GP 3 Incorporating Auckland Teams Race
Athletics Auckland Teams Cross Country Championships and Grand Prix Series #3, Barry Curtis Park East Tamaki – 12 June 2021
David Lee proved he will be a force to reckon with this winter after a solid performance to win the senior men’s 8km in 26:39. Former New Zealand triathlon representative Ryan Sissons pushed Lee all the way and it was only over the final lap that Lee was able to exert some pressure to finish six seconds clear. Jono Jackson was third in 27:05.
Lee said it was a good hit out.
“I faded a little bit in the third lap, but I came back stronger in the fourth and finished well.
“Ryan Sissons, you can never count him out, he’s just so strong, but I knew if I just winded it up over that last 400m it would be enough,” he said.
Lee is pleased to be injury free and back enjoying his running.
“My feet are in perfect condition. I’m off two stress fractures in the last two years so I’m finally getting some training in. I’ve been getting a lot of base training in and I’m starting a build next week towards the nationals.
“I’m with Vaughan Craddock now and his training methods work perfectly with my body, so hopefully there are some good things to come.”
Despite falling on the first lap, Laura Nagel quickly recovered and worked her way back into the race to power through to win the women’s 6km in 22:00. Anneke Grogan, who led over the middle stages, was second in 22:03 and Esther Keown made it a first three for North Harbour Bays in 22:14.
Nagel, national 10km road champion in 2016 and 3000m and 5000m track champion in 2017, said that she tends to roll her ankle quite a lot and so was “not surprised” she fell during the race.
“I felt pretty okay up until that point (of the fall) and then it was just trying to recover and find my groove again,” said Nagel.
“It has been interesting coming back after two years off. I’m still not where I want to be, but it is just part of the process.
“The cross country makes me a lot tougher for track,” she added.
Nagel aims to compete in the New Zealand Cross Country Championships on 7 August.
Fabian Downs was the best of the masters over 8km in 27:22, Andre McKay won the under 20 5km in 17:27 and Christian De Vaal in the same race headed in Ronan Codyre by seven seconds for the under 18 honours in 17:01.
Coen Anderson had a two-way duel with Jack Snedden in the under 16 4km, eventually coming out on top by three seconds in 13:49.
Bridie Hart in the master women 6km ran 25:19, Amelia Green won the under 18 4km in 15:09 and Eryn Westlake collected the under 16 3km in 11:09.
Team results: Senior men; 1 Pakuranga, 2 Whippets, 3 Owairaka. Senior women; North Harbour Bays, Whippets, YMCA. Master men; Owairaka, Pakuranga, YMCA. Master women; YMCA. Under 18/20 men; Pakuranga. Under 18/20 women Papakura. Under 16 men; Pakuranga, Lynndale, Waitakere. Under 16 women; Pakuranga, North Harbour Bays, Lynndale. Under 14 boys; Pakuranga, Auckland City Athletic, Lynndale. Under 14 girls; Waitakere, North Harbour Bays.