Vodanovich dunks high jump record

TIM BARTON
Last updated 13:14 07/03/2012
jumper
St Pat's Town high jumper Tom Vodanovich.

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"Let's go Tom, let's go," the St Pat's Town supporters chanted yesterday, and Tom Vodanovich did let go.

The Junior Tall Black and Wellington Saints squad member showed that he can also reach great heights off the basketball court by adding three centimetres to the McEvedy Shield high-jump record.

The previous record of 1.95m was set by former Wellington College pupil Billy Crayford, who is the current New Zealand champion.

Vodanovich improved the record twice, first when clearing 1.96m and then at 1.98m, before failing at 2.0m. "It was scary [when it was at two metres]," said the lanky Vodanovich. "That's my height."

Remarkably, Vodanovich was winning his first McEvedy title.

"It's only in the last year or two that I've shown this ability.

"I was injured last year but otherwise I've always been [competing] here.

It's a huge day."

In addition, Vodanovich has limited time to devote to athletics.

"I really only compete for school - in the Old Boys' Cup and the McEvedy. I just don't have enough time."

Basketball is Vodanovich's priority and in addition to his commitments with the Saints, he is likely to travel to Germany and China with the Junior Tall Blacks this year. However, his McEvedy success might encourage him to compete at the Wellington regional championships next week.

St Pat's Town captain Daniel Hunt regarded Vodanovich's effort yesterday as a key moment at the meeting. "That inspired everybody."

Rongotai College's Denny To'o destroyed the McEvedy record for the under-14 shot put, which had been held by rugby player Thomas Waldron. To'o beat the record in four of his six throws, extending the mark from 13.60m to 14.42m.

It was Shipp ahoy in the open sprints yesterday, with Silverstream's Jack Shipp triumphing in the 100m, 200m and 400m and then anchoring the winning relay team.

Shipp is best known as a 400m runner and surprised himself when beating Rongotai's Tuga Mativa and Ryan Saunders (Wellington) in the 100m in a personal best of 11.34. "I didn't expect that," Shipp said. "But I've been training hard this year."

Marcus Karamanolis (Town) warmed up for the Australian junior championships in Sydney next week when taking the under-16 800m and 1500m double. "I was so nervous today, I felt like throwing up before each race," he said.

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Olly Boyd (Wellington) won the open 800m in 2:02.52, Ryan Scaife (Silverstream) won the junior 3000m and under-15 1500, and Riva Williams (Wellington) won the senior 3000m.

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