Records tumble in night of tight finishes
Fantastic finishes at the Saxton Field Athletics Track were not reserved for the Athletics New Zealand junior men's 3000m championships on Saturday evening.
The second annual Harold Nelson Classic, which served as a warmup for the title races, offered some thrills - and spills - of its own.
Dale Pritchard surpassed his own Tasman Centre and Athletics Nelson club records in the shot put and discus. Pritchard started with a 15.31m on his fourth throw of the shot put to surpass his former record of 15.22m. Then he rifled his first throw of the discus, 47.15m, bettering the 46.86m mark from last week's Mahar Cup in Greymouth.
German exchange student Stefani Aeschlimann joined Athletics Nelson at the meet registration desk and then promptly jumped 11.28m against the wind to break Anna Molineaux's W18 Tasman Centre and club triple jump record. She also won the long jump with 4.96m and the javelin with 36.70m.
Andrew Kennedy blasted out of the blocks in the 100m and won by six metres over Jonas Kale in a season's best 10.86sec. Kale won the 200m in 23.87sec, just ahead of Mitchell Chandler.
Hannah Shepherd also got off to a big start in the women's 100m. A strong finishing lean helped her hold off Claire Erasmus, Katie Thompson and Rosie Richmond-Taylor but sent her sprawling to the track after being clocked in 13.23sec. Those four runners finished within seven-hundreths of a second of each other.
Shepherd dusted herself off and returned in the 200m with the same result, finishing upright this time in a personal best 26.92sec and a stride ahead of Erasmus.
Chris Brake dominated the men's triple (13.13m) and long (6.20m) jumps. Culainn Stringer won a hotly contested men's javelin competition with 35.60m and the 400m in 57.9sec. Georgia Teakle set a personal best in winning the women's 800m in 2min 24.73sec. Bridie Edwards won the junior girls' mile in 5min 26.61sec, and Luke Kelly took out the boys' mile in 5min 3.99sec.
Athletics Nelson will hold its final Athletics Twilight Series meet of the season on Friday, starting at 6pm.