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Hansen sets record time in women's sprint

Eddy Dawkins on his way to the New Zealand men's sprint title for 2010

Eddy Dawkins on his way to the New Zealand men's sprint title for 2010 (Image credit: Bike NZ)

Natasha Hansen continued to stake her claim for Olympic selection on the second night of the RaboDirect Track National Championships in Invercargill tonight.

Hansen defeated fellow Southlander Steph McKenzie in two straight rides to win the women's sprint national title after smashing the New Zealand 200m time trial record in qualifying this morning.

The men's sprint final was a more closely fought affair with local Southland hero Eddie Dawkins regaining his best form to beat fellow BikeNZ squad member and former triple world junior champion Sam Webster (Auckland) in a third ride, after they split the first two.

Hansen, the former Christchurch rider now living in Invercargill, was delighted with her continued improving form.

"I was really pleased with my national record, but I guess in sprint racing anything can happen and you can't underestimate anyone no matter what their qualifying speed was," Hansen said.

"The record did give me a slight confidence boost but I think the main buzz I was on was just from going fast. You can't take anyone lightly out there,"
said Hansen.

Hansen, who has her sights set on the London Olympics, set a new national record of 11.219 in the 200 metre sprint qualifying this morning, adding it to the 500 metre time trial national record she last night.

"New Zealand has not had a female sprint programme so now that we have got one with three of us on the programme we have come along in leaps and bounds as we are all pushing each other along and making us go faster and faster."

Katie Schofield (Otago), the third member of the women's high performance sprint programme narrowly missed making the sprint final but easily defeated former world downhill mountain bike world champion Vanessa Quin (Auckland) to take the bronze medal.

Dawkins led the way in qualifying with a 10:169s effort, a whisker outside the national record, with fellow Southlander Matt Archibald second fastest ahead of Webster.

Dawkins, Archibald, Webster and fellow BikeNZ squad rider Ethan Mitchell fought their way into the semifinals.

The big Southlander accounted for Mitchell (Auckland) in two straight rides to progress to the final while Webster was pushed by Archibald but also went through in two rides.

It proved an outstanding result for Dawkins, who struggled for his best form at the Oceania Championships prior to Christmas.

"Sam is really the leading force in matched sprinting in New Zealand and it was good to get one up on him, but it's also developing our whole team,"
said Dawkins.

"My sprint qualifying today was the fastest I have gone since 2009. I've been in a bit of a lull - I've been surprised that the team has kept me around. But I'm glad I'm on the way up again and in the right year."

Southland local Tom Scully caused an upset in the points race when he beat Beijing Olympians Westley Gough (Waipukurau) and Marc Ryan (Timaru) for the title. It was a tight race decided on the final sprint which was won by Gough. However Ryan was relegated for an infraction in the final sprint which promoted Scully, giving him the bonus point needed to steal the title from Gough.

It completed an remarkable comeback from Scully, who had several months out of the sport after a serious racing accident in Ireland in 2010.

Commonwealth Games medallist Joanne Kiesanowski (Canterbury) rode an exemplary points race to secure herself the national title. The country's leading omnium rider featured in each sprint, winning by an 11 point margin ahead of Rushlee Buchanan (Waikato Bay of Plenty) and Sequoia Cooper (Southland).

Youngsters Alysha Keith (Otago) and Dylan Kennett (Canterbury) put their hands up for selection to next year's Junior World Championships to be staged at Invercargill after convincing wins in the under 19 omnium.

Kennett won all but the points race in the six event series, to finish with a whopping 12 point margin over Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu) with Hamish Schreurs (Christchurch) third.

Keith never slipped below a second place in any of her six events, finishing nine points ahead of Cassie Cameron (Wanganui) and Auckland's Racquel Sheath.

The RaboDirect Elite Track National Championships conclude on Monday

Day 2 - Sprint Qualifying
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eddie Dawkins0:00:10.196
2Matt Archibald0:00:10.325
3Sam Webster0:00:10.339
4Ethan Mitchell0:00:10.341
5Lee Evans0:00:11.005
6Karl Watson0:00:11.016
7Regan Sheath0:00:11.028
8James Vercoe0:00:11.076
9Willie Trew0:00:11.278
10Ben Simpson0:00:11.703
11Anthony Van De Pas0:00:11.967
12Duncan Muller0:00:12.284

Sprint Qualifying
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natasha Hansen0:00:11.219
2Katie Schofield0:00:11.585
3Stephanie Mckenzie0:00:11.719
4Henrietta Mitchell0:00:12.193
5Vanessa Quinn0:00:12.312
6Hannah Latta0:00:12.734
7Olivia Wieblitz0:00:13.004
8Katri Laike0:00:13.763
9Sequoia Cooper0:00:18.108

5th to 8th place
Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
Karl Watson0:00:11.400
Regan Sheath
Lee Evans
James Vercoe

5th to 8th place
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
5Hannah Latta0:00:13.690
6Olivia Wieblitz
7Katri Laike
8Henrietta Mitchell

Sprint Semi Finals
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natasha Hansen0:00:12.165
2Vanessa Quinn

Heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natasha Hansen0:00:12.230
2Vanessa Quinn

Tie 2 Heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stephanie Mckenzie0:00:12.879
2Katie Schofield

Heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stephanie Mckenzie0:00:11.916
2Katie Schofield

Sprint Semi Finals
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eddie Dawkins0:00:10.785
2Ethan Mitchell

Heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eddie Dawkins0:00:10.969
2Ethan Mitchell

Tie 2 Heat 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sam Webster0:00:10.416
2Matt Archibald

Heat 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sam Webster0:00:10.903
2Matt Archibald

Elite women's Points race
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jo Kiesanowski27pts
2Rushlee Buchanan16
3Sequoia Cooper13
4Gemma Dudley9
5Elizabeth Steel8
6Kathryn Jones5
7Kylie Young5
8Ashleigh James1
9Georgia Williams1
10Alexandra Neems
11Aimee Burns
12Katri Laike
DNFElyse Fraser
DNFKate Dudley
DNFHannah Latta
DNFSarah Tomlinson

Elite men's points race
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Scully26pts
2Westley Gough25
3Marc Ryan19
4Aaron Gate15
5Brad Evans10
6Alex Frame9
7Pieter Bulling5
8Patrick Jones4
9Peter Latham4
10Will Bowman1
11Scott Creighton-15
12Sam Bewley-18
13Andy Van Der Heyden-19
DNFDenay Cottam
DNFMatiu Kaihau
DNFJason Allen
DNFBen Park
DNFHamish Tomlinson
DNFBrad Tuhi


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