It’s all go for pair, eight days a week

SECONDARY SCHOOL CHAMPIONS: Gisborne Boys’ High School students Tuteari Te Rauna-Lamont (left) and Kitini Taihuka with their National Secondary Schools’ Weightlifting Championships gold medals and title certificates. They are holding the top-team trophy . . . as runners-up, they borrowed it for the photo. Picture supplied

Gisborne Boys’ High School students Kitini Taihuka and Tuteari Te Rauna-Lamont have had a busy eight-day week.

They formed a two-man Gisborne Boys’ High team at the National Secondary Schools’ Weightlifting Championships in Rosedale, Auckland, on September 1 and 2.

They each won their weight division, and finished second team overall.

Taihuka, 15, also set national age-group records for the clean and jerk, and total weights lifted, then bettered them, and equalled the record for the snatch.

Neither athlete had much time to bask in his success, though. They were both in rugby teams facing outside competition last week.

In Rosedale, Taihuka won the men’s under-94-kilogram division with a total of 221kg, comprising 97kg in the snatch and 124kg in the clean and jerk. Tipping the scales at 87.7kg, he lifted a total weight that was 30kg more than that of the runner-up.

Te Rauna-Lamont, 16 this month, won the men’s u69kg division with a total of 200kg, comprising 90kg in the snatch and 110kg in the clean and jerk. Tipping the scales at 67.8kg, he lifted a total weight that was 26kg more than that of the runner-up.

Both Taihuka and Te Rauna-Lamont took up weightlifting as a sport only four months ago.

In June, they competed for New Zealand at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia, having qualified at a competition in Mt Maunganui in May.

At the Oceania event in Noumea, Taihuka finished first in the u85kg youth section and second in the junior section.

His snatch, clean and jerk, and total weights were New Zealand records for under-15 weightlifters in the u85kg division. He improved on his clean-and-jerk age-group record at the North Island championships in Mt Maunganui in July. The records he set in Rosedale this month were for a different weight division.

In Noumea, he had been allocated Tina Ball as his coach. She was a world record-holder in masters’ weightlifting and coached New Zealand’s David Liti to his Gold Coast Commonwealth games weightlifting gold medal this year.

Taihuka gladly accepted Ball’s offer to coach him — they use Facebook to keep in touch — and at the secondary school champs both Ball and Liti were there to support him.

Last night, both Taihuka and Te Rauna-Lamont were feeling the effects of their most recent rugby endeavours.

Taihuka was “sore as” after four days of Hurricanes under-15 tournament play for Gisborne Boys’ High School in Upper Hutt.

He was mentioned in dispatches for his performances, normally at tighthead prop, as the Boys’ High u15s reached the semifinals before losing to defending champions St Patrick’s Silverstream (St Pat’s lost to Kelston Boys’ High in the final).

Gisborne finished third-equal after drawing 17-all with St Peter’s of Auckland in the third/fourth playoff on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Te Rauna-Lamont was getting around on crutches after he sprained his left ankle when he was tackled in the Poverty Bay u16s’ match against Thames Valley on the Rectory field on Saturday.

He came on at second five-eighth for the second half and kicked a conversion and a penalty in Poverty Bay’s 34-21 victory.

Although he stayed on the field after being injured, he will have to stay off the affected ankle for two weeks.

Both Taihuka and Te Rauna-Lamont have backgrounds in crossfit.

“All three sports (weightlifting, rugby and crossfit) complement each other pretty well,” Te Rauna-Lamont said.

“I guess time will tell which way I go as I get older. If I go with weightlifting, the Olympics would be the goal; if it’s rugby, it’s the All Blacks.”

Gisborne Boys’ High School students Kitini Taihuka and Tuteari Te Rauna-Lamont have had a busy eight-day week.

They formed a two-man Gisborne Boys’ High team at the National Secondary Schools’ Weightlifting Championships in Rosedale, Auckland, on September 1 and 2.

They each won their weight division, and finished second team overall.

Taihuka, 15, also set national age-group records for the clean and jerk, and total weights lifted, then bettered them, and equalled the record for the snatch.

Neither athlete had much time to bask in his success, though. They were both in rugby teams facing outside competition last week.

In Rosedale, Taihuka won the men’s under-94-kilogram division with a total of 221kg, comprising 97kg in the snatch and 124kg in the clean and jerk. Tipping the scales at 87.7kg, he lifted a total weight that was 30kg more than that of the runner-up.

Te Rauna-Lamont, 16 this month, won the men’s u69kg division with a total of 200kg, comprising 90kg in the snatch and 110kg in the clean and jerk. Tipping the scales at 67.8kg, he lifted a total weight that was 26kg more than that of the runner-up.

Both Taihuka and Te Rauna-Lamont took up weightlifting as a sport only four months ago.

In June, they competed for New Zealand at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia, having qualified at a competition in Mt Maunganui in May.

At the Oceania event in Noumea, Taihuka finished first in the u85kg youth section and second in the junior section.

His snatch, clean and jerk, and total weights were New Zealand records for under-15 weightlifters in the u85kg division. He improved on his clean-and-jerk age-group record at the North Island championships in Mt Maunganui in July. The records he set in Rosedale this month were for a different weight division.

In Noumea, he had been allocated Tina Ball as his coach. She was a world record-holder in masters’ weightlifting and coached New Zealand’s David Liti to his Gold Coast Commonwealth games weightlifting gold medal this year.

Taihuka gladly accepted Ball’s offer to coach him — they use Facebook to keep in touch — and at the secondary school champs both Ball and Liti were there to support him.

Last night, both Taihuka and Te Rauna-Lamont were feeling the effects of their most recent rugby endeavours.

Taihuka was “sore as” after four days of Hurricanes under-15 tournament play for Gisborne Boys’ High School in Upper Hutt.

He was mentioned in dispatches for his performances, normally at tighthead prop, as the Boys’ High u15s reached the semifinals before losing to defending champions St Patrick’s Silverstream (St Pat’s lost to Kelston Boys’ High in the final).

Gisborne finished third-equal after drawing 17-all with St Peter’s of Auckland in the third/fourth playoff on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Te Rauna-Lamont was getting around on crutches after he sprained his left ankle when he was tackled in the Poverty Bay u16s’ match against Thames Valley on the Rectory field on Saturday.

He came on at second five-eighth for the second half and kicked a conversion and a penalty in Poverty Bay’s 34-21 victory.

Although he stayed on the field after being injured, he will have to stay off the affected ankle for two weeks.

Both Taihuka and Te Rauna-Lamont have backgrounds in crossfit.

“All three sports (weightlifting, rugby and crossfit) complement each other pretty well,” Te Rauna-Lamont said.

“I guess time will tell which way I go as I get older. If I go with weightlifting, the Olympics would be the goal; if it’s rugby, it’s the All Blacks.”

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