Four records were broken at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships held at Cooks Gardens Wanganui in an exciting weekend of action (8 – 9).
15-year-old Frazer Wickes of Westlake Boys in Auckland smashed one of the oldest records in the book. He scorched around the track in the Junior Boys 400m final to record a remarkable time of 47.79s, breaking the record of 49.00s set way back in 1974. He won by a staggering 4 seconds, and in doing so posted a qualifying time for the 12th IAAF World Junior Championships, Bydgoszcz, Poland (8 - 13 July 2008).
Other record breakers
Kerry Charlesworth continued in record breaking form this season. Charlesworth (14) broke the Open Girls Pole Vault record with a leap of 3.80m to add an additional 30cm to the record.
Ryan Tinkle of Wellington College left Cooks Gardens with two gold medals, a bronze medal, and a record in the Junior Boys Hammer Throw. Tinkle improved on the previous record in the first round (51.09m) and again in the fifth round (56.70m).
Kate Newitt – a New Zealand Representative at the World Youth Championships in 2007, broke the Open Girls 2000m Track Race Walk by an astonishing 13 seconds, in dipping under the 9min mark with 8:57.09.
Bowden – A successful track double
Dallas Bowden of Nelson College was entered for the Senior Boys 800m/1500m double, but many observers thought that he may not attempt the double given injury concerns on his return from the World Youth Championships earlier in the year. However, Bowden showed no hint of weakness and was always well positioned through the preliminary rounds of both events, and then dominated both finals with excellent closing speed that his competitors had no match for. He only missed the Senior Boys record in the 800m by 0.07 seconds (1:51.59 to 1:51.66), which was also a personal best time.
Bowden’s Nelson College teammate Dominic Channon was a clear winner in the Senior Boys 3000m winning in a very good time of 8:34.53 – seven seconds clear of the competition. Channon also backed up with a silver medal in the 1500m behind Bowden.
Another with a double on the Boys side of competition was Aaron Pulford with wins in the Senior Boys Road Race and the 2000m Steeplechase.
Coates – a double in the field
Annabelle Coates of Burnside High School won the Senior Girls Long Jump and Triple Jump competitions with 5.49m and 11.78m respectively.
Mariah Ririnui of Tauranga Girls College picked up the Junior Girls 100m and Long titles in convincing fashion also. In the Long Jump she posted a winning mark (5.80m) which was further than Coates in the Senior Girls competition.
David Ambler of Christchurch Boys and Hannah Bayard of Burnside High School planned on completing the 100m/200m double in the Senior events. Ambler won the 100m in convincing fashion (10.81), but in the 200m he had to settle for second to Clayton Mbofano of Avondale College (21.91). Bayard had a tough battle in both events against Andrea Koenen of Mt Albert Grammar. The honours ended shared with Bayard taking the 100m in a tight tussle, but Koenen posted an impressive 24.68 to prevail over Bayard in the 200m.
Relay Success for local teams
Wanganui Collegiate School retained their Senior Boys 4x100m title for the third consecutive year, winning in a very good time of 42.88s. Palmerston North Boys High School came in second to earn the Manawatu/Wanganui region a well deserved one- two.
Wanganui Collegiate also picked up silver medals in the Junior Girls 4x100m and 4x400m relays, and Wanganui High School earned a surprise Silver in the Junior Boys 4x400m relay.
Murray Taylor for the IAAF