Otago Cross Country Champs, Saturday 20 July 2019
Waikouaiti Race Course

Teams Races 1) Senior Men’s First Four Count  2) All other grades, First Three Count.

Full Results >> Athletics Otago Results for Otago Cross Country Champs 2019

Red-Letter Day for Leith Club
Sports article by Wayne Parsons, ODT Online Mon 22 July 2019

Leith's Excellent Day - 0ut at Waikouaiti Race Course

Senior Men's Race (5 x 2km) 10km

Janus Staufenberg ran an excellent time of 32 minutes 30 seconds to win the Senior Men's Otago Cross Country Champs 10km Race held around the Waikouaiti Race Course over a 5 x 2km course on Saturday afternoon.  He led the team of Staufenberg (1st Otago), Nic Bathgate -3rd (2nd Otago) in 35:30, Jonah Belk - 7th (6th Otago) in 37:41 and Hamish McKinlay - 10th (9th Otago) in 39:12 to a fine team victory clinching the W L Hooper Shield (Senior Men Winning Team) and the Fairmaid Challenge Trophy (Senior Men Individual Winner).  The conditions underfoot were generally firm despite some rain having fallen.  The rain and wind was minimal during the actual racing although the sun never materialised. Temperature hovered around 10 degrees Celcius.  Janus initially was in a trio of Daniel Balchin (Canterbury University, non-counting for Champs) and Men's U20 runner Russell Green from Hill City University but eventually broke away from Balchin to take a slight lead.  Balchin over the last two laps was unable to close the gap and Staufenberg held on for a fine win.  New Leith runner Nic Bathgate meanwhile, who initially preferred to sit back of the leaders in the chasing pack, worked hard all the way finishing in third place but second in the Otago Championships.

Janus Staufenberg writes about his experience of the race

"Having not competed in the Otago champs before I was unsure what to expect heading into the race. The course and the competition made for a hard race. After a fast first lap and finding my rhythm I set upon working the steep hill each lap, the hill I’m sure we all enjoyed so much. I was able to break away from my competition by the last lap and had to make sure to hold strong all the way to the end knowing Daniel was chasing me down. What a great day it was for a run and the support from Leith on the course was unreal. It really gave you that extra gear. Can't wait for the next race, and seeing everyone out there giving it their best." 

Senior Women's Race (5 x 2km) 10km

The Leith Senior Women put in an excellent effort in winning the Jubilee Cup for the Senior Women Winning Team.  Sharon Lequeux finished in 4th Place overall but clinched the Otago Champs Bronze Medal for being the 3rd Otago Registered runner across the line in 44:17, Lydia Pattillo - 5th (4th Otago) in 44:54 and Sophie Smith 6th (5th Otago) in 46:41 were thrilled to win the team title.  Gaya Gnanalingam providing well needed support in case any in the front faltered was 7th (6th Otago) in 50:18.

Masters Men 35-49 (4 x 2km) 8km

The Leith Masters Men dominated this grade providing Leith Harriers with a trifecta of podium finishes to win the team title.  Glen Chisholm led the way with a first place finish in 28 minutes 26 seconds.  Second was Andrew Lonie in 29:03 and third team member in third place was Neale McLanachan Leith in 29:20.  Although only three team members count on points the finishing places of support runners still counts in lowering the points scored by other clubs' teams.  So Leith provided fantastic support, so much so, that leith also attained the second place team title:  the team of  Simon Leaning - 5th in 32:09;  Mark O'Donnell - 7th (6th Otago) in 34:10 and Mark O'Neill - 8th (7th Otago) in 34:34 finished as second team.  Supporting these teams in the overall team placings statistics were Phil Page - 9th (8th Otago) in 34:43 and Michael Walker - 10th (9th Otago) in 40:44. 

Women Under 18 - 5km

Another fine effort from the Leith Harriers athletes, Rebecca Dalphin won the Hill City University Trophy as first Women U18 Individual Winner  in 22 minutes 28 seconds and Caitlin O'Donnell finished second in 23 minutes 12 seconds. We did not have a third runner, so were unable to compete for the team title.

Masters Men 50-64 (4 x 2km) 8km

Maintaining his great form, Danny Baillie won this competitive grade in an excellent time of 30 minutes 01 seconds to lead the rest of the Leith team of  Steve Tripp - 7th (6th Otago) in 35:33 and Ray Knox -  9th (8th Otago) in 37:25 to a narrow 2 points second in the team placings.  The team was ably supported in the placings by Lachie Ashton - 10th (9th Otago) in 37:37.

Masters Women 50-64 (3 x 2km) 6km

Christine Montgomery won this grade convincingly in 27 minutes 13 seconds showing continual improvement in form.  As sole Leith competitor in this grade she was unable to also compete for a team title.

 Men Under 20 (4 x 2km) 8km

Nathan Hill  ran well to finish third in this grade in 28 minutes 01 second. Again as sole Leith athlete he was unable to compete for a team prize.

Masters Women 35-49 (3 x 2km) 6km

Siobhan McKinlay ran a fine race to clinch a podium finish of third in 28 minutes 51 seconds.  Again being a sole Leith athlete she was unable to compete for the team prize.

Master Men's 65+ (3 x 2km) 6km

Showing the youngsters how it's done, Dave McLean ran a steady pace to finish third in this grade in 34 minutes 14 seconds. As can be seen Dave puts everything into the run, leaving nothing out there.  Congrats old chap, we hope to get some other 65+ runners out there supporting you in a team effort.  After the race, Dave had this to say  "I would like to thank Chris for his efforts in trying to put an over 65 team together for the Otago XC Champs at Waikouaiti in the weekend. Sadly, I was the only volunteer so I ended up running as an individual instead.  Having been off running for a while, I may not have been quite as fleet-footed as I have been in earlier years, but still managed a good little trot around the course. It was most enjoyable, especially finishing, but I was not quite fast enough to catch Caversham's stalwart thoroughbreds, Ken Fahey and David Stott. A good run was had by all."

Thanks to Everyone who made this a memorable day

Thanks to everyone who made this a memorable day for both athletes and spectators alike.  To all those who helped in setting up and taking down the course, to the officials who did the time keeping and other vital duties, to the marshals from Leith and Civil Service, to the enthusiastic spectators and to the athletes themselves. Also thanks to Club President Chris Sole and the club captains for getting the teams together and motivating our club members to take part in this iconic event and providing magnificent support to the runners during the racing.  Margaret Knox, Greg Johnston, Alan Funnell, Peter Hughes, Kevin Blair, Marc Boulle, Stu Hodges, Kevin Murphy, Gisela Sole and family, the Athletics Otago officials and various athletes were performing multiple tasks in ensuring the success of this event.  Also to Sebastian Sole for taking some wonderful photographs of the action, many of which you can see above.