National titles to college duo

COLIN WILLIAMS
Last updated 12:07 12/12/2012

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Local college athletes, the two Joshs, put in outstanding title winning performances at the weekend's New Zealand Secondary School's Championships in Dunedin.

Hutt International Boys' School's Josh Ledger and Josh Springgay, proved the best in the country, winning the 400m and long jump in junior competition respectively.

Ledger was simply unbeatable in the feature 400m. He comfortably won his heat and semi-final before powering away in the final, unchallenged in the final 80 metres, to win in 50.32s - a personal best and more than a second clear of the second runner.

Ledger's effort keeps the glamour track title local, following the success of St Pat's Silverstream's Fletcher Greaves a year ago.

The 15-year-old Ledger trains with Upper Hutt Athletics and this winter spent the off-season with Trentham Harriers for a first time.

"It was a little bit easier than I thought. I always think positive and my plan was to gas it."

Ledger's weekend was topped off with his being named in the New Zealand under-18 squad for the Youth Olympics in Australia early next year while further goals are the North Island and New Zealand club championships in March.

College mate Springgay was a stand out, too. The youngster finished first equal in the long jump, finishing at 6.45m to claim the title. The versatile Springgay also competed strongly in the triple jump for ninth and the 200m sprint, running third in his semi- final and sixth in the final (23.64s).

Ben Power was a third HIBS junior athlete to shine. In the field he gathered seconds in the shot put (15.30m) and hammer throw (47.60m) and third in the discus (49.24m) in a creditable all rounder's effort.

In senior competition Greaves, hampered with a hamstring concern, battled into the semi-finals.

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- Upper Hutt Leader

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