Henley Rd boys off to Aussie
Conal Wilson and Andy Stewart will not only be representing their country at the Australian Cross Country Championships but also their street.
The Auckland Grammar students both live on Henley Rd in Mt Eden and are representatives in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country team.
Wilson and Stewart, both 17, had some impressive results at the NZ Secondary School Champs with Wilson coming in eighth and Stewart in 12th.
The top 12 times are selected for the national side which will race in August in Albany, Western Australia.
The boys train together every day.
‘‘How well you do on race day is all down to the training you have done yourself. After a race, if you did well, you know it’s because you trained hard,’’ Stewart says.
‘‘I like the competition, and the buildup to the race,’’ Wilson says.
‘‘It’s also about the thrill of winning a race and getting that feeling after you’ve won.’’
Stewart and Wilson both started running in year 9 at Auckland Grammar and have been seriously running for the past three years.
‘‘I had a family friend a few years above me compete and I saw how well he did and I thought, I want to do that,’’ Stewart says.
Wilson’s brothers were successful cross-country runners so it was natural for him to take up the sport.
Wilson will be looking to follow in his brother Declan’s footsteps who won the Australian event two years ago.
The Wesley Harrier and Athletic Club members expect the climate in Albany to be similar but the course is set to be a lot flatter than the hilly New Zealand courses.
Wilson will race in the under-18 6km category while Stewart will race in the under-20 8km section.
Both runners are excited at the prospect of competing in an international race and are keen to continue competing in cross-country.
Wilson is in year 12 and will have the opportunity to keep running for his school.
‘‘There is always next year’s cross country and next year’s Australian trip to look forward to.’’
Stewart is in his final year and hopes to keep up his running while studying engineering at university.
‘‘When I leave school I’ll keep training and do all the club events and just see where it leads me.’’
Friendly neighbours: Conal Wilson and Andy Stewart both live on Henley Rd and have both been selected for the New Zealand Secondary School Cross Country team.
Pushing on: Conal Wilson, above, and Andy Stewart, left, in action for Auckland Grammar at the NZ Secondary School Champs.