Queenstown Olympian blitz’s students in skimpy gear

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Winter Olympian and Queenstown Resort College student Sarah Murphy has fended off skimpily-clad opponents at the 2010 NZ Uni Snow Games. 

Murphy predictably blitzed the field over the event’s 3km cross-country skiing course with a time of 11min 14sec – over 10 minutes quicker than her nearest rival. 

Heavy snowfall and chilly winds tested the tenacity of cross-country skiing – especially Jamie Robinson who was clad in a skimpy Wonder Woman outfit, and her Otago team-mate Scott Ridley, who sported a lime green mini skirt with taffeta trim. 

Murphy: “Any medal is an awesome medal, even chocolate ones – in fact, they’re the best ones because you get to eat them. 

“It was super fun because I just love racing … it’s really cool for New Zealand to be getting into the cross-country scene.” 

Otago’s Andrew Soundy dominated the men’s 6km course in 25min 20sec to win gold – over 10min clear of Nick Sullivan, also of Otago, and Nicholas Francis, of Auckland. 

“I was trying to hold off Sarah Murphy but she had the edge. I don’t feel too bad because she did go to the Vancouver Olympics,” Soundy, a member of the New Zealand junior team, said. 

Otago University has again secured the coveted Michael Forrestal Memorial Shield at the 2010 NZ Uni Snow Games near Wanaka. 

The 42-strong team of athletes successfully defended the sought-after prize with consistent performances throughout the annual event staged across four ski resorts near Wanaka during the past week. 

“They showed great character and, in the true spirit of the Uni Snow Games, had a fantastic time while providing strong competition for the 10 other campuses,” games director Dene Lynch said.

Massey Albany retained the Small Campus Award, with Emilie Tait-Jamieson single-handedly contributing three gold and two silver medals to their points tally. 

In the final standings, Otago’s Estelle Baker won the overall women’s award, with Tait-Jamieson named best skier and Georgina Allen, of Canterbury, the best snowboarder. 

Canterbury’s Richard O’Brien was named overall top men’s competitor, with Dominic Campbell and Cody Logan named best skier and snowboarder respectively. 

Ironically, too much snow wreaked havoc on the final day of competition at the Snow Park today (Friday), reducing the slope style event to a rail jam session and making conditions challenging for the Big Air. 

“It was New Zealand weather at its finest and it did it’s best to trick us on several occasions,” event director Cam Craighead said. 

Otago’s Matt Johnson secured gold in the Freeski Big Air, with Hamish McDougall and Andrew Bowie completing a clean sweep for the campus. 

CPIT student Ben Comber easily dominated the men’s snowboard section, followed by Logan and Marc Riedi, of Otago. 

In the women’s ranks, Allen added another gold medal to her haul, with Hannah Orchard and Chelsea Martinez completing the Canterbury hat-trick. 

In the rail jam, a skid over the picnic table with a shifty off earned Adelia White, of Otago, the win in the ski event, with Johnson taking out the men’s title. 

In the snowboard division, Martinez earned the women’s gold, with Chris Hutchings, of Otago, claiming the men’s.