Medal haul as South Canterbury athletes shine

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013
Timaru athletes
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ

EXCELLENT EFFORTS: South Canterbury athletes collected more than their fair share of medals at New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships. From left are Amelia Morgan, Jonathon Lord, Christina Ryan, Leanna Ryan (hurdling), Lauren Bruce and Ruby Cochrane.

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Some stunning performances by South Canterbury athletes highlighted the six titles and 11 medals won at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships in 2013.

Leading the charge in Hamilton was Roncalli hurdler Leanna Ryan.

Ryan won gold in the 100m hurdles, with a record-breaking performance of 13.94s in her heat on Saturday, which was her 18th birthday.

"It is a relief to win the title, it would have been a bit embarrassing if I'd broken the record and not actually taken out the title," she said.

The final was won in a slightly slower time of 14.14s. Ryan's second medal came in the senior girls' long jump, with a bronze.

Ryan in coached by Ian Baird in Timaru, but will be shifting to Hamilton next year. 

Craighead hammer thrower Lauren Bruce was the second South Canterbury record breaker with a 58.32m effort with a 3kg hammer in the senior girls. It was the 16-year-old's first year in the senior competition.

Only six records were set over the two days, with two coming to South Canterbury.

Timaru Girls' High School's Caitlin Benson was also in outstanding form, scooping three medals in the senior para athlete division.

Benson struck gold in the 100m,and discus and was only 4cm short of the shotput record with a 5.94m effort.

Timaru Boys' High School walker Jonathon Lord took back-to-back titles in the open boys' walk. His time of 13m 04.52s was however well short of his brother Daniel's record.

Craighead's Millie Morgan brought home two medals with a silver in the senior 3000m and a bronze in the 1500m.

Rangi Ruru's Rose Flanagan was impressive in winning the senior girls 3000m and the open 2000m steeplechase.

She led throughout the 3000m to record a B standard time of 9:25.78 for the world junior championships and in the steeplechase carved 26 seconds off the record with a time of 6m 34.27s.

Flanagan leaves school this year while Morgan will be back in 2014.

Waimate High School's Ruby Cochrane finished second in the senior girls discus with a 41.65m effort.

Christina Ryan matched her sister Leanna's effort in the long jump, by taking bronze in the junior girls'.

Roncalli's James Sandilands, who competed at the world youth championships, was the hot favourite to retain the boys' senior 110m hurdles title.

He however hit a couple of hurdles in the final and finished fourth.

Roncalli team-mate Jacob Matson also had no luck, having to withdraw from the 100m final and 200m semi after injury forced him out.

Leanna Ryan, Morgan, Bruce and Lord capped off a fine championships with selection in the NZSSAA team.

Ryan was also recognised for smashing the 14-year-old hurdles record with a "senior athlete of the meet" award.

The two other individual records to fall went to pole vaulters Eliza McCartney from Takapuna Grammar (4.10m) and Pascal Kethers of Rangitoto College (5.10m), which were both B standards for the world junior championships.

The final record went to Sacred Heart College in the senior four by 100m relay in 3m 18.59s.

Other notable performances came from Timaru Boys' High School's Tom Cooper in the senior boys' long jump. Cooper finished fourth, only 7cm behind the winner with a leap of 6.81m, which improved his personal best by 40cm.

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Christina Ryan was also fourth in the junior girls 80m hurdles final with a personal best of time 12.19s. Cameron McCully of Timaru Boys' High School was also fourth in the junior boys 400m final, running a personal best time of 52.34s.

- The Timaru Herald

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