Plac­ings stun Ti­maru teen

South Canterbury Herald - - MOTORING - KOREN ALL­PRESS

Ti­maru’s Neve O’Con­nor thought her ears had de­ceived her when the em­cee at the South­ern Alps Coun­try Mu­sic Awards read out the in­ter­me­di­ate run­ner up.

‘‘He was read­ing out the in­ter­me­di­ate run­ner up cat­e­gory,’’ Neve said.

‘‘He goes ‘Steve Con­nor’. I was like ‘well done’. Then I was like ‘who’s Steve?’.

‘‘Ev­ery­one turns around and looks at me and I’m like ‘oh my gosh, I’m Steve’.’’

The 16-year-old Ron­calli Col­lege stu­dent said was ex­cited and sur­prised to to win the award; ‘‘it was in­sane’’.

‘‘I was the only lo­cal win­ner of the over­alls,’’ she said.

Dur­ing the week­end-long com­pe­ti­tion, she won the In­ter­me­di­ate Coun­try Rock and the In­ter­me­di­ate Novice sec­tions, was run­ner up for In­ter­me­di­ate over­all, and was very highly com­mended on her In­ter­me­di­ate Solo.

It was her sec­ond time in the event af­ter pre­vi­ously com­pet­ing in 2016.

There were about 15 to 20 peo­ple com­pet­ing in the In­ter­me­di­ate cat­e­gory, and she en­tered in three of the six or seven sec­tions on of­fer.

She def­i­nitely planned on en­ter­ing again next year.

‘‘I like do­ing it. You make such good friends from it, life long friends, and they’re al­ways there for you. It’s great be­cause they’re usu­ally not from Ti­maru, but Dunedin, Ash­bur­ton, Gore, all around.’’

Mum, Lau­ren O’Con­nor, said she be­lieved all of Neve’s hard work prac­tis­ing had paid off.

Judges had a tough job pick­ing the win­ners, awards con­venor An­drew Nel­son said.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple said it was the most evenly tal­ented [com­pe­ti­tion], ev­ery­body was on the same level,’’ he said.

‘‘It was very good, a very high stan­dard.’’

Ari­anne Baker, of Nel­son, took out the top award Se­nior Over­all Win­ner, with a prize of $1000 and a gui­tar pack­age.

‘‘It was just the over­all per­for­mance, she was in just about ev­ery sec­tion she was eli­gi­ble for.’’

Baker had en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion numer­ous times, and was ex­cited to have won, Nel­son said. Baker and Chris Whit­nell, of Nel­son, took out the run­ner up over­all as a duo.

Camp­bell Lan­drebe, of Dunedin, won the In­ter­me­di­ate over­all, while his younger sister Alyssa Lan­drebe won the Ju­nior Over­all sec­tion.

At­ten­dance and en­trant num­bers were down a lit­tle bit on pre­vi­ous years, which Nel­son at­trib­uted to there be­ing a num­ber of events on si­mul­ta­ne­ously in, and near, Ti­maru.

PHOTO: KOREN ALL­PRESS/STUFF

Neve O’Con­nor, 16, was placed run­ner up for the In­ter­me­di­ate sec­tion.

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