Keen for another taste of the Aussies

Getting a taste of action in the hottest of surf sport cauldrons has intensified the competitive fire among young Midway lifeguards.

Getting a taste of action in the hottest of surf sport cauldrons has intensified the competitive fire among young Midway lifeguards.

AUSSIE SUCCESS: Midway’s Olivia Corrin proved she can foot it with the best young talent across the Tasman at the Australian national championships.
Picture by Paul Rickard

HEAD coach Matt Sutton took a small Midway team to the 100th Australian national championships on the Gold Coast.

Known as the Aussies, the week-long carnival is the biggest of its kind in the world. This year it featured around 7000 competitors from 311 clubs across 400 events.

Sixteen of those clubs — 120 athletes — were from New Zealand. Midway had a nine-strong contingent, plus Waikanae beach specialist Casie Fyall.

Olivia Corrin was the stand-out. Competing in the youth (under-15) section, the dynamic all-rounder underlined a potential that could see her become one of the best in the world.

Coming off an sensational overall performance at the New Zealand championships on her home Midway Beach, there was huge interest in whether she could convert that success to the higher level across the Tasman.

Corrin wins medals

She responded with gold in the 2km beach run, silver in the ironwoman and bronze in the board and surf race.

“She was unlucky not to come away with three golds,” said Sutton.

“An unlucky start in the board meant she had to paddle from dead-last through to third place. It was by far the best race I have seen her do.

“She was leading the diamond race clearly when a wave brought a girl through to beat her. That’s surf, though, and she will learn heaps from these races.”

A talent like Corrin is rare in New Zealand and Sutton is well aware of the need to manage her workload and not put too much pressure on her.

“We need to recognise how young she is and I really want to make sure that she is still competing at this level when she is 18 or 20.

“Too many times I have seen talent like Olivia’s burn out from things like over-training and intense competition at such a young age.

“She’s done amazingly over the last few months, for sure, but an athlete’s mountain is a big hill to climb and she is still only at the foot of it.”

Midway under-17 competitors highlighted their Aussies by making a couple of finals.

“Reeftahn Brown-Terekia, Callum Torrie and Blake Brown made the final of the ski relay, which was an excellent achievement,” said Sutton.

Into the final

“This age group is hugely competitive in Australia and to make the final was great.

“The U17 girls of Jess Blakeman, Kirby Scammell and Danielle Scott made the final of the taplin relay — also a great achievement.

“The biggest thing our guys got out of competing at the Aussies is learning how accurate they need to be in everything they do.

“In New Zealand our guys can quite easily come back from making a mistake to the front of the field again. In Australia they now know that if they make those mistakes, it’s race over.

“I think our kids really enjoyed the experience and I know they are keen to go back again.

“It takes years of going over there to figure it all out and these guys are so young they can potentially do very well in years to come.”

Sutton said it was also great for the youngsters to watch Australia-based Midway open competitors Cory Taylor and Devon Halligan competing for Northcliffe in the glamour events.

Taylor was 14th in the ironman grand final won by clubmate and surf lifesaving legend Shannon Eckstein . . . “a pretty good effort considering the field”, said Sutton. “Only a handful of Kiwi guys have even made that final.”

Taylor also made the final in several team events but missed out on medals. Halligan was seventh in the ironwoman, won gold in the ski relay and bronze in the surf belt.

HEAD coach Matt Sutton took a small Midway team to the 100th Australian national championships on the Gold Coast.

Known as the Aussies, the week-long carnival is the biggest of its kind in the world. This year it featured around 7000 competitors from 311 clubs across 400 events.

Midway had a nine-strong contingent, plus Waikanae beach specialist Casie Fyall.

Olivia Corrin was the stand-out. Competing in the youth (under-15) section, the dynamic all-rounder underlined a potential that could see her become one of the best in the world.

Coming off an sensational overall performance at the New Zealand championships on her home Midway Beach, there was huge interest in whether she could convert that success to the higher level across the Tasman.

Corrin wins medals

She responded with gold in the 2km beach run, silver in the ironwoman and bronze in the board and surf race.

“She was unlucky not to come away with three golds,” said Sutton.

“An unlucky start in the board meant she had to paddle from dead-last through to third place. It was by far the best race I have seen her do.

A talent like Corrin is rare in New Zealand and Sutton is well aware of the need to manage her workload and not put too much pressure on her.

“Too many times I have seen talent like Olivia’s burn out from things like over-training and intense competition at such a young age.

“She’s done amazingly over the last few months, for sure, but an athlete’s mountain is a big hill to climb and she is still only at the foot of it.”

Midway under-17 competitors highlighted their Aussies by making a couple of finals.

“Reeftahn Brown-Terekia, Callum Torrie and Blake Brown made the final of the ski relay, which was an excellent achievement,” said Sutton.

Into the final

“This age group is hugely competitive in Australia and to make the final was great.

“The U17 girls of Jess Blakeman, Kirby Scammell and Danielle Scott made the final of the taplin relay — also a great achievement.

“The biggest thing our guys got out of competing at the Aussies is learning how accurate they need to be in everything they do.

“I think our kids really enjoyed the experience and I know they are keen to go back again.

“It takes years of going over there to figure it all out and these guys are so young they can potentially do very well in years to come.”

Sutton said it was also great for the youngsters to watch Australia-based Midway open competitors Cory Taylor and Devon Halligan competing for Northcliffe in the glamour events.

Taylor was 14th in the ironman grand final won by clubmate and surf lifesaving legend Shannon Eckstein . . . “a pretty good effort considering the field”, said Sutton. “Only a handful of Kiwi guys have even made that final.”

Taylor also made the final in several team events but missed out on medals. Halligan was seventh in the ironwoman, won gold in the ski relay and bronze in the surf belt.

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