Wednesday June 7, 2017
Cross country week at local schools It was school cross-country week last week as most schools prepare for the Wainuiomata inter-school cross-country event on June 13 at Richard Prouse Park. St Claudine Thevenet School was lucky to have its event at a farm owned by a family from the school, after using a field in previous years. “It’s a real cross country course – it’s a totally different event,” Associate Principal Neil MacDonald said. The 2.5km course had obstacles, a creek crossing and a water jump and an uphill climb to the finish. It is the second time the school has used the venue. Konini School also got their speedy shoes on and had individual race numbers at its event. Students from Wainuiomata Intermediate volunteered to marshall the course, and also recorded results. Konini’s event was held at the school. Both senior and junior students cheered each other on, teacher Matt Pegg said. “There was a corridor of cheering. We were creating an element of a big event, and it gives children the chance to shine,” he said. While the older students in Years 7 and 8 head over the Wainuiomata Hill to compete regionally, the 10 top placed students of each year group in Years 4-6 – five boys and five girls - head off to the inter-school event next week to see who are the fastest cross country runners in Wainuiomata’s schools. Wainuiomata Intermediate’s cross country event is at Trentham Memorial park today.
Jack Brosnahan from St Claudine Thevenet School navigates the mud.
Konini School’s Shaye Puohotaua, Tamara Williams, Jevaeh Josep.
Brothers stack up against the competition
Brothers Ricky (left) and Caleb Smith are all concentration as they compete at Nationals.
By Dave Crampton
Two local sports stackers are among the best in the country after competing at the New Zealand Sport Stacking Championships in Northland over the weekend. Caleb Smith,19, and his brother Ricky, 11 topped their respective age groups, with Caleb being one of the top stackers of all competitors. Nea rly 4 0 comp et itors, i nclud i ng members of the national team – called the New Zealand Black Stacks - fresh from their medal winning performance in Taiwan, had their fingers flying as they strove to impress the selectors. The tournament doubled as trials for the 2018 NZ Black Stacks team that will travel to the USA next year, representing New Zealand at the World Sport Stacking Championships. Caleb is sure to be selected after his performances. Speed stacking — also known as cup stacking or sport stacking — involves stacking cups in specific sequences as quickly as possible. Participants stack and unstack 12 specially designed plastic cups in pre-determined sequences. There are three routines - and even relays. One routine called “the cycle”, is a complex sequence that involves more than 40 moves and the world record for this is under five seconds. National records for some routines are
as quick as 1.4 seconds. All competitors need hand-eye coordination, concentration, dexterity and fitness. Competitors ranged in age from seven to 54, all of whom had to follow the 15-page rule book. Ricky, who first went to a national tournament when aged six, practices most weeks. “It is something you can do when you`re bored,” he said. Caleb, however had other things on his mind. He has been cup stacking for years and has been going around schools promoting the sport. He owns a timer, a mat and several stacking cup sets. “It’s so much fun when you first start – you get personal bests all the time,” he said. Caleb has competed at previous world championships and at his level, personal bests are hard to come by. He hopes to be selected for the national team. He has had three personal bests this year, the first three since 2014, when preparing for a world champs tournament. But the sport is not just about stacking and unstacking cups – there is a social aspect, and Caleb said he loves catching up with his stacking mates and is looking forward to a tournament later this year in Auckland which he will use to prepare for the world champs.. Tournament director Jo Carter, whose son Nathan is a top stacker, is looking forward to worlds next year. “We do better than the Aussies.”
with Jacob Page
Jimmy Spithill’s words of war Oracle’s Jimmy Spithill is what sport contests need. The chirpy Aussie is not wasting any opportunities to stick it to Team New Zealand either on the water or at the press conferences at the America’s Cup in Bermuda. Jimmy has won both races against Team New Zealand and has lambasted them publicly for their tactical errors and even made claims he has an inside source in the Kiwi camp. It’s entertaining and it gives the America’s Cup some colour to go with the spectacular visuals of the racing between these machines competing at more than 75kph. Spithill’s gum flapping is reminiscent of a heavyweight boxer talking trash for that intangible mental advantage. Having said that, he who laughs last laughs best and with Oracle and
Team New Zealand clearly the best two teams, it’s likely they will face each other many times yet over the next month. Spithill’s cocky chat is typically Australian and it gets a kiwi back up promptly. It’s smart tactics from cup holders. Also though, the banter proves that Team New Zealand are a threat on the water. Peter Burling is learning on the job and, unlike former helmsman Dean Barker, is a proven winner and will get better over time. However, Spithill’s talk give us the protagonist versus antagonist match up that goes so well together in sport. In these modern times of respect and political correctness, it’s a refreshing approach and a throwback to decades ago.
Wainuiomata News 07-06-17