Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 11. July 30, 1947
On two successive Saturdays recently members of the VUC Harrier Club have performed with distinction. In the Anderson Rally at Dannevirke, members of the Club filled the first two places and the Club gained second place in the teams' event. The following week, in the Dorne Cup race, one of the big fixtures of the year, Varsity were again second in the teams' race, as well as having the second man home.
On each occasion the weather was unkind, and the Dorne Cup was run during the recent bad storm. It was, however, the only sporting event to be conducted in Wellington that day—testimony to the hardiness of harriers generally. The harrier chibs' record of never having cancelled a run because of weather conditions is unique.
The Star Performers.
A feature of the Dannevirke event (and a great surprise incidentally) was the defeat of Clem Hawke by John Eccles. It was some compensation for Hawke to be a fifth of a second behind Eccles.
Hawke was frankly disappointing in the Dorne Cup Race. Hawke knows how to run all right, but when Hutt Valley's Taylor applied the pressure there wasn't quite the snap about the Varsity man's work that might have been expected.
Taylor beat Hawke by 130 yards, but Hawke's performance was conceivably affected by the appalling conditions.
Hawke shaped incomparably better, however, in the first lap of the Wellington-Masterton Relay earlier in the season.
John Hunt, another very good harrier—he runs between third and fifth in the club—has one serious drawback, he is inclined to go in the wind with consequent painful stitch.
Alister Hall shows particular promise as a cross-country man. One thing in his favour is that he is very solid. With more experience he may very well be moulded into a top-liner.
John Goodwin, along with Hall and Eccles, runs for Training College. Hall's ability is reflected in his nineteenth placing at Dannevirke, but he tends to be inconsistent. This inconsistency may be traced to the fact that he runs on Thursdays for Training College—so do Goodwin and Eccles—and it is debatable whether the very short break between events is conducive to a high standard of performance.
Peter Whittle is paying the penalty for overtraining. He is a first-class harrier, but too much preparation has caused some inconsistency in performance. Chalk up John Holden as the most erratic runner. He was an emergency only for the Shaw Baton event, but finally ran in place of Goodwin. Then he was fourth man home in the Dorne Cup. To cap everything he was entered in the B grade team at Dannevirke and recorded faster time than Hall and Whittle.
These are the Facts.
It is abundantly clear, however, that a number of Varsity runners are not prepared to make a few sacrifices which would bring about a better team and better individual performance. Those who smoke cigarettes are naturally reluctant to give it up but it is not conducive to fast harriering. Fewer late nights, more attention to training, might produce better results. The present approach of many to the sport is far from satisfactory, and it is hoped that the position will improve before Tournament.