Runners from Ashburton College and Mount Hutt College hit the hillsQuinn RitchieAshburton College’s Quinn Ritchie powers to a second-place finish at the Aoraki Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships. Photo supplied. surrounding Mountanview High School on Wednesday, all in a bid to be crowned champions at the Aoraki Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships.

Nine students from Ashburton College and seven from Mount Hutt College competed, with six students finishing in the top five of their sections.

For Ash Coll, Quinn Ritchie finished second in the intermediate boys’ section, while Taonga Mbambo finished third in the senior boys.

Representing the girls, Natasha Waddell placed fourth in the senior girls’ section.

Off the back of those strong finishes, the three runners will now be competing at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country for the Aoraki region.

Joining the group in Christchurch in mid-June will be Matt Clough, who was unable to compete at the Aoraki championships due to injury.

Injury and illness did have a strong effect on the Ash Coll team, leaving them without the required number of runners to compete in the teams’ event.

Aimee Elliott from Mount Hutt College placed third in the senior girls’ section, while Courtney Elliott placed third in the junior girls section.

Charlie Brown was the other Mount Hutt student to place in the top five, finishing fourth in the junior boys’ section.

By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 8 June 2017