Re­lay team de­fend ju­nior ti­tle

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

The Auck­land City Ath­let­ics Club’s women’s un­der-19 road re­lay team are queens of the high­way for the sec­ond year run­ning.

Es­ther Ke­own, 16, her sis­ter An­nie, 17, Breeanna Pot­ter, 18, Char­lotte Lau­rent, 16, Brid­get Lent­ing, 19, and Riah Milden­hall, 15, won the New Zealand ju­nior road re­lay ti­tle in Mos­giel ear­lier this month.

The women, who won last year, con­quered the 43.4km course in 2 hours 58 min­utes, about three min­utes ahead of near­est ri­vals Paku­ranga.

Es­ther had a huge amount of re­spon­si­bil­ity on her shoul­ders af­ter she was asked to run the fi­nal leg of the race.

But she says the team were con­fi­dent of com­ing away with victory, al­though they knew it would be tight.

“I knew the other two girls were close be­hind us, so I went re­ally su­per fast.

“Our team have known each other for quite a while and know how we can run.”

An­nie says a drive around the course the day be­fore the race helped the team de­cide which leg each girl would run.

“You’ve got to play to peo­ple’s strengths. It’s a whole team ef­fort.”

Af­ter run­ning the sec­ond leg An­nie had a ner­vous wait to find out whether her sis­ter could bring home the ti­tle.

“My con­fi­dence went up and down. At times we weren’t winning and other times we were be­ing caught,” she says.

“You want to put your strong­est run­ner at the end just to make sure of the re­sult.”

Team man­ager John Milden­hall says it’s a fan­tas­tic re­sult for the girls af­ter months of hard work.

“The club is im­mensely proud of what they have achieved be­cause this is a team on the re­build af­ter their win last year, with sev­eral new faces.”

The club’s se­nior women’s side nar­rowly missed out on mir­ror­ing their ju­nior coun­ter­parts, com­ing sec­ond in their race.

The Auck­land City Ath­let­ics Club bases it­self at Corn­wall Park in win­ter and Mt Smart Sta­dium in sum­mer.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Road run­ners: The Auck­land City Ath­let­ics Club ju­nior women’s team took out the ju­nior road re­lay ti­tle in Mos­giel. From left: Es­ther Ke­own, 16, Breeanna Pot­ter, 18, An­nie Ke­own, 17, Char­lotte Lau­rent, 16, Brid­get Lent­ing, 19, and Riah Milden­hall, 15.

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