Wednesday's Athletics Nelson Twilight Series meet hailed the bittersweet return of Brendon Barnett, the debut of top German athlete Stefanie Aeschlimann, the continued success of Chris Brake, and rising women stars throughout the Tasman region.
Barnett's presence at the Saxton Field Athletics Track, where he set the New Zealand M17 long jump record last season, was warmly welcomed. But his smile evaporated on the javelin runway.
Barnett injured his right knee in rugby last winter, and part of his meniscus was removed in surgery. He competed in the long jump in the opening meet in October but did not return.
"The injury was not on my take-off leg, but the problem is that I can't run," Barnett said.
He can still throw, but he had difficulty with his run-up in Wednesday's javelin competition and fouled on his only two attempts.
Barnett won a bronze medal in the M20 javelin at the New Zealand track and field championships last March and hopes to compete in that event and the discus at nationals late next month.
Culainn Stringer won the javelin with 34.76m, just 51cm ahead of discus winner Kai Mason.
The women's victory went to Aeschlimann, a German exchange student who also is one of the top junior triple jumpers in her country.
Aeschlimann's winning toss of 37.03m with the women's spear is already the second-farthest by W18 competitors in New Zealand this season.
Chris Brake showed no sign of the knee and ankle pain that limited him at last Friday's Capital Classic in Wellington, winning the men's 100m in 11.58sec and the long jump with 6.66m.
Mitchell Chandler was second in 12.02sec and then sailed a solo 24.52sec in the 200m.
Jonas Kale went into cruise mode after feeling a slight hamstring pull 30m into the 100m race and finished third in 12.18sec.
Claire Erasmus continued her dominance on the local women's sprint scene, winning the 100m in her 2013 debut in 13.29sec.
Rosie Taylor-Richmond won the 200m in a season-best 27.88sec. Amanda Fitisemanu set season bests, finishing second in both races.
Georgia Teakle ran a national qualifying time of 2min 24.8sec in the 800m, and Bridie Edwards set a personal best of 5min 6.5sec in the 1500m.
Morgan Clark jumped a season-best 4.84m in winning the women's long jump, and Tayler Boeyen ran close to her best with 13.70sec in the women's 80m hurdles.
Next Wednesday's Twilight Series meet will feature the annual distance medley relay (four legs of 1200m, 400m, 800m and 1600m), which will be made up of mostly National Academy of Distance Running members.
It will be the final home meet before the Harold Nelson Classic-New Zealand junior 3000m championships at Saxton on February 16.
80m hurdles – women: Tayler Boeyen 13.70 1 (wind +0.5); 100m hurdles – men: Keegan Fisher 15.94 1 (+0.5); 100m – women (race 1): Claire Erasmus 13.29sec 1, Amanda Fitisemanu 13.42sec 2, Rosie Taylor-Richmond 13.47sec 3 (+1.4); (race 2): Amber Sixtus 14.10 1, Irene Post 14.33sec 2, Georgia Teakle 14.43sec 3 (+0.0); men: Chris Brake 11.58sec 1, Mitchell Chandler 12.04sec 2, Jonas Kale 12.18sec 3 (+0.1); 200m – women: Rosie Taylor-Richmond 27.88sec 1, Amanda Fitisemanu 28.08sec 2, Irene Post 29.09sec 3 (+1.5); men: Mitchell Chandler 24.52sec 1 (+1.8); 800m – women: Georgia Teakle 2min 24.8sec 1, Bonita Morrissey-Smith 2min 38.9sec 2, Kelsey Barrett 2min 57.2sec 3; 1500m – women: Bridie Edwards 5min 6.5sec 1; discus – men: Kai Mason 38m 1, Louis Kraase 29.52m 2, Culainn Stringer 20.86m 3; javelin – women: Stefanie Aeschlimann 37.03m 1, Chloe Hall 26.45m 2; men: Culainn Stringer 34.76m 1, Kai Mason 33.75m 2, Louis Kraase 31.76m 3; long jump – women: Morgan Clark 4.84m 1; men: Chris Brake 6.66m 1.