‘Amazing’: duo makes top five at nationals

Top effort ... Millie McFadzien (15) and Max McGregor (14) embrace each other after their races at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships at the weekend. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Two St Peter’s College pupils are among the best cross country runners in New Zealand.

Millie McFadzien (15) and Max McGregor (14) both achieved a top five finish at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships at the weekend.

Max placed third in the year 9 boys’ 3000m race.

He said he felt a sense of relief when he crossed the finish line.

‘‘It was amazing and very fun.

‘‘There was lots of people cheering.’’ His goal was to get a spot on the podium.

‘‘I really wanted that spot.’’

He finished the race in 10 minutes and 32 seconds, and became the first Gore athlete in more than 35 years to get a medal in the national cross country.

Max had been sick in the leadup to the race but this did not stop him competing.

‘‘Most of it [the sickness] kicked in after, so I didn’t feel myself during the race.’’

After the race he spent an hour in the sick bay recovering.

Millie ran the junior girls’ 3000m race and the senior girls relay race.

In the 3000m race she placed fourth.

The race was neck and neck right until the end, she said.

‘‘There was a group of five at the start that got out there and we stayed together for a long time and then spread out for the last 200m.’’

She finished with a time of 11 minutes and 12 seconds, 12 seconds behind first place.

‘‘At the time it was kind of disappointing, you do so much work and then you’re just off.

‘‘Afterwards you realise that you gave it your all.’’

Despite only just missing the podium she was happy with how she ran.

In the relay her team placed third which was a good feeling after she just missed out on the position earlier.

‘‘It was good to be able to come back from [the last race] with that.

‘‘It was pretty tough.

‘‘As soon as I started I could feel my thighs throbbing.’’

She ran 2km in 7 minutes and 51 seconds, the third fastest leg of the day.

Since 1990, only five individual medals have been won by Southlanders at the championships.