Athletics New Zealand Weekly Round Up
This edition includes:
Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships
International results from USA, Australia and Germany
Road and Trail race results from around the country
New Zealand Competition Results
Jennian Homes New Zealand Track and Field Championships, Mitre 10 Sports Park, Hawke’s Bay – 26/27 March 2021
Julia Ratcliffe highlighted the championships with a New Zealand and Oceania record and a Tokyo Olympic qualifier in the hammer throw.
She had two personal bests on the day, claiming back the New Zealand allcomers, resident and national record as well as the Oceania record of 73.55m.
“It’s great to get everything off the plate finally and just being able to focus on building up to the Olympics now.
“It was pretty hard for me having the nationals postponed, as I was ready to have a break at the end of the season and then I didn’t get it so it was a matter of keeping training every day. That was quite hard as people had obviously tapered for nationals and then you had to re-load a little bit so you weren’t tapered too much.”
The last time Ratcliffe was in Hastings, at the Potts Classic, she threw her first three throws all out the side and didn’t make the final three throws.
“The first throw I had today was my safety throw, just to get it in between the white lines and you’ll be fine for the rest of the next five throws. That was my relaxed one and obviously relaxing worked out well for me.
“Today was the culmination of sixteen years of training and obviously Dave (her father and coach) in the crowd was good.”
Ratcliffe added eight centimetres to Lauren Bruce’s record set at the Hastings ground in September last year. Bruce was second for the sixth time with a throw of 72.76m.
Ratcliffe conceded that she wouldn’t have thrown as far as she has this season if Bruce hadn’t been pushing herself that hard this season.
“Obviously Lauren and I are friends and it’s nice having another friend out there throwing far, and it has lifted the lid on what is possible for myself and taken away any excuses. Someone has come in and stomped me out of the way and I’ve had to step up and that’s been really good for me. When we’re out there we’re trying to compete against each other, if I’m throwing further, she wants to throw further and if she’s throwing further I want to throw further, so it’s great for both of us.”
Zoe Hobbs finally added the national 100m record to the resident record she already holds. She equalled the national record of 11.32 and improved on her previous resident record of 11.35.
“It’s bitter sweet,” said Hobbs after equalling the New Zealand national record.
“I was after the record all season and now I’ve done it, but 0.01 and I would have been the outright holder so I’ll have to keep chasing.
“But I’m stoked to come away with another PB.
“I started well and I just wanted to be relaxed. I practiced in the heat to go through my emotions and then the goal was to find my start and I wanted to execute that again and relax, not tense up too much and I flew through to the end.”
Hobbs was denied the sprint double, with Georgia Hulls coming through to win the 200m in 23.21 to Hobbs’ 23.73.
Raised in nearby Havelock North, Hulls said: “I’m feeling a bit relieved and happy to run on a fast track against fast people. I had a good bend and I tried not to lose my form, which I probably did a little bit. I love running here and all the people here, so it was great to be able to win.”
Tom Walsh claimed his 12th shot put title and 13th overall, having won the discus title in 2013.
Walsh threw a season’s best of 21.79m to beat Nick Palmer, who was out to a career second best of 18.36m.
“I’m really happy with four of the throws today, I’m starting to feel like I do when I throw far,” said Walsh.
“I just wasn’t quite nailing it off the hand.
“I did exactly what I wanted to do today through the comp. Earlier in the season I was beating myself up through the competitions but I got myself out of the hole I’d dug myself worrying about other people. I’m happy with the way it went.”
Dame Valerie Adams, while delighted to take another title, was disappointed with her performance. She now equals Valerie Young’s 17 national titles in the shot put. Adams threw 18.43m for the title, over a metre short of her winning throw at the Sir Graeme Douglas International meeting last month.
“Seventeenth New Zealand title shows a little bit of what my age is, but it is awesome to win number 17, although I’m really gutted with how I performed tonight.
“It’s been a very long season so I’m pretty annoyed as an athlete right now at myself, but that’s the name of the game and you just have to come out and perform to the very best you can,” said Dame Valerie.
“So sorry I couldn’t have performed better tonight but we have to celebrate the small wins and tonight is winning another national title.
“We’ve been very lucky as a sport that the national championships have gone ahead, other sports have had to cancel outright, so big ups to the LOC down here in the Hawke’s Bay and also to Athletics New Zealand for making it happen for us athletes, and we appreciate it,” she added.
On the first day of the championships Camille Buscomb finished third in the 800m, close to her PB, and won the 5000m in 16:17.30. On the second day she convincingly won the 1500m in 4:19.78.
The gold in the 1500m came after finishing second three times and third once at previous championships.
“It is an improvement in the 1500m which is good,” she said.
“I’m heading to Australia on Tuesday where I have a 1500m race on Thursday, it would be good to get a PB there,” she added.
Katherine Camp was the winner of the women’s 800m for the third year in a row in 2:06.50.
“I came in with a plan and it is always good when I do have a plan and stick to it, and that was to finish quite strong and I was happy to do that in the last 200m.
“I wasn’t going to let the Camille Buscomb treble happen and that really hyped me up.
“There was a bit of wind out there so I didn’t want to do the work and Camille took it on which was quite good, I just had to stick on her. I felt really good, especially coming through the first 400m which was nice, and that gave me the confidence to know that I could hang on and go from 200m. I had to give it everything I had as I had to watch out for Becky as she’s got some speed as well,” said Camp.
Julian Oakley won the 1500m with strong front running tactics in 4:01.35.
“It was good to hold off Hamish (Carson) and Eric (Speakman) who are really good, experienced guys. I was stoked to get my first senior title. I planned to go 500m out as those guys finish fast and have a good kick, but I thought if I could get the jump on them I was going to win. The tactics were to go 500m out and I executed it well.
“I haven’t run a tactical 1500m in a few years so I wasn’t sure how I was going to go, and sure it was a slow time but I closed well and got the win,” said Oakley.
Hamish Gill, after finishing second twice in the 200m and second in the 100m last year, won his first senior title in the 400m in 47.59.
“It was good, but I think the wind on the back straight caught me a little bit tired. It’s all mental, you’ve just got to push through the mental barriers.
“The time was a PB but I wasn’t really going for time, I’m just happy to get the win against such a great group of athletes,” said Gill.
Camryn Smart, 19-year-old daughter of six times New Zealand 800m champion Toni Hodgkinson and former 400m hurdler and decathlete Alistair Smart, won the women’s 400m in a PB 53.98.
“I’m just so chuffed, it’s been such a long season and to finally get that reward feels great.
“I have a bit of pressure with mum’s background,” added Smart.
The instructions from mum were: “Just don’t panic, you’ve done the work so just follow your race plan, and I did.”
Smart has improved a full second this season in the 400m.
Shay Veitch came into the championships to retain his long jump title which he did with 7.78m, and an hour later claimed a bonus title, taking out the 100m in 10.34.
“I was a little scared going into the 100m as I’d yanked my groin/hamstring in the warm up but I got it together by the time the race started, the second race I’ve had this season.
“Obviously some of the best sprinters in the country aren’t here so if there was a very good year to take the title it was now, so it drew me into the right zone.
“Fitness was a bit of a question after being injured for six weeks with a hamstring injury and fortunately 100m is short enough to finish off well,” said Veitch.
Cody Wilson, second in the 100m, won the 200m title in 21.30.
Cameron French found the wind just too tough down the back straight in his bid for a fast time in the 400m hurdles in taking his fifth senior title.
“I cut down early and just went for the win. It’s been a weird old season, up and down. That’s it for New Zealand competition as I’m heading back to the UK, so that should be good. I’m looking forward to getting back with my coaches and some people to really draw me out so I can get those times back under 50 again and a qualifier.”
Anthony Nobilo made it three years in a row in the hammer, throwing a season’s best of 63.80m.
“It felt real good after a little tumble at the start, I fell out the front and hurt a little bit. But I managed to refocus and get back in the game.
“That’s the end of the season for me and I’m going to be moving into winter training from next week. I’m looking at putting on a few more kilos, so next year I might be a bit bigger as I want to get up to 105kg. Right now I’m at 95kg, so at a 105kg I will get the big throw out next season,” said Nobilo.
James Preston won his first national 800m title in 1:48.49, after finishing second to Brad Mathas in 2018 and 2019. He was chased hard by Dominic Devlin who finished second in 1:49.47.
“I wanted to come out and run as quick as I could. It was not quite the field that I wanted to be racing but wanted to make it a pretty honest pace, so I went through in about 52 which was bang on what I wanted.
“It’s my first senior title which is pretty pleasing, and I wanted to try and make it a quick race so it caters for Brad not being there.
“I heard Dominic behind me right through to 600m and I thought that I may have dropped him a bit earlier, but he hung on for a while which is pretty impressive to go through 600m in 1:19, a good run by him.”
James Harding won the under 20 800m and 1500m double with two impressive runs. He clocked 1:51.63 in the 800m and a PB 3:50.30 in the 1500m.
“I was going for Nick Willis’ under 18 record of 1:48.98. I was on pace through the first 400m but then the wind just got me down the back straight and couldn’t hold on. But I was pretty happy with the effort.
“The 400m split was 53s and it felt pretty cruisy, so if I can have someone in front of me I can definitely nail that record,” said Harding.
Tommy Te Puni retained his under 20 sprint double in 10.70 over 100m and 21.46 in the 200m. He also won gold in the senior 4 x 100m relay and under 20 4 x 400m relay for Auckland.
“Four golds, getting the national titles, it wasn’t the times I was expecting but can’t complain with the titles and good to defend them from last year,” said Te Puni.
Connor Bell, with a 61m throw in the last round of the discus, won his first senior title.
“I’m really happy with how the competition went. I’ve been struggling with a bit of back pain for the last week, so to throw as far as I did today is really uplifting and motivating given the circumstances.
“Obviously it was not what I was hoping for in a perfect world, but we don’t live in a perfect world.
“But I’m happy in terms of how that affects my points in the global rankings, that bumps me up to 23rd which is really cool and I’m really excited about that,” said Bell.
Joshua Hawkins, despite clipping the last two hurdles, was through to reclaim the 110m hurdles title, making it number six.
“I lost my title last year so I really wanted to get it back at whatever costs, I didn’t care I just wanted to get it done.
“I’m happy with how the season has gone, it hasn’t been the easiest with lockdowns and what not but we managed to make it work.
“I’m strong and I’m hurdling well, it’s just a shame I can’t go to Aussie and race those boys but I’m still happy with everything,” said Hawkins.
Amy Robertson won her first New Zealand title in the 100m hurdles after winning the junior title in 2018 and second in the seniors last year.
She recorded a wind assisted 13.66, but has recorded a legal 13.58 twice this season.
“I’m absolutely thrilled, it’s been a long time coming, a lot of hard work and the consistency has finally paid off. It’s a great feeling.
“It’s been a bit of a break through this season, especially with hurdles being such a technical event, but finally all those little things are coming together and I executed a good race.
“The hurdles were coming at me fast which is always a good thing as it means I’m going fast and having to react quickly to the hurdles and I had a strong finish as well, so overall really stoked.
“Unfortunately I can’t go over to Australia which would have been the best thing ever, but just to end the season well and to go into a break now is well needed,” said Robertson.
Hayden Wilde ran an almost 5000m time trial of 13:43.53, which is a championship record, to retain his title.
The first gold medal of the championships went to Courtney Ruske in the 3000m race walk after progressing well following surgery. Ruske also won the 10,000m track walk.
After finishing second on eight occasions Scott Thomson finally claimed the triple jump crown with a leap of 14.65m, beating defending champion Andrew Allan who was out to 14.58m.
Hamish Kerr made it title number six in the high jump, clearing 2.24m and Ettiene Du Preez won his first ever title in the pole vault with a clearance of 4.53m.
Anton Schroder won the javelin title with a PB 62.10m and Harry Ewing dethroned Ieuen van der Peet in the 3000m steeplechase in 9:18.00.
Portia Bing made it four years in a row in the 400m hurdles in 57.57 and Aimee Ferguson won the 3000m steeplechase in 11:25.22.
The senior discus throw title went to Kaia Tupu-South who also won the under 20 discus and shot put titles.
Jessica Senior won the javelin with a career best throw of 45.40m with Holly Robinson taking the silver with 44.26m, becoming the first Para Athlete to win a medal in the senior open championship.
Mariah Ririnui won the long jump with 6.01m, beating defending champion Briana Stephenson who was out to 5.98m. Ririnui last won the title in 2014.
Anna Thomson, who won the triple jump three years in a row from 2016, reclaimed the title with a personal best 13.06m. Helena Dinnissen was second with a PB 12.49m.
Josephine Reeves took out her third high jump title in a row at a height of 1.83m and Imogen Ayris claimed her third pole vault title, clearing 4.15m.
The Auckland senior women had a crack at the New Zealand 4 x 400m relay record of 3:35.60, but the head wind down the back straight took its toll and Camryn Smart anchored them to a time of 3:42.51.
Nikau Peipi (16) took out national F46 records in both the javelin and long jump. Also in record-breaking form in the para javelin was Ben Baines, who extended the men’s F37 national record to 33.44m.
World 2019 World Para Athletics T36 200m silver medallist Danielle Aitchison showed her quality to sprint to a wind assisted 100m of 13.76 and a wind assisted 200m of 28.93. Sarah James T53 went more than 15 seconds faster than her previous best in the 800m with a time of 2:57.34. Holly Robinson won the javelin throw with 42.15m.
High Point NC, 20 March: Colin Kirkpatrick 800m 1:54.92 PB (1).
Columbia MO, 19 March: William Sinclair 1500m 3:55.24 (2).
USF Bulls Invitational, Tampa FL, 19 March: Weiré Olivier LJ 6.93m +2.3 (3).
Black and Gold Invitational Oriando FL, 19 March: Max Spencer 1500m 3:50.54 PB (2). 20 March: Max Spencer 800m 1:54.01 (1).
Willie Williams Classic, Tucson AZ, 19 March: Theo Quax 1500m 3:51.71 (3). 20 March: Theo Quax 800m 1:54.60 (20BR).
Spring Break Classic, Canyon Amarillo TX, 19 March: Leah Belfield 100m 11.82 +1.7 PB (2BR).
Villanova PA, 19 March: Taonga Mbambo 3000m 8:33.41 (4).
Yellow Jacket Invitational, Atlanta GA, 20 March: Jack Elliott 1500m 4:04.57 (13R2).
UVA Opener, Charlottesville VA, 20 March: Holly Manning 800m 2:08.05 (2).
Fort Worth TX, 20 March: Atipa Mabonga TJ 12.06m w (6).
Co Vid Invitational, New York NY, 20 March: Cameron Avery 5000m 14:34.53 (4).
Raleigh Relays, Raleigh NC, 25 March: Liam Back 1500m 3:45.57 PB (3RB), Angus White 1500m 3:50.35 (7RC), Mitchell Small 1500m 3:54.87 (10RD), William Sinclair 5000m 14:06.75 (3RB), Chris Devaney 5000m 14:09.48 PB (4RB), Toby Gualter 5000m 14:24.29 (11RC), Cameron Avery 10,000m 29:14.27 PB (12). 26 March: Tessa Hunt 1500m 4:35.14 PB (2RG).
Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, Austin TX, 25 March: Leah Belfield 200m 24.94 -1.1 (6H9).
Bobcat Invitational San Marcos TX, 27 March: Atipa Mabonga TJ 12.24m +1.6 (3).
Weems Baskin, Creggar Track, Columbia SC, 27 March: Weiré Olivier TJ 15.76m +1.6 (1=).
Montreat College Invitational Montreat NC, 27 March: Colin Kirkpatrick 1500m 3:56.04 (14).
Queensland Track Classic, Continental Tour, QSAC Brisbane, 27 March: Eddie Osei-Nketia (19) broke his own New Zealand under 20 100m record of 10.19 with a second place at the Queensland Track Classic in 10.12 +1.0. This was just one hundredth of a second shy of his father’s New Zealand national record, set in Victoria, Canada in 1994. He earlier won his heat in 10.14 +2.1. Brad Mathas 800m 1:46.43 (2). Tori Peeters won the javelin throw with 59.25m.
Melbourne Track Classic, Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park, 25 March: Liam Webb 400m 48.36 (5).
Summer Series, Woden Park Canberra, 24 March: Simon Rogers 1500m 3:48.70 (1).
Itelligence Citylauf Invitational 10km Road Race, Dresden, 21 March: Tim Robertson 29:43 PB (17).
Road and Trail Races Around the Country
Pakuranga 5km, Lloyd Elsmore Park, 22 March: Ben Oxford 19:04, Connor Jamieson 19:41, Dion Wallwork 20:09.
O’Hagan’s 5km, Viaduct Harbour, 23 March: Mike Hale 17:27, Devon Beckman 17:36, Teddy Eyster 17:42. Robyn Lesh 19:49, Kayla Fairbairn 20:20, Christine Adamson 21:21.
Rat Race 5km, Takapuna, 24 March: Shaun Cooper 19:34, Tom Hanrahan 19:36, Andrew Harvey 19:48.
YMCA 10km, Auckland Domain, 25 March: Yuri Cowan 39:12.
Eastside Riverpath 5km, 23 March: Harry Coles 17:31, Rhys Mildon 17:42, John Bowe 17:46. Charli Miller 17:59.
Waipa 10km, 28 March: Jonny McKee 34:10, Thomas Trollope 39:04, Brendan Woolerton 39:46. Lauren Shelley 42:41. 5km; Dean Chiplin 17:04, Steve Rees-Jones 17:04, Andre Cornelius 18:47. Angela Hancock 19:07, Mel O’Brien 19:50, Bronwen Rees-Jones 20:31.
Rotorua Off Road Half Marathon, Whakarewarewa Forest, 28 March: Michael Voss 1:18:10, Casey Thorby 1:19:49, Liam Dooley 1:22:11. Sue Crowley 1:34:13, Kovo MacDonald 1:37:49, Jessica Mazaitis 1:41:57.
Tuesday Tune-Up 5km, Westshore Napier, 23 March: Mark Fisher 18:27, Erwin Blokker 20:08, Lockie Kidd 21:28.
Waterfront 5km Series, 23 March: Daniel Jones 15:07, Ryan Hunt 16:01, Mathew Moloney 16:06. Ali Campbell 18:47, Sophie Whelan 20:38, Sarah Unwin 20:53. Walk; Clive McGovern 29:41, Sean Lake 30:59, Ron Soper 31:25.
Honest Lawyer 5km Series, Monaco, 22 March: Tony Phillips 18:59, Eddie Hohepa 19:02, Mike Beever 19:38. Robyn Deane 21:04.
Eddyline 5km Series, 4 Underpasses Course, 24 March: Curtis Moore 17:30, Brian Kemp 18:05, Ryan Whatling 18:55.
The Three Peaks Mountain Race, Leith Valley, 28 March: 11km; Tadhg Ryan Charleton 1:06:43, Ben Rowley 1:08:20, Simon Leaning 1:09:45. Lydia Pattillo 1:18:38, Becky Lawrence 1:26:12, Tess Molloy 1:33:41. 26km; Jonah Smith 2:10:37, Alexander Gorrie 2:14:53, Nathan Shanks 2:15:15. Nancy Jiang 2:33:06, Margie Campbell 2:45:02, Kristy Eyles 2:49:36. 55km; Chris Bisley 5:27:11, Tom Spencer 5:53:33, Ben Cullen 6:04:13. Rose Pearson 6:40:13, Brooke Thomas 6:44:39, Jessica Campbell 6:48:30.
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent