sport: Talented Somali wins cross-country
New Zealand Herald
By Terry Maddaford
Before he came to New Zealand, Shafat Salad
had never run a step competitively. Born in
Somalia, he immigrated in 2001 after living
for two years in Ethiopia.
It was not until he ran in a cross-country
race at Hamilton's Fairfield College in late
2001 that he became interested. The following
year he won the New Zealand secondary schools
road race. His career took off.
On Saturday he overcame difficult conditions
at Wanganui Collegiate to win the senior boys'
national secondary schools cross-country championship
over 6km by a handy 23s from Hayden McLaren
"It was a better race than I had last
year," said Salad, 18. "I wasn't
feeling well last year and finished sixth,
but since then I have increased my training
Trained by Fairfield College teacher John
Tylden, who first spotted him at that school
race, Salad is also a more than useful track
runner, having already run under the 3000m
steeplechase qualifying time for next year's
world junior track and field championships.
"I would also like to try and qualify
for the Commonwealth Games," said Salad,
who was handed his New Zealand citizenship
The titles were shared by several schools
at the national championships, with Pakuranga
College's Kelsei Patterson running strongly
to lead home Annie Keown (Auckland Girls Grammar)
in an Auckland one-two in the under-16 race
Keown's sister Esther was just 3s behind
Hannah Newbould (Cashmere) in a closely fought
junior race with only 7s between first and
The senior girls' race was won by New Zealand
junior mountain running champion Ruth Croft
(Rangi Ruru). Rangitoto College, led by Rebecca
Spence (7th) finished second in the three-person
Auckland teams fared well, with Westlake
BHS winning both the three- and six-person
junior boys' races to match St Cuthberts'
double success in the girls' under-16 teams
races. Diocesan and St Kentigern College won
the junior girls' team titles.
Source: New Zealand
Herald, June 22, 2005