Thu, Nov 9, 2023 9:43 AM

Skaters compete at College Park for last time


Peter Jones

Marlborough’s speed skaters competed strongly at the Top of the South Tour staged over three days at various venues around the province over Labour Weekend.

Both time trial and marathon races were held at the annual meet, attended by 70 skaters this year, hailing from Auckland, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru, Nelson and Marlborough.

These skaters added colour to proceedings.

The Blenheim Skating Club was represented by 12 skaters, who met with varying levels of success.

Leading the way once more in the ladies A grade was the region’s top skater, Erin Green, who won every race she competed in, bar the A grade men’s event, picking up first overall. Lily Pontague finished eighth overall in the same section, her best effort coming at Athletic Park where she placed third in the reverse two-lap race. Talita Kotze was 12th overall, her best effort being seventh in the one-lap dual time trial at the Blenheim rink. Thirteenth overall was Eva Jenkins, whose highlight was a sixth placing in the 500m at Athletic Park.

Young skaters await the start.

In the C grade mixed event Kalara Green finished seventh overall, finishing fourth in the Mystery Points race at Athletic Park. Amelia Marshall came home 11th overall, her best effort coming in the 500m at Athletic Park where she finished sixth. Sophie Searle finished 13th overall. She was one of the youngest in the grade and her best effort came in the two-lap race at Athletic Park where she finished sixth.

The novice A grade saw Isaac Vincent reach the podium, finishing third overall. His best placing was second which he achieved in five different races.

Sophie Searle was one of the younger skaters in action. 

Ava Vincent dominated proceedings in novice B, winning all her races on day two of the competition. Mila Harvey was third overall, with a best effort of third in both the 500m and three-quarter race at Athletic Park. Julie Minghetti came in fourth overall, finishing fourth in four different races.

This was the last time the local club will race the Top of the South meet at the current College Park venue, with a new site on the horizon as the park is earmarked for the Bohally Intermediate development.

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