Outstanding performances from Mt Maunganui College’s Mia Callingham and Isla Hunt have highlighted the Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools Ski and Snowboard Championships on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu.
The pair have taken out the senior and junior girls ski titles respectively in brilliant sunlit conditions on the mountain.
Junior and senior students from ten Bay of Plenty secondary schools competed in skiing and snowboarding events at the Sport BOP organised championships, completing two runs of a modified giant slalom course.
Many of the top performers will be going on to compete at the upcoming North Island secondary schools champs at Whakapapa.
Mia, enjoying her second year on the podium after winning the junior girls’ category last year, took the senior girls title ahead of Hannah Howell of Taupo-Nui-a-Tia College, and John Paul College’s Frances James.
She says it was great to be back on the mountain.
“I love the awesome atmosphere of the Sport BOP ski champs and camaraderie among the athletes,” she says. “It was great to see some of the first timers and younger athletes having so much fun.”
Isla headed an all-Western Bay podium in the junior girls’ division, ahead of Aquinas College’s Charlotte Madams and Nikita Borrie of Tauranga Girls’ College.
"I love the encouraging atmosphere on the mountain and really enjoy the thrill of racing,” she said after receiving her gold.
Isla Hunt takes on the Turoa slopes on her way to the junior girls’ title.
Reef Sharp of Taupo’s Tauhara College won the senior boys ski title, ahead of John Paul College’s Oliver Schweizer. Athletes from Aquinas College then filled the next four positions, with Xavier Barry taking the bronze.
Tauhara’s Lachlan and Fynn Powell took one and two in the junior boys’ category, ahead of Bethlehem’s Jonathan Strongman.
Tauranga can lay claim to the status of snowboarding powerhouse in the Bay with Boys’ College’s Bryn Nilson and Leo Booth taking the senior and junior boys titles, and the girls golds going to Zoe Booth and Minnie Davies of Tauranga Girls’.
In the overall schools’ team trophy Tauhara College were dominant, taking the gold on 175 points ahead of Aquinas on 153 and John Paul College on 143.
Tauranga Girls’ came home in fourth spot with the strong performances from Mia Callingham and Isla Hunt helping Mount College into fifth.
Members of the Mount College team - from left Mia Callingham, Alice Kerse, Taylor Jonathan, Joe Spiers, Brooke Ross and Isla Hunt.