a creditable 15th out of 34 with a strong 7th in the uphill and 14th in the XCountry. Mike also did well with 11thin the Xcountry and the fastest downhill of the team with 3 41. Everyone improved in the downhill with Gareth, Joe and Lucy knocking about a minute off their times.

Kurt was unlucky in the XCountry getting his 4th puncture of the trip! He also had a crowd-pleasing fall at the bottom of the downhill. Most had some sort of fall with Amy's face plant into a tree stump the best.

In the XCountry 4 riders avoided being lapped out - Gareth, Ben, Kyle and Lucy while Mike and Jared just about got there.

Everyone was well-behaved and was great company. Our kids were a credit to us, their school, families and Opotiki community. Some of the students from the so-called 'better' schools around stunned us with their offensive language and stupid carry-on.

We were surprised to see the absence of reps from other schools in the EBOP and the small size of some of the teams. We had hoped to see some of the born and raised Opotiki youngsters who go to boarding schools there so we could catch-up but none were there. Maybe next year!

Our team looked great in their new track suits and cycle shirts. Thanks, Delwyn. A huge thanks to the kids who were great to travel with.

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