Balchin dominates for convincing win

17:26, Jan 05 2014
daniel balchin
HOME AND HOSED: Daniel Balchin (New Brighton Olympic) with a clear lead on the final straight, nears victory in the Lovelock Mile.

Daniel Balchin (Canterbury) won the Lovelock Open men's mile in 4 minutes 14.50 seconds at the Lovelock Classic track and field meet on Saturday, the first New Zealand Grand Prix classic meet of the summer.

He ran at the front from the start with Oska Inkster-Baynes (Canterbury), who finished second, in close contact. New Zealand men's 17 champion, Tannock Blair (Canterbury) finished third.

By winning the mile, Balchin became the first winner of the Lovelock Mile Trophy, donated by retiring Timaru Boys High School rector Kevin OSullivan.

O'Sullivan has taken a deep interest in Jack Lovelock (1936 Olympic 1500m gold medallist), an old boy of Timaru Boys' High School, in his 18 years as rector, thus it was a fitting finale to his leadership. Recently OSullivan represented Oceania at the IAAF Cross Country forum in Belgrade.

Inskster-Baynes won the open men's 3000m (8:44.37) with local Millie Morgan (Canterbury), winning the open women's 3000m (10:03.76)

The other highlight was the World Junior Championship A qualifier by Rosa Flanaghan (Canterbury) in the open women's 3000m steeplechase, completing the distance in 10:14.60, some .41sec inside the qualifying mark.


Right from the start Flanaghan aggressively attacked the distance, helped immensely by Caroline Melsop (Wellington, 10:51.21). .

Flanaghan broke her own New Zealand women's 17, 18 and 19 records, which she set in Timaru in November.

The fact the Athletics New Zealand's steeplechase high performance squad was having their training camp in Timaru, capped off a great weekend.

In the open men's 3000m national secondary schools' 1500m champion Jordan Rackman (Southland) impressively won (9:59.40), from secondary schools' 1500m champion Joe Beamish from Otago (10:12.79), with Matt Dryden (Canterbury) third.

There were plenty of other fine performances at the meet.

In the open women's mile, world championship representative Angie Smit (Canterbury 4:50.40) led from the front aggressively to win, but Pippa Trevella (Canterbury 4:58.51), the Oceania champion, kept her honest and it was only near the end that Smit got away, with Fiona Brochie (Canterbury 4:59.51) third.

Another creditable middle distance performance was the win by Brad Mathas (Canterbury) in the open men's 800m (1:51.77). The world junior international showed his aggressive, front-running approach, which was impressive.

In the open women's 100m Kelsey Berryman (Canterbury) impressively won (12.08s) from Fiona Morrison (Canterbury, 12.21s), with Leanna Ryan (Canterbury, 12.67s) third.

However, the result was reversed in the open women's 100m hurdles, with New Zealand champion Morrison impressively winning (13.78s) from Berryman (14.53s) and Christina Ashton (Otago 15.60s).

Morrison and Berryman combined to win the open women's 2x100 metres relay.

In the open men's 100m local and youth Olympic 200m silver medallist, Jacob Matson (Canterbury), impressively won in 10.97s from Ben Ryan (Canterbury 11.12s) and Robert Jopp (Otago 11.27s).

Jopp and Matson combined to win the open men's 2x100 metres relay.

Nicola Bradley (Auckland) won the open women's hammer (57.11m) from Lauren Bruce (Canterbury, 52.23m) with Hannah Boyd (Canterbury) third.

Bruce won the open women's discus (42.54m) from Ruby Cochrane (Canterbury 39.92m) with Sammy Richards (Canterbury) third.

Emma Sutherland (Canterbury) won the open women's high jump (1.75m) with Ben Loh (Canterbury) taking out the open men's (1.90m).

Leanna Ryan (Canterbury) won the open women's long jump (5.21m) from Georgia Freeman (Canterbury 5.19m), with Atipa Mahonga (Southland) winning the open women's triple jump (11.33m) with the well-performed Todd Swanson (Southland) who never fails to win a medal at New Zealand championships, and is the current national champion, winning the open men's triple jump (13.88m).

Kate Newitt (Canterbury) won the 10,000m walk (53:18.91) in a solid performance from Rosie Robinson (Otago) - the event was a fitness trial for the New Zealand team before the international against Australia, in Hobart, in February.

The Timaru Herald