Pair a boost for Southland in national team

Southland athletics has another couple of New Zealand representatives to add to its growing list.

Laura Overton and Jordan Rackham were yesterday named in the New Zealand athletics team to attend the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Australia next month.

The selections are on the back of strong showings at the New Zealand secondary schools championships in Dunedin at the weekend.

Overton completed an impressive Southland quinella in the senior girls javelin when she finished second to St Peter's College's Tori Peeters, who defended her national title.

Peeters threw 46.85m, 6m clear of second-placed Overton from Southland Girls' High School.

While Peeters is too old to qualify to compete at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, her fellow provincial thrower was selected.

Peeters was, however, again named in a New Zealand secondary schools paper team.

It was the second time at the New Zealand secondary schools championships that Southland had two athletes standing on the dais at the same time.

As well as Peeters and Overton's impressive quinella, Greer Alsop and Jade Graham finished first and third respectively in the senior girls triple jump.

Alsop broke the national record but the wind assistance was too much to allow the record to stand.

Alsop's performance had her also named in the New Zealand paper team.

Southland Girls' High School has become a powerhouse in triple jumping through the deeds of Alsop and Charlotte Muschamp.

Now Emma Hopcroft has joined those names as she won the 2012 junior girls triple jump national title in what was a regarded an upset.

The emergence of Southland Boys' High School's Jordan Rackham and his selection in the team to head to Australia was another shining light on a Southland front at the meet in Dunedin.

Rackham showed plenty of spirit and determination to finish third in the 2000m senior boys steeplechase.

Gavin Stark, of Blue Mountain College, joined Alsop and Peeters in the New Zealand paper team after he finished fifth in the senior boys 100m sprint.