Records tumble at masters champs

Records tumbled at the South Island masters track and field championships held in Nelson at Saxton Oval over the weekend.

Ten New Zealand masters athletics age group records and 23 South Island masters championship records were broken and another six championship records established by masters athletes who reside in the South Island.

Tasman masters sprinter Brian Thornalley broke his own New Zealand record for the 60m in the men's 70-74 age group, recording 9.31sec to lower his previous record of 9.38sec set during the South Island Masters Games in October 2011. Thornalley also set a new South Island masters championship record in his 100m event with a time of 15.06sec.

Visiting athletes from Canterbury and Otago also broke New Zealand records with Loris Reed (Canterbury) and Michael Scholten (Otago) having the distinction of each breaking three New Zealand records.

Reed broke the W65 records in the 1500m (6:02.81), 2000m steeplechase (9:20.23) and 5000m (21:56.10). Her performance in the steeplechase was particularly impressive as she broke the previous record by 1min 10sec and ran the race on her own. Her time in the 5000m also took an impressive minute off the old record.

Michael Scholten's records came in the M30 age group in the hammer (39.69m), weight throw (10.20m) and the throws pentathlon (2402 points). In the hammer throw all his three legal throws were further than his previous record of 33.40m.

Other New Zealand records were set by Max Wood (M75) in the 60m with a time of 10.37sec, Barbara Patrick (W65) in the 3000m with a time of 13:29.37 and Judy Hammond added the W75 high jump record with a jump of 1.06m to her W70 high jump record. Patrick also broke South Island championship records in her 400m and 800m events.

Tasman athletes were also amongst those who broke South Island championships records. Greg Lautenslager (M55), who took time out from his coaching duties of young Nelson middle distance runners, broke championship records in winning both his 3000m and 1500m events. His time in the 3000m of 9:47.39 broke the old record by an impressive minute. His 4:34.48 for the 1500m shaved 0.45sec off the old mark.

Murray Hart took 24sec off the M55 record for the 3000m steeplechase to claim his first South Island championship record.

Tasman race walkers performed well, particularly in the 5000m track walk with Gillian MacDougall breaking the W55 championship record by 69sec with a time of 33:17.46. Wendy Healey (W35) 27:58.14, Todd McCashin (M40) 29:38.35 and Roger Denton (M60) 30:39.63 all set championship records with good performances in the 5000m track walks.

McCashin continued his recent improvements in both the 5000m and 3000m track walks to achieve personal bests of 52sec and 20sec respectively. Healey also continued her recent good form and went very close to breaking the 3000m championship record in her age group - just missing by half a second.

Golden Bay thrower Patricia Drayton had a very successful championship, breaking four South Island championship records in her W75 age group. She broke the shot put (6.74m), hammer (20.76m), weight throw (9.93m) and throws pentathlon (3010 points) records.

Former Nelson resident Alan Hunter set a championship record in the M75 age group for the throws pentathlon with 1729 points. The throws pentathlon, which took place on Sunday morning, involves three throws in each of the hammer, shot put, discus, javelin and weight throw disciplines with points being allocated according to the participant's age, gender and the distance of the best throw in each discipline.

The Nelson Mail