News & Updates

4 March 2022 • Track and Field

Collette sisters shine on day two of the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships

Chayille Collette streaked to victory in the women's 200m posting an impressive time of 24.11 ahead of twin sister, Addira. (Credit: Alisha Lovrich).

New Zealand sprinting enjoyed another memorable day as Chayille Collette set two PB’s and twice bettered the Athletics NZ Performance standard for the World U20 Championship to strike gold with an eye-catching display in the women’s 200m on day two of the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Hastings.

The 16-year-old Manawatu Whanganui athlete began her day with a bang by clocking 24.25 to wipe more than half-a-second from her previous PB before returning for the final to power to a blistering mark of 24.11 (1.7m/s) and take gold ahead of twin sister, Addira, in silver.

Addira too posted a new lifetime best of 24.41 with the only frustration she was 0.01 shy of the Athletics NZ Performance standard for the World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia.

The twins, who are based in Palmerston North and whose parents hail from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago, took up the sport at the age of ten and are coached by George McConachy.

“I’m happy to run alongside everybody,” especially Addira because she is such great competition,” explains Chayille. “Overall, I’m happy with that the time and PB. It is amazing because I didn’t know I could run that fast.”

Zachary Saunders completed the men’s U20 100m and 200m double with a pulsating victory over the half-lap distance by just 0.04 from Angus Lyver (Manawatu Whanganui).

The Auckland athlete rounded the bend with a marginal advantage from Lyver, who a little earlier in the day soared out to 7.10m to win the men’s U20 long jump, and it was Saunders who just maintained the advantage to crossing the finish line in a slick 21.31 (2.4m/s).

The time was also 0.09 quicker than the World U20 Championships Performance standard but the excessive wind speed will unfortunately rule the time out as an official mark for the event, which takes place in Cali, Colombia in August.

“The 200m was my big goal this weekend and it is one we’ve targeted for the last year in training and we’ve tried to get the time down as much as possible – 21.3 is moving,” added Saunders.

Marielle Venida outpaced national U20 400m champion Mia Powell to complete the 100m/200m sprint double in a rapid 24.51 (2.7m/s) as Auckland athletes swept the podium. Venida who had earlier today taken a large chunk of 0.43 from her previous lifetime best with a 24.71 in the heats followed it up by running 0.20 quicker (albeit with an illegal wind reading) to complete a perfect two days’ work.

Marielle, who is coached by Kerry Hill, said: “I find the 200m very hard, I’m not a big fan of the 200m but I’m happy with my 200m today. It feels really cool (to win the double) I always wanted to be a national champion.”

Asher Pettengell-Brand (Canterbury) breasted the tape 0.04 clear of Rylan Noome to edge a tight men’s U18 200 final in a time of 22.23.

Penelope Salmon gave another yet another display of middle-distance excellence by dipping under the World U20 Athletics NZ performance standard for the second time with a barnstorming victory in the women’s U20 1500m. The Aucklander produced a fearless front-running display to record the second fastest time of her life in 4:27.49 ahead of fellow Aucklander Bella Browne who grabbed silver in 4:30.12.

Penelope said: “It was a good race, I went slowly for the first 100m but I knew that going into the race if I wanted to push the time I would have to do it myself. I got quite lactic near the end and another 4:27 – I just can’t seem to get under it this season. It is my first national gold medal, so it is a good feeling.”

The finishing order was reversed from yesterday’s women’s U18 800m in today’s 1500m as Rosaria Gibson outfought Kiera Hall to snatch gold by 0.10 in a time of 4:32.42 in a compelling battle between the training partners over the metric mile distance.

It was yet another triumph for the group coach by Rio Olympic 800m athlete Angie Petty who like in Thursday’s U18 women’s 800m guided the top three home. On this occasion Elspeth McGuinness grabbed third in 4:37.38 with all three medallists rewarded with PB’s.

Gibson fell short of her ultimate goal of attaining the Athletics NZ World U20 performance standard of 4:29.00 but she was still elated with her efforts.  

“It is cool to be national champion, it is a feeling you can’t really describe,” said Gibson. “I’m just really thankful to my coaches, Angie and Sam Petty and my training partners.”  

James Ford capped a perfect weekend by edging a captivating men’s U18 1500m to complete the middle-distance double after his victory in the 800m yesterday. The 16-year-old out-dipped Liam O’Donnell to edge to victory by a slender 0.02 in 3:59.74.

The Kings College student said: “The pace was decent, I just tried to stay comfortable the whole way, which I did. I fought halfway down the straight and started easing up a bit. He (O’Donnell) came up on me and I got the dip on him. I thought I had him, but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure.”

Competing on his home track Karsen Vestey avenged his defeat to Zane Powell in yesterday’s 800m to reverse that finishing order in a fascinating scrap in the men’s U20 1500m final. Vesty, who is coached by Richard Potts, just had the superior speed and strength down the home straight today to edge victory by 0.28 from Powell in a time of 3:54.81.

“Team Green” dominated the 400m finals as a trio of athletes coached by Nuree Greenhalgh plundered a haul of three gold medals in the one-lap sprint.

Kick-starting the “Team Green” gold rush was Amelie Fairclough, who ran a smart tactical race to overhaul Kimberley Walsh (Manawatu Whanganui) in a tight tussle by a margin of 0.22 to stop the clock in 55.79 in the women’s U18 400m final. Amelie later completed a successful day by winning U20 women’s bronze behind the Collette twins in a brand new PB of 24.59.

Next up the long-striding Mia Powell was a comprehensive winner of the women’s U20 400m posting a swift 55.54 with Lex Revell-Lewis adding a third 400m gold for the crack West Auckland-based training squad, powering out to a time of 47.87 ahead of fellow Aucklander Troy Middleton (48.76).

Mia, whose father, Mike, is of Jamaican heritage and himself a former athlete, said: “It was quite a hard run not the time that I wanted but quite good without anyone to push me like at the Classics. I’m happy with it.”

Revell-Lewis, who celebrated his 18th birthday last weekend, said: “Today I was a bit sore after the 100m (where he finished fourth in the U20 event yesterday). I wasn’t aiming for a PB I just wanted the win, but I surprised myself with that time (Revell-Lewis came within 0.27 of his lifetime best).”

He said of coach Nuree Greenhalgh: “I have such a strong connection with her she is like a second mother to me.”

The remaining 400m final – U18 men – was taken out by an impressive display by Jordan Veitch of Canterbury in 50.13.

Talia Van Rooyen climaxed her fantastic championships by adding the women’s U18 100m hurdles title to the 100m and 4x100m U18 gold medals she won yesterday. The versatile 15-year-old Aucklander followed up her stellar 11.50 clocking in the 100m on Thursday by earning top spot in the U18 100m hurdles in a personal best of 13.82 (0.0m/s).

The men’s U18 110m hurdles served up a titanic duel as Joseph Dunn (Auckland) just pipped Asher Pettengell-Brand (Canterbury) by 0.08 – clocking 14.90 into a (-0.4m/s) in a highly-competitive showdown.

In the field, Natalia Rankin-Chitar (Auckland) completed a throws double with victory in the women’s U20 discus following her success yesterday in the U20 women’s shot. Rankin-Chitar impressed by hurling the 1kg discus to a best of 48.71m with her sixth round throw in excess of the Athletics NZ World U20 performance standard of 48.50m.  

In the field, Liam Ngchok-Wulf also caught the eye to set a PB in the men’s U20 shot gold and add to the U20 hammer title he claimed yesterday after enduring what he described as a “dramatic” competition.

The 18-year-old protested two of his throws after officials says his heel skimmed along the top of the stop board. The Auckland has one successful and one unsuccessful appeal but kept his composure in round five to launch the 6kg shot out to a new PB of 17.81m – within 39cm of the World U20 Championship Athletics NZ Performance Standard.

“I tried to take it all in (the protests and turn it into a positive,” he said. “I’m pretty happy with the result.”

Ethan Bone (Canterbury) was an impressive winner of the men’s U18 high jump adding 4cm on to his pre-event PB to soar clear at 2.01m.

Levi Pupuali admitted he was “scared” before the biggest competition of his life, but the Manurewa High School student contained his nerves to strike gold in the men’s U18 hammer courtesy a PB of 61.17m. The Auckland-based athlete who was entered as a Papakura AC athlete and only took up the sport two years ago surprised himself by with his performance to defeat Alexander Hewitt (Wellington) who threw 56.38m.

A clutch jump of 5.45m in the sixth round of the U18 women’s long jump elevated Jorja Gibbons to gold as she edged Sophie Hancock (WBP) winner of yesterday’s U18 triple jump, who broke the sand with a best of 5.41m.    

Blessing Sefo completed a highly satisfactory two days of competition by adding the U18 men’s discus title to the shot put crown he snared yesterday. The Auckland athlete hurled the 1.5kg implement out to 50.57m almost a full metre clear of Harrison McGregor (WBP), who was just shy of his lifetime best with 49.58m.

Another athlete completing a successful double was Suzannah Kennelly (Auckland), who followed up her victory in the women’s U20 discus with top spot in the women’s shot courtesy of a 14.44m effort.

Also in the throws, Elizabeth Hewitt (Wellington) finished top of the pile in the women’s U20 hammer with a best of 52.73m and Jessica Hendren struck gold in the women’s U18 high jump with a best of 1.72m.

Results for today are here