Three wins in 10 minutes highlights golden day on the track for Wellington athletes
It was a golden day on the track in atrocious conditions for College Sport Wellington region athletes at the 47th NSZZA Track and Field Championships on Sunday.
Wellington region athletes came home first in eight events on a wet and wild Newtown Park track, as well as winning several silver and bronze medals.
Upper Hutt’s Daniel du Toit (Te Kura) won the 3000m race walk, St Pat’s Silverstream’s Oliver Krijen won the Junior Boys 100m.
Scots College’s Edward Osei-Nketia won the Senior Boys 100m.
Sarah Hay from St Mary’s College won the Junior Girls 1500m
Paraparaumu’s Cole Bailey won the Senior Boys 400 Metre Run Multi Class Para race.
St Pat’s Town’s Issac Oliver won silver in the Senior Boys 200m, HIBS’ Jonah Seeds was third in the Junior Boys 2000m Steeplechase, the St Pat’s Town Senior Boys 4x100m relay team won silver and Wellington College Junior Boys 4x400m relay team won silver.
Paraparaumu College’s Ben Lambert was third in the Junior Boys 100m and St Pat’s Town’s Jordan Stewart third equal in the Senior Boys 100m.
For home supporters, one of the thrilling set of results occurred between approximately 11.20am – 11.30am when three Wellington athletes from three different schools won their 800m finals.
First, Samuel Marsden Collegiate’s Ruby Barton raced home to win the Junior Girls 800m.
Second, Wellington College’s Alex Martin stormed to victory in the Junior Boys 800m.
In the very next race, Wellington Girls’ College’s Emma Douglass kicked through to win the Senior Girls 800m.
Ruby Barton ran a composed race, hitting the lead midway through the second lap and sprinting clear up the home straight to win gold.
“If I was feeling good, I was hoping to strike on the back straight,” said Ruby, “but you have got to watch out for the wind so that is a concern.”
Ruby said she had a good build-up. “I had my second fastest PB going into it and I was hoping to medal so to win was quite surprising. I was second in my heat and third in my semi.”
This was her first national title win in her favourite track event.
Two other Wellington runners were in this final, Wellington East Girls’ College’s Maia Wilkinson who was fourth and St Catherine’s Edie Kozyiak who was sixth.
Alex Martin was the frontrunner up the home straight, determinedly holding off second placed James Ford of Auckland’s King’s College.
“It feels good, I am so happy with how that went,” exclaimed Alex soon after crossing the tape and being congratulated by his many supporters.
“On the back straight and the run home I was just waiting for someone else to take the lead, but no one did so I just kind of sat in there and waited until the bend and then I went.”
This was year 10 Alex’s first major national title, after winning both his heat and semi-final on the previous days. Wellington College teammate Thomas White was also in Alex’s final, falling back at the end.
Emma Douglass led the Senior Girls 800m field on the inside lane throughout the middle stages of her race, dropping back to third on the back straight of the second lap – before her and Timaru Girls’ High School’s Tillie Holyer launched a two-way battle around the final bend and up the home straight.
Tillie led Emma up the home straight, but Emma found another gear to overtake her and romp home ahead of second placed Brianna Lee of Napier Girls’ High School who also overtook third placed Tillie.
“Winning was a massive shock, I was not expecting that at all,” said Emma afterwards. “Not having done much 800m training this was kind of a one-off thing, so I am incredibly happy with that.”
Emma also said the wind on the back straight and coming around the third bend was tough – but it was her extra speed from her favoured 400m that got her home. “Being able to sprint like a 400m runner really comes into play in longer races that unfold like these and in these conditions.”
“I entered the 400m this weekend but just decided to focus on the 800m, so that decision has paid off. I was eighth in the 400m final last year in my first year as a senior.”
This was year 12 Emma’s first major track title.
Wellington East Girls’ College’s Maali Kyle-Ford was fifth and Charlotte Floodsmith-Ryan from Sacred Heart College, Lower Hutt, was eighth, behind Emma.
Overnight storms forced the cancellation of the Road Race Championships that were scheduled to take place around Massey University and Wellington High School.
All results can be found HERE
– College Sport Media