News & Updates

3 March 2022 • Track and Field

Talia fires on opening day of the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships

Talia Van Rooyen was an eye-catching winner of the women's U18 100m in Hastings. (Credit: Alisha Lovrich)

Talia van Rooyen proved the next generation of New Zealand sprinter is alive and well by blitzing to victory in the women’s U18 100m in a scintillating 11.50 to light up the opening day of the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Hastings today.

The 15-year-old Van Rooyen’s time was 0.05 under the 32-year-old New Zealand U17 record of Briar Toop, however, the mark was achieved with the benefit of a 3.1m/s so will not be registered as a record mark.

It was nonetheless an outstanding performance by the Auckland-based athlete who had earlier in the morning heats scalped 0.13 from her lifetime best with a mark of 11.76.

Behind, Van Rooyen there was also a quality pair of performances from the Collette twins of Manawatu with Chayille claiming silver in 11.68 – one tenth of a second ahead of sister Addira in bronze.

Van Rooyen, who enjoyed her formative years living in South Africa and who was introduced to the sport through her parents who both coach athletics, said: “I’m really happy, just a bit frustrated by the wind. Training has been going really well. I have had a good base from last year’s winter training.”

Coached by her parents, Van Rooyen arrived in New Zealand seven years ago and is entered in both the 100m hurdles and 200m tomorrow. Having already comfortably secured the World U20 Championship Athletics NZ performance standard in the women’s 100m she says that should she secure selection “It would be great to run in the event and a great experience.”

Zachary Saunders made amends for the pain of missing the 2021 edition of the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships through injury to surge to victory in the men’s 100m final in a swift 10.71 (2.4m/s). In a close-run race Oliver Krijnen (Wellington), who appeared to have his nose in front during the first half of the race, claimed silver in 10.77 with Canterbury’s Alizjah Campbell (10.86) filling the final spot on the dais.  

“I’m stoked having missed the nationals last year with a ruptured ankle ligament,” explains Zachary, who is coached by James Mortimer, the man who also guides New Zealand record-holders Zoe Hobbs (women’s 100m) and Portia Bing (women’s 400m hurdles).

“I was aware of Oliver in his yellow Wellington singlet,” he added. “It was good to have that pressure and make it work for me. It means heaps to me (to win the title) and it gives me confidence that I can run good times and win races leading into events like the Oceania Championships.”

In the day’s other 100m finals Marielle Venida shattered her personal best to win the women’s U20 final in 11.92 – 0.26 clear of her fellow Aucklander Nadia Evans. Kiana Pohe (WBP) bagged bronze in 12.30.

Ryan Shotter (Hawkes Bay Gisborne) claimed a home victory in a highly-competitive men’s U18 100m final, stopping the clock in a personal best of 10.95 (1.4m/s) to finish 0.03 clear of Ben Lambert. Asher Pettengell-Brand (Canterbury) secured bronze in 11.00.

The 800m final also provided some exciting fare as Keira Hall led home a clean sweep of the podium for Canterbury in the U18 women’s event.  The 16-year-old athlete led home the trio of athletes coached by Angie Petty to win from the front in a time of 2:12.26 from her training partners; Rosaria Gibson (2:13.73) and Samantha Lascelles (2:14.10).

“I got a bit boxed at the start and didn’t go through in the time I wanted to at 400m,” said Hall, who has already attained the Athletics NZ Performance standard for the World U20 Championships. “I was trying to get the U17 national record today (of 2:07.77 held by Rebekah Greene) but although I didn’t get the time I wanted I’m really pleased to win.

“I literally could not run that race without the girls pushing me in training, it is so amazing.”

Another New Zealand athlete who has safely secured the World U20 Athletics NZ performance standard for the women’s 800m Macey Hilton was an impressive winner of the U20 event. The Auckland athlete clocked 2:09.85 to claim a comfortable win from Emma Ferguson (Manawatu) 2:12.25.

Auckland were also successful in the men’s U20 and U18 800m finals. Zane Powell finished strongly to win in a time of 1:55.58 in the former event as he repelled the challenge of Karsen Vesty (Hawkes Bay Gisborne) 1:56.23. In the U18 division the in-form James Ford crowned an excellent season with victory in 1:55.30 from Liam O’Donnell (1:55.82).

Hannah Gapes (WBP) retained her New Zealand U20 5000m title by battling to victory in 18:07.50

In the women’s U18 discus Suzannah Kennelly struck gold with a lifetime best of 49.19m to also bag the Athletics NZ Performance Standard for the World U20 Championship. The Auckland-based athlete who set a PB in her previous competition last Saturday at ITM with a 47.45m finished clear of Karmen-Elizabeth Maritz (44.99m).

In the women’s U18 triple jump Sophie Hancock (WBP) soared out to a personal best of 11.44m to strike gold.

Liam Ngchok-Wulf (Auckland) mounted a successful defence of his men’s U20 hammer title with an mighty toss of 57.23m. In the men’s U18 shot Blessing Sefo powered the 5kg metal ball out to 16.93m for gold.

Canterbury’s Ethan Gow with a best mark of 13.88m added the New Zealand U20 triple jump title to the U18 crown he snared two years ago.

Mikayla Sola (Wellington) nabbed a PB of 47.47m en route to the women’s U18 hammer title.  

In the women’s U20 javelin, Abbey Moody (46.90m) set a PB on the road to the gold medal while in the men’s U20 high jump Adam Stack added 6cm on to his lifetime best with an outstanding 2.05m clearance to win gold from Rafe Couillault (2.01m).

Douw Botes (Auckland) set a huge new PB to take gold with 65.18m in the men’s U20 javelin. Natalia Rankin-Chitar (Auckland) secured gold in the women’s U20 shot with a best of 13.94m.

In some of the earlier finals Lulu Johnson (WBP) set a personal best of 10.00.00 to bank women’s U18 3000m gold and in the men’s equivalent Christian de Vaal added the U18 New Zealand 3000m title to the bronze he won in the U20 New Zealand Championships in Whanganui in January.

De Vaal’s Pakuranga AC team-mate Ronan Codyre ensured it would be a highly successful day for the East Auckland club as he secured gold in 15:13.41 by a margin of a little over two-and-a-half seconds from Luke Clements (Auckland).

Grace Wisnewski (WBP) chipped 0.03 from her lifetime best to land the women’s U18 300m hurdles title in a time of 44.77.

Maggie Jones of Manawatu completed the 100m and 300m hurdles U18 national double in 2020 and today added the New Zealand U20 400m hurdles with an impressive display as she stopped the clock in 1:04.34 – a PB by more than a second.

Braxton Kauri of Manawatu Whanganui destroyed his previous personal best to clinch the men’s 300m hurdles title in 39.02.

Meanwhile, in the men’s 400m hurdles, Cameron Moffit successfully retained his national 400m hurdles title – the Otago athlete clocking 57.59 to take gold from Flynn Johnson (Manawatu).

Two senior championships were contested earlier in the day with Courtney Ruske claiming her fourth national 3000m race walk. The Cantabrian secured gold with victory in a handy 13:50.43 repelling the challenge of Laura Langley (14:04.21) of Hawkes Bay Gisborne who picked up silver.

Former national U18 and U20 champion Jamie Shaw (Tasman) added the men’s 3000 race walk senior title, securing gold in 14:49.72.

In the age group 3000m race walks Antonia Martin (Auckland) took women’s U20 gold in 16:55.30 with the U18 division title bagged by Molly O’Reilly (Canterbury) 16:18.25.

Jonah Cropp (Canterbury) 13:50.57 proved too strong for the opposition in the U18 3000m race walk.

Full day one field results here 

Full day one track results here