The winning Boys’ team, with Theane van Zyl who won the Intermediate Girls Standard Grade.

MAGS competed in our most successful ever North Island Secondary School’s Orienteering Championships in Taupo from May 19-21, winning the overall award for Top Boys’ Team.  This is the first time the trophy has been won by our school and the first time it has been out of the Hawkes Bay for over 10 years.

The team of 32 (24 boys and 8 girls) had a number of top 10 results, with the standout performance being 1st place in the Junior boys’ relay run by Angus Edwards, Luke Clements, and a stunning last leg by Aidan Price.

In the Individual Championship grade, Aidan Price placed 4th in Junior boys, Adam Bateman 9th in Intermediate, and Liam Thompson 10th in the Senior grade.

Theane van Zyl placed 1st in the Intermediate Girls Standard Grade.

In the sprints, top 10 spots went to Mitchell Cooper and Thomas Brendolise in Intermediate boys, who came 5th and 10th respectively, and Angus Edwards, who came 10th in Junior boys.

When all results were collated, the MAGS’ Boys team came top of all the Boys’ teams competing.

Thanks to coaches Lyn Stanton and Kieran Woods, and to all the parents who came to help and support the team. The squad’s next event is the NZSS Championships in Masterton in July.

Auckland Regional Representatives: Liam Thompson, Mitchell Cooper, Theane van Zyl, Adam Bateman, Aidan Skinner and Thomas Brendolise have been selected for the Auckland team to compete for the Regional Challenge Trophy in Canterbury over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The New Zealand Orienteering team won the Fair Play Award at the World Schools Orienteering Championships in Italy after MAGS member Adam Bateman and a competitor from Napier Boys High School helped an English girl who was hurt on the course.

Adam (left) was part of MAGS Junior Boys team selected to represent NZ in that category at the World Champs in Sicily – the Junior Boys team came 6th overall and another team member, Mitchell Cooper (right), came 6th in the Middle Distance event. The other MAGS team members pictured above were Daniel Carroll, Aidan Skinner and Thomas Brendolise. Their coach was Albertian Mr Kieran Woods.

More than 140 teams from 27 countries competed across of programme of middle distance, long distance and relay events.

MAGS’ Junior Boys Orienteering Team has been selected to represent New Zealand at the World Championships in Italy next year after our best ever results at the NZSS Championships held in the Waikato during the July holidays.

The other highlight was Year 11 student Liam Thompson winning a Silver medal in the Intermediate Boys Individual Sprint event.

MAGS teams competed against more than 400 secondary school orienteers from around the country in the three disciplines of Campus Sprint, Individual Long Distance and 3-person Relay, held in Cambridge and Wharepapa South. Best individual placings ranged from 4th to 9th, while in the teams divisions, our Premier Boys came 3rd, Boys came 4th, and Girls came 6th.

The Junior Boys who contributed to the World Championship selection were Thomas Brendolise, Adam Bateman, Daniel Carroll, Mitchel Cooper, Aidan Skinner, Luca Eastwood and Luc-Aime Meurillon.

Event report

NZSS Championships, 21-23 July, Cambridge/Wharepapa south

MAGS was represented by a record team of 19 orienteers (14 boys, 5 girls) at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships, held at St Peters School, Cambridge and Wharepapa South (Waikato). Most of the team already had the experience of NI Champs under their belts so were keen to test themselves against an even wider range of schools. Around 420 students were competing from more than 40 schools. We were able to stay in comfortable conditions at St Peter’s School hostel, which was an enjoyable way for the team to be together and also meet orienteers from other schools.

The NZSS champs followed the same 3-day format as NISS, with a Campus Sprint, Long Distance Individual race and 3 person relay.

The Sprint event was held on the extensive grounds of St Peter’s. The boarding houses presented special challenges with mazes of covered walkways, almost the same as one another but not quite … ample room for mistakes and mispunches. No mispunches for MAGS though, although other top schools, especially champions Napier Boys, suffered badly in Juniors. For MAGS’ team, Liam Thompson pulled off a fantastic fast run to come 2nd equal and claim the Silver medal in Intermediate Boys. In Junior Boys, Mitchell Cooper was 4th and Adam Bateman 6th, while in Senior Girls, captain Theresa Boyd (running up an age grade) pulled off a very creditable 9th place. Across Junior Boys, our top 5 runners were all in the top 16 places, by far the strongest team result of any school in this grade.

On to Day 2 and the Long Distance, held on steep farmland terrain with wet gullies and interesting rock detail at Wharepapa South. The weather was fortunately kind and the Event Centre offered interesting views of the punishing uphill finish approach. Once again MAGS had strong individual results including Liam Thompson 4th in Intermediate Boys Championship, Thomas Brendolise 4th and Adam Bateman 6th in Junior Boys Championship, and Theresa Boyd 11th in Senior Girls. Yet again, MAGS as a team dominated the top 20 in Junior Boys with Year 9s Daniel Carroll (9th), Mitchell Cooper (14th) and Aiden Skinner (16th) showing the benefits of committed training to make this level at their first Nationals.

On to Day 3 and the all important relay, a mixture of long muddy farmland legs followed by technical sprint style building legs, again utilising the St Peter’s grounds. With a number of Senior boys unavailable for this competition, MAGS had no natural Senior boys relay team, so a difficult decision was made for our top Int Boys (Liam Thompson, Liam Grozev and Jonty de Pledge) to run up as Seniors, Junior Boys Adam Bateman, Thomas Brendolise and Mitchell Cooper to move into Intermediates, leaving Juniors Luca Eastwood, Daniel Carroll and Aidan Skinner to hold the Junior grade. If successful, this would mean points in all 3 grades towards the Top Schools trophy. Unfortunately this was not quite to be – the Seniors and Int teams managed creditable and clean punching runs for 6th and 9th places respectively, but a missed control in the Junior Boys threw that team out.

Meanwhile MAGS Girls for the first time ran a relay team at Nationals (Eloise Muir, Lucia Mackenzie, competing at her first official school event! and Jydee Leonard) and came through with 9th place to get themselves on the points table in the Small Teams division. Theresa Boyd ran a 4th fastest time in her leg of Senior girls in a composite (unofficial) team with girls from Massey High and St Mary’s College, while Junior Isla Thompson (who had competed with great courage in the Sprint and long despite an arm in a cast) took a well earned rest day.

When all the points were tallied, the results were exciting and proved this was MAGS’ best ever team performance at this level in orienteering:

Top Secondary Schools Competition
Mt Albert Grammar School Boys – 4th overall (Secondary Boys Division) (29 schools)
Mt Albert Grammar School Premier Boys – 3rd overall (Secondary Boys premier) (23 schools)
Mt Albert Grammar School Girls – 6th overall (Secondary Girls Small Teams Division) (28 schools)

Full results at these links:

Winsplits online

Shakespear Regional Park, 20 September

Shakespear Park is situated at the end of Whangaparaoa Peninsular and consists of mainly open farmland, rising steeply to broad ridges with spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf. The northern third of the peninsular is reserved for the armed services so there was a special incentive to not get lost.

For this event, we sent 17 boys and two girls, with all but four running in the Junior divisions. Three ran as individuals and others ran in teams of two.

The most spectacular results came in the Junior Boys Team division where 21 teams competed. Thomas Brendolise and Adam Bateman took the Gold Medal, while Mitchell Cooper and Aidan Skinner took the Bronze – a fantastic achievement. MAGS also fielded four other teams in this division.

In the Intermediate Boys Individual division, Liam Thompson won the Bronze medal. His time was 30 seconds faster than the eventual winner (Jayden Hancock of Pukekohe High School) but just one control less in the points count. Jonty de Pledge came in 4th.

Jydee Leonard and Lucia Mackenzie came in a creditable 13th in the Junior Girls team event.

Thanks go out to the five parents who transported the group, especially Ms Monique Dean who supervised for the day.

Following the MAGS team’s success in coming 2nd out of 61 schools at the North Island Championships in Hawke’s Bay in April 2016, five members were selected for the Auckland Regional Schools Team. Pictured above from left are Liam Thompson, Theresa Boyd, Liam Grozev, Adam Bateman and Jonty De Pledge.

The Auckland team contested the Regional Challenge Trophy against other New Zealand regional teams at a three-day forest orienteering competition at Queens Birthday Weekend.