Nelson skaters bring home two titles and fistful of medals from Oceania champs


Nelson’s Luke Denton was among the medals at the recent Oceania speed skating championships in Brisbane.

Nelson’s Garth Jamerson and Sarah Stack have claimed Oceania speed skating titles as part of an impressive medal haul in Australia.

They were among the seven Nelson skaters representing New Zealand at last week’s Oceania championships at Albert Bishop Park in Brisbane.

Masters men’s skater Jamerson picked up a medal in each of his events highlighted by his gold medal-winning effort and Oceania title in the 5000m points race.

He out sprinted the strongest skaters from Australia to eventually skate away from the field, having also taken silver in the 1000m race and combining with fellow Nelsonian Robert Stack and New Zealand team member Andy McDonell for silver in the 3000m relay. The third-placed Australian team crashed in the change box, leaving both skaters sprawled over the road.

Jamerson also took bronze medals in the 500m, 3000m and the gruelling 42 km marathon. He also had a near fall 40m from the start of the 200m time trial and another wobble at the 130m mark but held on both times to grab bronze with his time of 21.320sec.

Sarah Stack snatched the Oceania 500m sprint race title after shooting to an early lead. With less than 100m to go, the chasers had caught up but a fiercely determined Stack dug deep to outsprinted her challengers and take the title.

She then combined with team mate Lynley Crawford for silver in the 3000m relay and went on to collect bronze medals in the 5000m points race and the 1000m and 3000m races. Stack was also fifth in the marathon on the last day of racing.

In the 200m time trial events, Nelson’s cadet boy Luke Denton improved his personal best from 23.299sec down to 22.557sec to walk away with the bronze medal. 

Lydia Stack hit the road at about 35 kmh and destroyed her New Zealand skin suit and although she courageously carried on with support from the watching crowd, the bruised and battered skater did not feature in any of her remaining events. She was the youngest skater competing.

Ocean Collinson-Smith (cadet girls) posted a new personal best of 23.222sec and Holly Ward, also in cadet girls, posted her best time of 24.200sec.

Collinson-Smith and Ward teamed up with Roshean O’Connor to take silver medals in the 3000m relay.

Robert Stack, competing in the new veterans grade, posted a new time of 29.763sec – his first time under 30 seconds – and took home a silver medal for…

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