Motueka juniors rise to second place in National Adventure Racing Championships
Motueka High School’s Junior Adventure Racing Team continued to place the region on the competitive adventure racing world map after placing second in the Get2Go National Final last week at Great Barrier Island.
Motueka High School’s reputation as an adventure racing engine was further strengthened after its junior team finished second in the Get2Go National Final at Great Barrier Island.
The 9’s and 10’s squad, made up of Simon de Vries, Lochy Shand, co-captains Sam Johnson and Nika Rayward, Tide Fa’avae, Keala Manderson, Bree Fraser and Ethan Woods challenged their inexperience as competitors for the first time to finish runner- in the 12-team field, which also included Waimea College.
The team was hit hard weeks before the competition when experienced team member and navigator Riley Croxford broke his foot during an orienteering race.
Luckily, Woods has proven to be a fit and competent short-term replacement, already in peak form due to his mountain biking experience.
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The team qualified in September by winning the regional competition and had put in six weeks of hard work to prepare for the physical and technical demands of the nationals.
Once the team arrived at Hillary Outdoors Base on Great Barrier Island, they endured five days of running, swimming, kayaking, climbing, sailing, problem-solving, high ropes and an expedition. two day trip with Rogaine style sailing.
“The event was definitely more difficult than I expected … many other teams looked so much bigger and stronger than ours, with many returnees,” said coach Wendy van den Berg .
Motueka performed exceptionally well in the climbing challenge, with the second best team achieving only 70% of what they did.
Van den Berg said the sailors rose to the challenge, contributing to the rogaine’s second-highest score, just behind Taradale High, who ended up winning the overall title.
Co-coach Mark Rayward said the team’s performance exceeded expectations.
“They were balanced, no frills, good at suffering and giving everything.”
The junior achievement comes on top of an already successful year for the adventure racing teams at Motueka High School, following a victory in the October Hillary Challenge in Tongariro.