Ben Baker’s comeback is complete with victory at Coach Slammer’s Cross Country Challenge

Ben Baker is back.

He proved it by dominating the Coach Slammer’s Cross Country Challenge on June 1, taking the lead early and surging away from Waimea fourth-former Matt Bowen on a four kilometre course that started and finished on the Saxton Field Track infield and encompassed a winding loop of Saxton Field.

Baker, a year 13 Nelson College student, crossed the finish line in 12:57, nine seconds clear of Bowen.  Josh Gill finished strongly for a third-place finish of 13:44.  Lucy Harman, the Tasman Secondary Schools senior champion, won the women’s race in 14:44 and was 12th in the overall race.
Hogan Ward was the top 2km runner in 7:10 and just ahead of women’s winner Lucy Martin.
Baker re-injured his Achilles tendon in this race last year and sat out the rest of cross country season and all of road and athletics season.  But he returned in March and steadily built up his mileage. He finished second in the Nelson College Cross Country Championships to Josh Sheridan and fifth in the Tasman Secondary School Champs behind Motueka High’s Fletcher Pickworth and runner-up George Varney of Marborough Boys College.
Baker will join 15 other area runners on June 15 for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Timaru.

 

COACH SLAMMER’S CROSS COUNTRY CHALLENGE
Saxton Field Athletics Track – June 1, 2019

2K

  1. Hogan Ward, 7:10
  2. Lucy Martin, 7:36
  3. Ben Adlam, 7:48
  4. Sophie Thomas, 7:49
  5. Heidi Stephens, 7:50
  6. Kate Southwick, 7:50
  7. Kirt Ward, 9:06
  8. Jamie Adlam, 11:45

4K

  1. Ben Baker, 12:57
  2. Matt Bowen, 13:08
  3. Josh Gill, 13:44
  4. Josh Fitzgerald, 13:50
  5. Chris Sharland, 13:51
  6. Fenlon Bayley, 14:01
  7. Oliver McCormack, 14:03
  8. Cliff Bowman, 14:12
  9. Ryan Martyn, 14:34
  10. Dan Bullock, 13:39
  11. Bailey O’Malley, 14:40
  12. Lucy Harman, 14:44
  13. David Francis, 14:54
  14. Henry Grab, 14:55
  15. Katie Malthus, 15:31
  16. James O’Malley, 16:32
  17. Don Wardle, 17:24
  18. Maryanne Carr, 17:41
  19. Alister Cotterill, 18:45
  20. Simon Biss, 19:41
  21. Fran Kerse, 19:51
  22. Aimee Burnard, 19:58
  23. Pete Marshall, 20:13
  24. Geoff Eban, 20:32
  25. Sharon Adlam, 20:35
  26. Odette Llewellin, 20:40
  27. Tom Young, 21:37
  28. Paul Meeson, 22:00
  29. Karen Kersten, 22:46
  30. Karen Griffiths, 22:58
  31. Tim Walker, 24:00
  32. Lesley Stevens, 25:00
  33. Unknown
  34. Peter Hague (Racewalk), 25:41
  35. Daryl Nish (Racewalk), 25:42
  36. Katrina Goodger, 26:59
  37. Fiona Young, 28:30
  38. Gillian McDougall (Racewalk), 30:00
  39. Jim Kerse (Racewalk), 30:20

Ruth Leckey (Racewalk), 30:57