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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 9. June 25, 1947

Harrier's Major Success In Shaw Baton Relay

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Harrier's Major Success In Shaw Baton Relay

On Saturday, June 14, under perfect running conditions. Victoria College Harriers won for the first time in its 15 years of existence the Shaw Baton Relay, which comprises six laps of one mile and three hundred yards each. This race is mostly over road but there is a little strenuous country. The Varsity sextet took the lead early and won the race 14 sec. in front of the second team. Hutt Valley.

John Eceles was the first man to run and he was responsible for a most surprising performance. He is a confident fellow who had the right idea when he set a blistering pace from the start. He has competed for two seasons only (he used to play hockey) and stayed right out in front to beat A. R. Glen (Brooklyn), one of the best indent in the country. Eceles, who has plenty of native ability, covered the one mile and 300 yards in 5 min. 48 secs., only four seconds slower than that recorded by his club-mate Clem Hawke. Whose time in the last lap was the best of the day.

"Evening Post" Photo

"Evening Post" Photo

Alistair Hall was next to take on the Baton, but Eceles had given him a forty-yard start. Hall, a newcomer to the club (and has been doing remarkably well), not only maintained the lead but increased it and completed his lap in 6min. 1sec. From there the race was continued by Peter Whittle, who handed over to John Hunt. At this stage it was doubtful if Varsity could hold their lead much longer. Hunt ran against Bill Smith of Hutt Valley, a polished runner who notwithstanding his running into a camera at the commencement of the Masterton Relay finished at the end of that lap second to Hawke. B. Smith caught Hawke before half of the lap had been completed but Hunt at the end of the lap had not only caught up to Smith but increased the Varsity lead.

John Holden, who a fortnight previously in the Masterton Relay put up the fastest time for the lap from the summit of the Rimutakas to Featherston, revealed his form in the fifth lap and with the Varsity lead well established handed the baton on to Clem Hawke.

The usual standard of running was again carried out by the Club Champion and NZU and VUC Harrier Blue Clem Hawke, who ran the race in the amazing time of 5min. 44sec.

At the end of the sixth lap Varsity were 80 yards ahead of Hutt Valley, and Brooklyn a further 200 yards behind. The latter team unfortunately suffered from the absence of Colin Dickie, the provincial champion. The noticeable feature of the Varsity team was their freshness after running their laps. This was in marked contrast to other teams and speaks well of the training the members of the senior team have done in the past month.

For the first time in many years Varsity also fielded a junior team in the relay. The team finished fifth in the junior event. Mawson and Kelly, who have been doing remarkably well as juniors, must be commended on their exhibition. Still feeling fresh after their exertion in the race these keen youngsters went off afterwards and had their usual training run.

In the past the VUC Harrier Club has produced some notable individuals in fellows like the late Ross Scrymgeour, 1. C. MacDowall, G. Bagnall and F. D. O'Flynn, all who won N.Z. University Blues, and Clem Hawke is well up to their standard. Collectively the club in its 15 years existence has never revealed the strength displayed this season. The third placing in the Wellington-Masterton Relay indicated that the team had possibilities and though the Shaw Baton cannot be regarded as an exacting test of cross-country, at the same time it is one where speed is the essence of the contract. Our club sextet adequately demonstrated that they possess this necessary qualification by beating Hutt valley decisively. However, a more reliable guide to the team's ability will be provided by the Anderson Rally and the Dorne Cup, which will be held in a short while.