Blenheim skaters win multiple gold medals at Oceania Championships

Blenheim skaters from the left, Lily Pontague, Erin Green and Paige Horne have too many medals to pick from after a strong performance at the 2022 Oceania Speed ​​Skating Championships in Timaru.

Anthony Phelps / Stuff

Blenheim skaters from the left, Lily Pontague, Erin Green and Paige Horne have too many medals to pick from after a strong performance at the 2022 Oceania Speed ​​Skating Championships in Timaru.

Three young Blenheim skaters celebrate a slew of gold medals from the Oceania Championships, where they had one of the club’s most successful runs in recent memory.

The girls dominated both the Cadet Girls Grade and Junior Ladies Grade in the 2022 Oceania Speed ​​Skating Championships in Timaru on September 10 and 11.

They brought home nine gold medals and two silver medals special mention from New Zealand coach Bill Begg on the strong Blenheim competitors.

Their success was a relief to Paige Horne, who said she was a little concerned the days before whether a nasty spider bite on her leg would affect her performance.

Blenheim's Erin Green, right, leads the pack in the marathon event ahead of Lahna Meadows, left, and Nelson's Mikeala Macdonald, center, at the Timaru Championships.

AIMAN AMERUL MUNER/Stuff

Blenheim’s Erin Green, right, leads the pack in the marathon event ahead of Lahna Meadows, left, and Nelson’s Mikeala Macdonald, center, at the Timaru Championships.

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“But it was good. It was interesting.”

Not only did she come home with medals, she even managed to avoid dramatic crashes or falls like there were a few in her races, she said. There were also a few who celebrated too early and got picked on the post.

Covid-19 had caused many cancellations since the early days of the pandemic two years ago, so the girls were delighted to have the opportunity to race at an international level.

SCOTT HAMMOND/ Stuff.co.nz

Young members of the Blenheim Speed ​​Skating Club are on a golden track.

Junior Ladies Grade entrant Erin Green was one of the outstanding skaters to win all six titles in her division. She also won first place in the Junior Ladies relay, along with Nelson’s Mikaela Macdonald.

Cadet Girls Grade competitor Paige Horne took first in the 5000 meter points elimination and second in the half marathon, while fellow cadet Lily Pontague took second in the 5000 meter points elimination and first in the half marathon.

From left to right, Erin Green, Paige Horne and Lily Pontague practice on the club court in Blenheim's College Park.

Anthony Phelps / Stuff

From left to right, Erin Green, Paige Horne and Lily Pontague practice on the club court in Blenheim’s College Park.

Paige and Lily also teamed up with Nelson’s Emily Olthof to win the Cadet Girls Relay and tied for second overall in the Cadet Girls Grade.

They were overjoyed at their win, but there was no celebration at the finish, Lily said.

“When you finish the race, you don’t really know you’ve won until you have the results … because it’s all about the points.”

The skating calendar for the girls would continue with the Southern Open Day on October 1 and more events in the new year.

Hannah Winterburn of Blenheim was also due to leave for Whanganui at the end of September to represent NZ at the 2022 Oceania Artistic Championships.

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