Willis to take on class-packed field in 800m feature
We have received confirmation that Nick Willis is on the start list for the 800m race on our club night on Tuesday February 19.
The race has attracted the cream of 800-metre runners, headed by Whanganui's national titleholder Brad Mathas.
Adding spice will be Sam Petty, the 2010 English schools champion and Ben Moynihan, the New Zealand schools 1500m titleholder.
Mathas, who has a personal best time of 1min 49.47sec, is keen for a fast time and it will be interesting if he can better the stadium record of 1min 48.62sec established by Australian Alex Rowe at the Cooks Classic in 2011.
Mathas holds the stadium record for 15, 16 and 17-year-olds set back in 2010 when he stopped the timer at 1min 53.78sec.
While checking these records, it is interesting to see that Willis recorded the stadium best 1000m in what was possibly his only run on our track way back in 2012.
The race is scheduled for 7pm but the public are encouraged to get along early and enjoy seeing some of the best local athletes competing.
One of the youngsters who has really impressed me has been 7-year-old Georgia Furnell who shows great style in running her races out, crossing the line well clear of her rivals.
The highlight of last week's club night was the 8min 55.12sec 3000m effort by Dave Lovelock his first sub-9-minute run.
■ Hamilton's Porritt Classic saw more great performances by Manawatu athletes.
Zac Topping ran 50.38sec to win the B-grade 400m while Andy Kruy was again sub-11sec in finishing fifth in the A-grade 100 and then jumped 6.92m for second place in the long jump.
He ended the day as part of the New Zealand A team which won the 4x100 relay in 41.06sec ahead of the New Zealand B team which was anchored by Zac Topping. Great to see our two top sprinters running for the national teams.
Ashleigh Sando enjoyed the return to her old stamping ground taking second place in the triple jump with a 10.92m effort. She also leaped 5.32m for fifth in the long jump.
Ben Langton-Burnell was close to his personal best in the javelin with a best competition throw of 70.60m for second place behind Olympian Stuart Farquhar who won with 78.28m throw.
One of the features of Ben's competition was his consistency with two of his other throws at 69m and another 68m. Joshua Baan finished third in the schoolboy Dick Quax 1500m in 4min 01.08sec.
■ The older competitors travelled to Whanganui for the New Zealand Masters Games.
There appeared to be very small fields with often only one competitor in an age-group event, so in most events it was necessary to combine age-groups. Unfortunately, the results did not show the home towns of competitors so I am unable to give a full review of Manawatu results,
Vanessa Story won the 100m (13.68sec), 200m (27.24sec), 400m (61.49m), long jump (4.23m), high jump (1.35m) and discus (17.41m)
Brian Curry won the javelin (27.73m) high jump (1.55m), was second in the discus (28.26m) and third in the 200m (27.33sec)
Sue Hoskin and Peter Zwart took at the 3km walk gold medals and Jen Fee had a busy weekend winning the triple jump (6.60m), discus (24.45m), a silver in the shot (7.13) and a bronze in the javelin (15.45)
■ Paraparaumu Ribbon day is a traditional Waitangi Day event and Palmerston North athletes had their share of success.
Frances Allen was third in the girls' 11 1500m while twin sister Caelen Allen was successful in the girls' 11 100m, Bradyn Popow won the boys' 9 200m, and was third in the 60m and 100m races .
Misrab Razvi was second in the boys' 9 100m and Jorjye Popow third in the girls' 7 100m. Ribbon Days are great events for our younger competitors and this Sunday it is the turn of Ashhurst to host one.
■ With the university year about to begin, we invite all athletes attending Massey to join us at our Tuesday club night or to make use of the all-weather track on campus for training.
It is also the time we say goodbye to our club athletes leaving for other universities.
In particular we will miss Stacey Gunn who is off to Otago and Stephanie Dickins who heads to Auckland.
Both are valued club members who have made a tremendous contributions to our club's success and at training and club nights.
February 12 Palmerston North Programme C MCAT 5.45pm
February 12 Manawatu Striders Super 7 YMCA
February 12 Ashhurst club night
February 13 Te Kawau recommence
February 17 Ashhurst Ribbon Day
February 19 Palmerston North club night Programme A
February 19 Ashhurst club night