Waikato schools claim medal haul

SPRINT FINISH: St Peter's student Arianna Lord took out the senior girls' 1500m title in 4:44.55.
SPRINT FINISH: St Peter's student Arianna Lord took out the senior girls' 1500m title in 4:44.55.

Waikato schools claimed seven gold medals at the New Zealand secondary schools athletics championships in Hamilton at the weekend.

St Paul's Collegiate hurdler James Hunt took out the senior boys' double in that discipline, winning the 110m hurdles in 14.38 seconds and the 300m hurdles in 37.83s at Porritt Stadium.

Hunt also helped St Paul's to take out the senior boys' 4x100m relay title, joining Conor Crowe, Sean Henley-Smith and Tom Smith to win in 42.99 secs.

They were second in the 4x400m with just one change to their team, Joel Taylor replacing Crowe, coming home behind Auckland's Sacred Heart College who set a new record in the process.

Henley-Smith and Smith took bronze medals in the senior boys 200m and 400m respectively.

Tarryn Davey (Waikato Diocesan) lived up to her pre-championship billing by winning the senior girls' 800m in 2:10.04 from Holly Manning (Napier Girls' High).

Arianna Lord (St Peter's School) took out the senior girls' 1500m title in 4:44.55 but she had to do it in a sprint finish, pipping Jessica Martin (Nelson College for Girls) by 0.31 secs.

Hamilton Boys' High School athlete Alex Wood easily won the senior boys' javelin title with a throw of 64.26 metres.

In the road racing section held at Ruakura yesterday, Grace Ritchie (Waikato Diocesan) won the year nine girls' 3km title.

Other medals won by Waikato athletes on the track included two silver medals by Jacob Priddey (Hamilton Boys' High) in the senior boys' 1500m and 3000m behind Jordan Rackham (Southland BHS) and Geordie Beamish (Wanganui Collegiate) respectively.

Fellow HBHS athlete Theunis Peters also won silver in the senior boys' 800m, just 0.71 secs behind Thomas Monnery (Kings College), while Talia Horgan (Cambridge High School) won bronze in the senior girls' 400m.

The championships, which attracted nearly 1500 athletes from 225 schools as the biggest single track and field meeting in New Zealand, produced six records over the two days of competition at the weekend.

Those records sere set by Eliza McCartney (Takapuna Grammar) in the open girls' pole vault, Pascal Kethers (Rangitoto College) in the open boys' pole vault, Lauren Bruce (Craighead Diocesan) in the senior girls' hammer throw, Leanne Ryan (Roncalli College) in the senior girls' 110m hurdles, Rosa Flanagan (Rangi Ruru) in the open girls' 2000m steeplechase and Sacred Heart College in the senior boys' 4x400m relay.

Flanagan also also won the senior girls' 3000m title and was one of three athletes to qualify for the world junior championships with her time in that event of 9:25.78.

The other world junior championship qualifiers were pole vaulters McCartney and Kethers.

The sprints saw Zoe Hobbs, of New Plymouth Girls' High, take out the senior girls' 100m and 200m double.

Waikato Times