Nel­son ath­letes dom­i­nate

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - PETER JONES

The Ath­let­ics Nel­son se­nior men’s team took top hon­ours in the 36th Queen Char­lotte Re­lay on Satur­day, break­ing the two-hour mark.

The slick com­bi­na­tion of Sam Mead, Kalani Sheri­dan, Fletcher Pick­worth, Jared Laut­enslager and An­gus We­myss cov­ered the un­du­lat­ing course in one hour 59.47.

Sec­ond were the Ath­let­ics Nel­son ju­nior men, com­pris­ing Ja­cob Bryan, Ben Baker, Ja­cob Babb, Jamie Wal­lis and Nick Matthews, nearly 13 min­utes be­hind, with the Marl­bor­ough Har­ri­ers Club Barn­storm­ers quin­tet of Phil Tay­lor, Ed Massey, Rob­bie Barnes, Dave Ver­non and Stephen Black­well third, a mere 24 sec­onds be­hind the sec­ond placeget­ters.

The first four run­ners from the win­ning team all reg­is­tered the fastest times on their re­spec­tive legs, while Matthews turned in the quick­est time on the fi­nal leg, from Moenui to Have­lock.

Forty run­ning teams con­tested the pop­u­lar event, with the win­ning com­bi­na­tion com­ing up just short of the race record, which still stands at one hour 50 min­utes.

The re­lay was held over five legs of vary­ing dis­tances on Marl­bor­ough’s Queen Char­lotte Drive be­tween Pic­ton and Have­lock.

It started at Waitohi Do­main than trav­elled through Wedge Point (5100m), Mo­morangi (8600m), Linkwa­ter (8100m), Moenui (6200m) and ended in Have­lock town­ship (6650m).

The vet­eran men’s ti­tle was won by the fourth-placed Ath­let­ics Nel­son Sil­ver Foxes team of Stu Cot­tam, Brian Kemp, Peter Leg one: Sam Mead 18.55. Leg two: Kalani Sheri­dan 28.21. Leg three: Fletcher Pick­worth 29.27. Leg four: Jared Laut­enslager 20.05. Leg five: Nick Matthews 22.18. Versey, Si­mon Lean­ing and Tim Cross.

The so­cial sec­tion was won by sixth-placed Marathon Downs, com­pris­ing Jess barnes, Will Barnes, Sean Martin, Rob­bie Barnes (who ran two legs) and Anna Barnes. The Ath­let­ics Nel­son ju­nior women’s team of Kas­sidy Gib­bons, Emily Dal­ton, Eloise Beat­tie, Lucy Martin and Breena Gib­bons claimed the ju­nior women’s crown with a 14th plac­ing, while the Go Girls quin­tet of Becky Twi­dle, Jo Bray, Leanne Broughton, Cat Man­son and Bids Tay­lor were the top se­nior women’s side, fin­ish­ing 15th.

The 19th-placed Waimea Vet Vix­ens team, Liz Coke, Robyn Deane, Yvonne West, Odette Llewellin and Fran Kerse won the vet­eran women’s ti­tle.

Seven teams of walk­ers com­peted, The Ath­let­ics Nel­son walk­ers com­bi­na­tion of Jeff Lecky, Peter Hague, Be­van Cook, Claire McKen­zie and Gwen Con­nor fin­ish­ing first in a time of 4:02.16.

Race or­gan­iser Les McKay was pleased with how things panned out, es­pe­cially with thun­dery weather hang­ing around the Sounds.

It rained at the pre-race brief­ing but cleared up for the race, the par­tic­i­pants en­joy­ing dry con­di­tions all the way to Have­lock, while Pic­ton re­ceived late af­ter­noon thunder, rain and hail.

RICKY WIL­SON/STUFF

Eloise Beat­tie from the Ath­let­ics Nel­son ju­nior women’s team takes off on the third leg af­ter re­ceiv­ing the ba­ton from Emily Dal­ton, right.

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