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Webster Strikes Gold in Invercargill
1 Feb, 2013

Auckland's Sam Webster prevailed from the bevy of world class sprinters to claim the mens sprint title on the second night of finals at the national track cycling championships in Invercargill.
 
The 21 year old, who missed out on a spot in the team for the London Olympics, showed the speed and nous to prevail over Southland comer Matt Archibald in two-straight rides in the best of three finals.
 
Meanwhile 19 year old Stephanie McKenzie, in just her second year in the elite ranks, upset Southland compatriot and Olympian Natasha Hansen 2-0 in the womens final. It was an outstanding result for McKenzie, who won four world junior championship medals.
 
It marked an impressive day of world class performances from the burgeoning group of BikeNZ sprinters who have set some sizzling performances amid the sweltering conditions at Stadium Southland Velodrome.
 
The standards were set in the morning qualifying where three men went under the previous New Zealand record in the sprint.
 
Yesterday's 250m time trial champion Ethan Mitchell (Auckland) set the standard in a personal best of 10.140 before Archibald, who clocked a remarkable 9.937s at altitude in the Mexico World Cup two weeks ago, was first under the previous record with a 10.101s.
 
Southland compatriot Eddie Dawkins edged that with an outstanding 10.074 before Webster (Auckland) regained his own record when he went fastest with a 10.074.
 
Webster, a triple junior world champion, proved too classy for his close mate Mitchell 2-0 in one semifinal while Archibald prevailed in the all-Southland semi over Dawkins.
 
Webster displayed pure class and outstanding race craft to take the final over Archibald in two straight rides.
 
National record holder Hansen (Southland), beaten in both the 250m and 500m time trials yesterday, bounced back with an impressive 11.261s to qualify top in the women's sprints ahead of Otago's Katie Schofield (11.653) and Southlands Stephanie McKenzie (11.414).
 
Hansen was too strong for multi world junior medallist Paige Paterson (Auckland) in one semifinal while McKenzie had too much power for Schofield in the other semi.
 
McKenzie came from behind to pip Hansen near the line in the first final and proved too strong in the second race for her first national elite individual title.
 
MORE TO COME SECOND TAKE
 
Day 2 finals:
 
Men Sprint qualifying: Sam Webster (Auckland) 10.058, 1 (NZ record); Eddie Dawkins (Southland) 10.074, 2; Matt Archibald (Southland) 10.101, 3; Ethan Mitchell (Auckland) 10.140, 4.
 
Quarterfinals: Webster bt Dylan Kennett (Mid South Canterbury), Dawkins bt Shane Archbold (Mid South Canterbury), Archibald bt Tom Beadle (Southland), Mitchell bt Simon Van Velthooven (Auckland).
 
Semifinals (best of 3): Webster bt Mitchell 2-0, Archibald bt Dawkins 2-0.
 
Third/Fourth: Dawkins bt Mitchell 2-0.
 
Final (best of 3: Webster bt Archibald 2-0.
 
Women Sprint qualifying: Natasha Hansen (Southland) 11.261, 1; Stephanie McKenzie (Southland) 11.414, 2; Katie Schofield (Otago) 11.653, 3; Paige Paterson (Auckland) 11.815, 4.
 
Quarterfinals: Hansen bt Kirstie James (Otago), McKenzie bt Kate Dudley (West Coast North Island), Schofield bt Victoria Steel (Canterbury), Paterson bt Henrietta Mitchell (Auckland).
 
Semifinals (best of 3): Hansen bt Paterson 2-0, McKenzie bt Schofield 2-0.
 
Third/Fourth: Schofield bt Paterson 2-0.
 
Final: Mckenzie bt Hansen 2-0.
 
Under-19:
 
Women 2000m individual pursuit, gold medal ride: Laura Heywood (Southland) 2:31.151, 1; Holly Edmondston (Canterbury) 2:33.511, 2. Bronze medal ride: Maxyna Cottam (West Coast North Island) 2:33.270, 3; Lauren Hobson (Auckland) 2:35.067, 4.
 
Men 3000m individual pursuit, gold medal: Alex Hooper (Mid South Canterbury) 3:24.789, 1; Connor Stead (Canterbury) 3:31.054, 2. Bronze medal: Regan Gough (East Coast North Island) 3:24.219, 3; Josh Haggerty (Southland) 3:28.240, 4.
 
Women Keirin: Lauren Hobson (Auckland) 1, Alice Hay (Canterbury) 2, Shannon Grinter (Waikato BOP) 3.
 
Men Keirin: Jeremy Presbury (Southland) 1, Reon Sheath (East Coast North Island) 2, Ryan Berney (East Coast North Island) 3.

Click to enlarge...

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