Young riders rise-up as schools cycling makes return in Invercargill


More than 150 riders from around the country competed in the Schools Track Championships at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome at Invercargill, which incorporated the South Island Championships.


The event, hosted by Cycling Southland and presented by ILT, featured omnium-styled individual events from Under-13 to Under-20 with options for Team Sprint and Team Pursuit, to showcase teamwork.


Official New Zealand titles were removed from the event when Auckland rider entries were withdrawn as the region was still in Alert Level 2.


The under-20 South Island titles were taken out by Canterbury riders Navarah Brotherston (Christchurch Boys High School) and Jenna Borthwick (Lincoln High School) with the senior championship titles won by Zakk Patterson and Mya Anderson both from Cambridge High who also played integral roles in the team competitions.


It proved a bitter-sweet performance from Patterson, who has had to endure a number of cycling events called off through Covid-19 along with the cancellation of the Junior World Championships. He showed his qualities to also feature in the gold medal winning Under-20 team sprint and team pursuit with Cambridge High School.


“At the start of lockdown I had a bit of a break and with the cancellation of the Junior Worlds, used this event to refocus so it’s great that my form came. Next year, I’m hoping to continue with my electrical apprenticeship and if borders re-open, international cycling experience at some point,” said Patterson


Anderson played her part in the team event with taking a gold in the team sprint and a silver in the team pursuit in her final collegiate cycling event.


“It was really exciting to have won my last schools’ event and to get back racing after everything that has happened. I really enjoyed the keirin which gave me a chance to try out my sprinting legs for a change as I usually concentrate on endurance racing,” said Anderson.


There was strong racing across the grades with Ben Murphy (U13 boys, Huntley School), Renee Harrison (U13 Girls, Kaitaia Intermediate), Caoilinn Gray (U14 girls, Cambridge Middle School), Seana Gray (U16 Girls, Cambridge High School), Amelia Sykes (U17 Girls, Avonside High School) and Mya Anderson (U20, Cambridge High School) winning all of their respective individual races.


Sykes continues to impress with winning both South Island and the overall championship in the U17 girls category.


“I really enjoyed this racing experience. I gave it everything and tried a lot of things. It’s been great riding with my team mates and friends from around the country. I definitely had fun.”


Top South Island School went to James Hargest College with the Top Championship team going for a third year in a row to Cambridge High School.


A majority of these riders are looking to make the most out the return of events with many participating in Cycling New Zealand’s National Track Series, at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome this weekend.


For full results click here.

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