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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 12. September 6, 1954

Harriers — Cross Country


Cross Country

The N.Z.U. cross country championship was held over a six and a quarter mile course at Paekakariki. It consisted of two laps of mainly rough undulating sand hills and some stretches of gravel road, with the start and the finish on the beach. It was a gruelling race run in hot sunshine and a true cross country test where a knowledge of the course was an advantage.

When the starting gun wan fired Gilberd of Victoria led the field of 28 away, closely followed by Stevens (Victoria) and Travers, French, Smith and Russell (all of Auckland), and M. Brown of Canterbury, Beaglehole and Gow (both of Victoria) were both in a good position at this stage, with L. Phillips of Canterbury not far behind them.

When the runners entered the narrow, winding cattle track about a mile from the start, Gilberd had a lead of about 100 yards from Stevens, who was closely followed by the four Aucklanders, all running very strongly. Canterbury runners were well strung out here with L. Phillips catching up to M. Browne and D. Tucker and D. Pringle lying 12th and 13th respectively. In the second half of the first lap, the steep up and down grades through a hot sheltered valley slowed up most of the runners, so that D. Pringle of Canterbury overtook his two team mates. D. Tucker and M. Browne, and caught up to L. Phillips.

Re-entering the rough country, with 2½ miles to go, Gilberd of Victoria led Stevens (Victoria) by 150 yards, and further back were Travers. French, Smith and Russell of Auckland. D. Pringle and L. Phillips of Canterbury, Gow and Beaglehole of Victoria and Barnett of Auckland. It looked as though positions would remain unaltered from then on. But on the steep grades, the Aucklanders began to falter, and D. Pringle gradually moved up past them into third place. There was a fairly fast finish down the beach, with Gilberd winning in 41 minutes 35 seconds, Stevens 250 yards behind in 42 minutes 20 seconds, and Pringle about 260 yards further back in 43 minutes 8 seconds. Russell, French and Smith and French of Auckland finished 4th, 5th and 6th to give them second place in teams placing. Canterbury was third and retained the Carmalt Jones Cup for the South