Strong team lines up for road champs

A strong Otago team is set to contest the national road race championships in Cambridge tomorrow.

Four of the team that finished a close second at the national cross-country championships have entered, as has defending road race silver medallist Caden Shields.

Shields has been living and competing in Australia, although before his departure he rated among Otago’s top distance runners.

He brings strong form to the event, having run a personal-best 30min 03sec 10km in Launceston in June.

Challenging him will be Oli Chignell.Chignell was second in the junior  8km race last year, and has won national titles in the cross-country and 5000m on the track this year.

He did not compete at the recent Otago road race championships, but placed first in a time of 30min 21sec in the 10km race at the Christchurch Marathon.

Two who did compete at the Otago championships — Jacob Priddey and Jared Monk — will both race.

The pair tied for first place in the Otago event last month, in a time of 32min 15sec, three minutes ahead of their nearest competition.

Joshua Baan, the Otago cross-country champion, completes a very strong team.

Alexandra-based Daniel Balchin is also competing and a strong chance, although he is representing Canterbury.

Otago will not fare so well in the women’s team event, although in Rebekah Greene it has a very good chance at an individual gold medal.

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