Two of Sacred Heart College’s top runners have added another accolade to their already successful year after placing at the East Coast Road Race.
Held at Frimley Park last month, Year 9 students Lola Parlato and Eliza Clarkson came second and third respectively.
Their efforts, along with eighth-placed Lily Barnett, meant SHC came second overall.
Lola says she was surprised by the result but believes the key to her success was her mindset going into the race.
“I didn’t expect it, but on the day my thinking was that I was going to have a positive mindset so that I could do better. I think a good mindset actually helps you.”
The result was also particularly surprising given that Lola prefers longer distances. However, the 13-year-old is at her happiest whenever she is running.
She finished with a time of 11.59 minutes, just 43 seconds behind first place. Meanwhile, Eliza had a time of 12.03 minutes.
Eliza said she was proud of her achievement. She said there were “fewer girls” than she thought. “But it makes sense since we’re in level two.”
She also enjoyed the course and didn’t find it too hard. They both have pride in representing SHC.
Despite Covid-19 and the recurring lockdowns, there has been some semblance of normality for secondary school runners, able to compete in most races.
In March, Lola placed third in the 3000m race and Eliza came fifth at the Inter-school Athletics.
The school’s cross country had to be moved to September 23 due to lockdown. However, it did not hold them back.
At the East Coast North Island Cross Country Championships in June, the girls came 3rd overall in the three-man-team, while Lola came 2nd and Eliza came 5th.
It has proved to be good preparation for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletic Association (NZSSAA) Cross Country Championships, to be held in Hawera on September 19-20. They are hoping to both secure a spot in the top 15.