NZ Swimming Championships

Westlake Boys had a successful weekend at the NZ Secondary Schools Swimming Championships in Hamilton recently, with 10 of our 14 swimmers collecting an impressive haul of medals.  The team came 3rd overall, with Tauranga Boys winning the title for the first time and St Andrew’s, Christchurch taking second place.

Our medal winners were:

Matthew Holder:

Gold in Senior 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke. Matthew is 16 and took a clean sweep of these senior events swimming against 17 and 18-year-olds.

Jason Churches:

Gold in Senior 50m and 100m Backstroke; bronze in 200m Backstroke

Jonathan Selman:

15 years old: Gold in 100m Backstroke; bronze in 50m Backstroke

Joshua Lee:

Bronze in Senior 200m Butterfly

Samuel Lee:

15 year old: Bronze in 200m Breaststroke

Cameron Gray:

14 year old: Gold in 200m Backstroke

Daniel Kim:

13 year old: Bronze in 100m Breaststroke

Under 15 team:

Silver in Freestyle and Medley Relays: Flynn Southcombe, Jae Um, Cameron Gray, Jonathan Selman, Samuel Lee

Senior Team:

Gold in Medley Relay: Kyle Shears, Jason Churches, Matthew Holder, Joshua Lee

Overall, the team performed well. Our grateful thanks to Mrs Houzet and Mr Salmon for looking after the team.

Top Places for Junior Adventure Racers

On Sunday 3rd September, a group of 13 Junior Combined Westlake Adventure racers, spread across 4 teams, competed in the Lactic Turkey Three Hour Rogaine race at Shakespear Park.  The Adventure Racers had exactly three hours to reach more than 50 checkpoints and to undertake more than 15 mystery activities and challenges.  These included hauling buckets of gravel to build a DOC pathway and submitting a photo of their best impression of a native bird. The checkpoints and challenges were spread across the beautiful but somewhat tricky terrain.  They required the teams to plan their routes to avoid the swamps and thick native bush, in order to come home with as many points as they could.  All groups raced their (soggy) socks off and managed to take the top three school spots at prize-giving.  Our winning team was the overall highest scoring team in the three-hour category.  The winning team consisted of three Year 9 students – James Donald, Hayden Williams and Alex Jobbins.

Rugby and Football Championship Wins

The last weekend in August saw an excellent close to the season for Westlake rugby, with three teams winning their respective championships.  The 2nd XV won their match against Mahurangi College 1st XV, making them 1B Champions for the fourth consecutive year.  Our 6A team were dominant throughout their match against Orewa College and were worthy winners of the 6A title.  6B gave a great performance against a much bigger Massey 6A team and totally deserved their 50-14 win and the 6B championship. The 3rd XV were unlucky to lose 26-29 to Orewa 2nd XV after a magnificent comeback. 












Westlake had already taken the 3rd Grade and 7B titles, so the season closed with a tally of five rugby championships in total for 2017.

Westlake also had a good day last Saturday, with our Football teams clinching the 13A1 and 13A2 Auckland titles. 13A1, coached by Mr Nick Dale, went through the whole season undefeated. After winning their grading round, they played nine further games in the championship, taking eight wins and one draw. They scored thirty-one goals whilst conceding only five.

The 13A2 team, coached by Ms Natasha Leighton, had finished third in the qualifying round to earn a semi-final place against St Peter’s College and won this to take a slot in the final. They duly defeated Macleans 1-0 away to take the championship title.

Westlake to Represent NZ at World Cross Country Championships

Westlake Boys High School Distance Runners have been selected by NZSSAA as the boys’ school team to represent New Zealand at the ISF World Cross Country Championships in Paris in March 2018. This is an amazing achievement and comes on the back of an historic clean sweep in the teams’ competition at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Champs in June.

 The Westlake team will consist of six runners: Murdoch McIntyre, David Moore, Blair Hill, Zach Keenan, Stuart Hofmeyr and Daniel Robertson. All these boys are still under 16 runners – a remarkable achievement at such a young age.

The team will leave for London on Sunday, 25th March, where they will be based before departing for Paris on Monday, 2nd April. The ISF World Cross Country Champs take place on Thursday, 5 April. Each boy needs to fundraise $6000 for the trip.

Three Westlake Boys’ runners represented New Zealand at the Australian Cross Country Champs in Hobart, Tasmania on Saturday, 12th August. Joseph Clark (18y), Captain of the New Zealand team, finished 3rd in the U 20 race. Murdoch McIntyre (15y) and Stuart Hofmeyr (16y) competed in the U 17 grade, finishing 9th and 41st respectively.

1st XI Football v St. Peter’s College – 18th August

On Friday, Westlake took on St. Peter’s College in their final home game of the season. The team knew that 3 points was essential if they were to hit their target of a 3rd place finish in the league.

All appeared to be going to plan when Joe Benbow opened the scoring inside five minutes. The striker was first to react to a parried shot and tapped home from close range. Although the side were in the lead, this was a fractured performance where Westlake did not retain possession to any great effect. At half-time, the scored remained 1-0 but Westlake were anything but comfortable, having had to call GK Bradley Williams into action on a number of occasions.

St. Peter’s pulled themselves back level in the second half when the Westlake defence were caught napping, allowing an SPC striker to apply the goal bound touch to a neat move. The equaliser rallied Westlake somewhat and their brief resurgence was rewarded with a fine counter attacking goal. A strong run from Joe Benbow saw him get behind his marker on the right side of the goal, his accurate cross then found the left foot of Dan Mitten who duly slotted the ball into a largely unguarded net.

Westlake were back in front and now sought to hang for the victory. A lack of ball retention in key areas was still proving to be a problem and ensured that this game was never one that Westlake were in control of. This lack of control, coupled with a lack of concentration proved to be Westlake’s downfall. In the final five minutes, they abandoned their marking duties at a corner and allowed a SPC player a simple finish from close range. The game was drawn level and thankfully it stayed that way as SPC made a late surge for the spoils.

Westlake will look upon this game as one they should be winning but an absence of control on the ball and a lack of willingness to defend with the correct mindset has again cost them dearly. The highlight of the fixture were the opportunities given to more Year 10 and 11 players who performed well on the night.

The league season finale for Westlake will now be an away trip to Saint Kentigern College on Saturday at 12pm.

2017 North Harbour 1A Rugby Final – Westlake v Rosmini

Report by Harry Pottinger-Coombes, Year 12

On Thursday, 18th August, old rivals Westlake Boys and Rosmini College met at QBE stadium in the final of the North Harbour 1A Championships.  Having won one game apiece earlier in the season, the match was sure to be close and high in intensity. The crowd was electric, with supporters coming out in their hundreds to cheer their schools. As Rosmini performed their haka, Westlake walked forward confidently to show they were very much up for the challenge. From kick-off, the intensity and tension between the sides was phenomenal, with ferocious tackles being made and the occasional scuffle. An early penalty from Rosmini halfback, Connor Leather, gave Rosmini the lead which they carried through to halftime. Both sides created opportunities but were not able to convert, partly because of the standard of defence being played. However, this was to change in the second half.

Leather kicked another penalty for Rosmini, increasing their lead to 6-0. Soon after, Westlake fullback, Johnny Cooper, broke out from his own half before spreading it to his winger, who in turn passed inside to first-five, Nikau Graham. Just metres from the line, three phases later, Tupou Afungia crashed over to score. Westlake were finally on the board; however, the conversion was missed and they were still down 6-5. Rosmini were quick to respond, reclaiming the ball off the restart and scoring minutes later in the left corner. The conversion was missed but Rosmini had re-established their lead.

The tries kept coming, with Graham making a break out of nowhere and flicking it inside to Drage, 10 metres from the line. Westlake earned a penalty and kicked for touch. They stayed patient off the line-out and Lotu Inisi scored from close range in a similar position to the previous one. Cooper nailed this conversion and a roar went up from the Westlake crowd as they had their first lead of the game, up 12-11 with 18 minutes to go. Westlake had the momentum and defended superbly for the next 10 minutes. However, eventually they caved to the wave of Rosmini attack. After a long period in the Westlake half, Rosmini spread the ball out to right winger, Barlow, who showed great strength and speed to score in the corner. The conversion was good and Rosmini had reclaimed their 6 point lead with eight minutes to go. Westlake immediately attacked off the kick-off and came within metres from the try line numerous times but couldn’t control the ball. Eventually, the siren went, Westlake knocked the ball on and the game was over. Rosmini became 2017 North Harbour 1A Champions with a final score of 18-12. It was a heart-breaking loss in what was otherwise an extremely successful season for Westlake.

Team Opposition Venue Time Result Score
1st XV Rosmini QBE 5-15pm L 12-18
2nd XV Kaipara College WBHS 1 12.00pm W 67-0 Final next week
3rd XV Birkenhead 2nd XV Birk 9.30am L 15-24
4th XV Albany Senior 1st XV WBHS 1 9.30am W 31-7 3rd Grade Champs
4A Rngitoto Rangi 3 10.40am L 5-17
5A MAGS WBHS 1 10.40am W 27-7
5B Birkenhead 5A Birk 10.40am L 5-56
6A Kaipara College WBHS 2 10.40am W 62-0 Final next week
6B Rangitoto 2 WBHS 3 10.40am W 48-5 Final next week
7 Green Westlake Red WBHS 3 9.30am L 23-24
7 Red Westlake Green WBHS 3 9.30am W 24-23 7B Champions


Adventure Racing Success

Whangamata 12-Hour Adventure Race – Saturday, 29th July

report by Oliver Lawrence Y13

With 750 competitors in all events, this is the largest Adventure Race in New Zealand and is considered the national sprint title for Adventure Racing.  We took part in the Secondary Schools 12-hour Duathlon Event.

The race started at 7:30am, after a cold dark morning wake up. It began with a fast-paced race up the forestry road on our bikes, before hitting the muddied bike tracks. Half pushing and half riding, we briskly completed the cold Stage 1, getting all the control points. Stage 2 was a steep but quick off-track climb through the thick bush, trusting our compass to show us the way as we could not see it. Running where we could, we finished Stage 2 with all bonus and control points after 2 hours.

Stage 3 was a straight-forward bike ride along a winding single track, back past the start and towards our next transition.  With only a few steep climbs and drops, the hardest part was trying to squeeze past teams without taking them out. Only a cold river crossing and steep climbs at the end made us lose our breath. Coming in at the 4-hour mark, we rested at transition for food and mental preparation for the next large trek. Stage 4 consisted of an off-track 40 km trek, with some options to cross back early. Steep climbing, dense bush and river crossing in the forest along the ridge lines forced us to cover around 3/4 of Stage 4. Our solid navigation and determination to keep going at any cost helped us cut back along a river, picking up a number of bonus points far off track. After running where we could and scrambling in the mud for the last five hours, we stumbled into transition cold and wet, with the light fading fast.

After nine and a half hours, we set out on the 5th and last stage in the bike park. We were treated with a long climb up a dusty forestry track, with the sun setting over the hill behind us. As we pushed on, we ducked into the trees and raced down a solid single track for a good half hour, questioning whether to pull out the torches or keep pacing as we were actually enjoying ourselves. Darkness came upon us at the next check point, as we carried our bikes over a freezing river. With light complications, we rode in single file, while I described the terrain coming up ahead. Picking up half of the check points and following a few ‘dodgy turns’, we rolled down the final hill and stumbled across the finish line at 11 hours 50 mins, taking third place in our event.


Team: – Oliver Lawrence, Taylor Haynes, Ryan Zent and Mica Erdman


Junior Adventure Racers Reach National Finals

On Thursday 10th August, two combined Westlake Girls/Boys Junior Adventure Racing teams competed in a Hillary Outdoors Junior Get2Go Challenge, which is the regional qualifying race for Nationals.  Recruiting, trials and training began in July for two mixed premier teams, consisting of four Westlake boys and four Westlake girls. The Junior Get2Go event involved a range of activities at different Auckland locations, including problem solving, orienteering/rogaine and mountain biking.

This was an important Junior event as each year Westlake has always just missed out on the top spot, which is the only way to gain entry to the National Championships event; a five-day race held on Great Barrier Island in December.

After hot competition from 20 other schools in the Auckland region, our First Mixed Premier team took the top spot and won the whole event, with our second team coming a respectable 10th place.

Our Seniors have displayed incredible patience, organisation and support with preparing both teams and have been an inspiration to the junior racers and especially to the large number of brand new competitors who are only just beginning their adventure racing journey.

Team 1: Seb Lawrence, Nathan Borton, Hayden Williams, James Donald

Team 2: Ikenna Unamadu, Alex Jobbins, Logan Rea, Finlay Knapp


1st XI Hockey Matches – 13th and 14th August 2017

On Sunday 13th August, the 1st XI played 2016 Rankin Cup winners, St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton. Despite an even start, Westlake were caught napping on penalty corner defence, allowing St Paul’s to open the scoring with a right-post deflection. However, Westlake countered hard against a second St Paul’s PC and Tom Roycroft controlled and finished a rebound to level the scores. In the second half, both sides looked evenly matched. Unfortunately, an untidy clearance and foul in the circle gifted St Paul’s a PC with four minutes to play. They duly converted from a left-post deflection and held on to take the win 1-2.

On Monday 14th August, the 1st XI played the NZ Black Sticks U-23 Women at Westlake Girls High School. The match started with predictable pace from the women, but the Westlake defence did well to absorb their speed and skill. The boys started to control the pace of the match from the back.  They opened the scoring when Ryan Quinn fired a long ball to Jarryd Russell leading into the right pocket, who in turn found Charl Ulrich, who finished well. In the second quarter, a quick break down the left was again finished off by Ulrich, and Tom Roycroft picked up his second rebound goal in as many days to make the score 3-0. In the second half, the Black Sticks pressed harder and dominated the third quarter, eventually scoring from a PC. However, the boys fought back and managed to convert their own PC at the end of the quarter. 4-1 was the final score, in Westlake’s favour.

Westlake Reign as National Squash Champions for Third Consecutive Year

Westlake Boys High School retained their New Zealand Secondary Schools Squash national title for the third consecutive year. This year’s championship held in Palmerston North was attended by 32 boys teams and 19 teams of girls, making it the biggest secondary schools squash event in the country.


The earlier rounds saw the team consisting of Matthew Lucente, Gabe Yam, Akil Afghan, Jien Lim, Tom Taylor, Zonal Ali and Jono Beazley comfortably defeat Hawera High School, Wairarapa College, Hutt International Boys School and Tauranga Boys College.

In a repeat of last year’s finals, Westlake faced Waikato’s St. Pauls Collegiate A for the title. The scenario this time around was different as the team had to fight their way back from a 0-2 deficit and complete a remarkable comeback through sheer determination and focus.

The finals did not start well for the reigning champions when the first two matches did not go Westlake’s way. It meant that St. Pauls needed just one more win to wrest the title away whilst Westlake was put in a high pressure situation of having to win all three remaining matches.

In his debut as team captain, Matthew Lucente was however in total control and unfazed with the huge task of putting Westlake on the comeback trail. Matthew lived up to his New Zealand No.1 ranking and powered his way to a straight set win over his opponent. Matthew’s emphatic win proved to be the much needed rallying point and the shift of momentum for the rest of the team.

Next on court was Tom Taylor who fittingly played the game of his life in his last Nationals, staying calm and composed through tense moments in his match. Showing grit and tenacity, Tom stunningly bounced back after losing the second game to take the much needed win in four games and put the finalists deadlocked at two wins each.

Westlake’s shot at achieving a hat-trick then depended on New Zealand’s current U17 No.1 Gabe Yam. It was all business for Gabe from the onset and he was never really in trouble during the match, taking out a clinical 3-0 win and along with it the national title for Westlake for the third year in a row.

The team looks forward to defending their title and make it four in a row for Westlake next year.

Squash Team: (Captain) Matthew Lucente, Gabe Yam, Akil Afghan, Jien Lim, Zonal Ali and Jono Beazley,

(Coach/Manager) Manu Yam

Grandparents’ Day 2017

Last Friday morning grandparents arrived at school in their droves, many eager to be here in plenty of time, arriving up to an hour early. This didn’t worry the amazing event team with prefects helping out wherever needed, meeting and greeting our visitors and making them feel welcome.

Symphonic band entertained our special guests during assembly and both Acting Headmaster Mr Cachopa and Head Boy Blake Nicholson officially welcomed the grandparents to school. A normal assembly followed and then a delicious Morning Tea was laid on in the PTA Conference Room and gallery upstairs in the new gym. A big thank you to the ladies on the PTA who helped with this. Everyone squeezed in and found something to eat and drink whilst listening to one of our Barbershop groups. Mr Cachopa addressed all the guests before they headed off with their grandsons on a tour around the school.

We were blessed with amazing weather for the occasion and it was such a treat to have nearly 200 grandparents visiting. Amongst the many grandparents, we had a few old boys and some former Westlake parents. It was great to see students having the opportunity to share their school life with their grandparents.

Thank you to our photographers, Tracey McKay and students Cris Tan and Eric Jang, who captured as many family groups as possible. The photos can now be viewed in our Flickr album here.

We hope that all the grandparents arrived home safely and that they and their grandsons will have fond memories of today.