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2017 leaver awarded Brian Taylor Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Sam Hyde-Smith

Sam Hyde-Smith (C) with fellow NZSS Cross Country team mates, Callum Hancock, Matt Bertschinger, Andrew Tang, Jack Paine, Patrick Wall, Matthew Bloomfield, Jack Gibson Scarlett.

2017 leaver Sam Hyde-Smith has been awarded a Brain Taylor Memorial Trust Scholarship, following in the footsteps of Old Boy James Preston. The Brian Taylor Memorial Scholarships aim to make it possible for talented young people to be in New Zealand for a crucial period in their education and their development as runners.

The Brian Taylor Memorial Scholarship Trust have released:

New Scholar Sam Hyde-Smith aims at Black Singlet

A big breakthrough in the 2016-17 summer season propelled Sam Hyde-Smith of Wellington to the top of a strong field of applicants for the fifth Brian Taylor Memorial Scholarship, to commence 2018.

Hyde-Smith reported that he progressed from 2:03 to 1:56 for 800 metres, 4:14 to 3:58 for 1500m, and leapt from 9:54 to 8:40 for 3000m. He combines that impressive athletic improvement with academic excellence endorsements at NCEA. He will begin studies in Biomedical Science at Victoria University of Wellington in 2018, while also aiming at selection for the World Junior Championships in July.

It would not be his first experience of representing New Zealand, as he has competed internationally in tennis, his previous first choice sport. “We believe Sam shows great potential after switching from tennis to running only two years ago. Shades of Peter Snell, as commented to him when we talked. Not that we want him to feel under pressure!” said Prue Taylor, convener of the Trustee’s selection committee.

Like James Preston, the 2017 Scholar, Hyde-Smith attended Scots College, and is coached by Evan Cooper. He gives generous credit to his coach, his supportive family, and the other runners in his training group. “We have many national medals in the group, which was previously coached by the late Graham Tattersall. We work alongside each other, and also push each other to be the best we possibly can,” Hyde-Smith said.

“The Brian Taylor Memorial Scholarship will pay most of my tuition fees and enable me to manage the balance of academic life and athletic improvement.” Sam will receive his $5000 cheque at the Capital Classic Meet in Wellington on January 23.

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