News & Updates

21 December 2020 • General

Weekly Round Up: 21 December

Lydia O’Donnell and Rebekah Greene battling it out at the Daikin Night of 5s (Photo Alisha Lovrich)

This is the final Weekly Roundup for 2020. First Roundup in the New Year will be Monday 11 January 2021.

New Zealand Competitions Results

Daikin Night of 5s, AUT Millennium Stadium North Shore – 18 December 2020
Eric Speakman, national 1500m champion in 2017, used his superior speed to full advantage to kick clear of a classy field to win the feature event at the Night of 5s. He not only carved a substantial 23 seconds off his previous best 5000m, but his time of 13:31.84 bettered Malcolm Hicks 2015 meet record of 13:49.64. Julian Oakley, last year’s winner, was second in a PB 13:34.97 and Oli Chignell also had a PB of 13:38.24 in third.

The 30-year-old from Napier Harriers was delighted with the outcome. His previous best was 13:55.38 in finishing fifth at the 2017 edition on the North Shore.

“I’m very pleased to finally get a 5000m that could click. I tried one in 2017 up here and it didn’t go well and then my injuries couldn’t get me there. I’ve just tried to stay healthy and Covid was in a way a blessing and gave me a bit more time and it’s really nice to click tonight,” said Speakman after receiving the Blincoe Cup.

The conditions were ideal by the time of the start at 9.45pm.

Sam Tanner paced for Hayden Wilde, taking him to 3000m in eight minutes. Hayden was then out on his own with Speakman tucked into the chasing pack.

“We were rolling around nicely and my whole mentality for the race was hang on and maybe I could get to 400m to go and show a bit of speed,” said Speakman.

“Matty (Baxter) took a turn after Ben (Moynihan) did such a great job. Matty kept it going and then Julian. Oli then said it was time to go and catch Haydo and I was the benefactor of all of that.

“I was ready to go at 300m but I didn’t know how tired I was, but it opened up on the back straight and it was time to open the stride and really hammer it home,” he added.

“I was really lucky that we’ve got so many strong guys in New Zealand tonight and they all pitched in and I reaped the rewards, so hopefully later on in this season I’ll be a bit more confident and I’ll help out as well, and that may come in the 1500 instead of the 5.

“I’m really excited for the rest of the season with all this quality talent back here, and we can really track on and make this one of the fastest track seasons we’ve seen in a long time,” said Speakman.

“I’m coached by Steve Willis, but some of the credit should go to Gary Henley-Smith for that final finish. He’s down in Wellington and I’ve been living at Scots College with him for the last three years, so he’s had a lot of mentoring effect on me during that time as well.”

Speakman is looking at joining Sam Tanner on January 1 in Tauranga, or he may go back into a block for the Potts Classic and the national 3000m championships.

There were 20 personal bests in under 16 minutes achieved on the night over the three graded races.

Lydia O’Donnell was paced early by Olivia Burne in the women’s 5000m before having the race to herself over the second half, winning in 15:55.33. Rebekah Greene ran a PB 16:04.15 in second and last year’s winner Maiya Christini was third in 16:34.67.

O’Donnell was pleased with the outcome.

“It’s my first track race in 10 months and I had no idea what I was going to run, so I’m pretty happy with the result.

“It wasn’t quite what I wanted but it was good. It’s good to be here, it’s an amazing event and we’re so lucky to have something like this put on, especially in 2020,” she said.

O’Donnell won’t be racing on the track for the rest of the season.

“My next stage of training is a marathon block in Australia starting next month and then coming back to race the Christchurch marathon in April.”

In the women’s 5000m there were seven personal best times recorded.

Camille Buscomb competed in the men’s B grade race and recorded her fastest time in New Zealand of 15:28.24, eclipsing her winning time of 15:28.78 at the 2015 Night of 5s.

Jacko Gill last beat Tom Walsh in the senior shot put in December 2011. Competing in the Millennium Series at the Millennium Stadium, Gill threw 20.38m to Walsh’s 18.83m. Nine years on Gill won again, throwing 21.05m to Walsh’s 20.14m. Ryan Ballantyne was third throwing 18.21m.

Gill, while pleased with his win, was after a throw of 21.10m.

“I wanted more tonight, but it’s a good start,” he said.

His training has been going well, indicating that he was ready to throw well.

“I have huge help from good people around me who have set me up for this. I’m really happy with the team.”

Walsh is currently in a solid training block and was not too concerned about the result.

“I’m actually not too unhappy about it to be honest. It’s December, it’s a pretty tough time of the year for Jacko and myself as we’re in a big training block, but he threw better than me today and threw really well.

“He threw 21 metres and for Jacko that’s a really good throw, so he should be happy with that,” said Walsh.

“I’ve come up here because it’s a great comp and they do the Night of 5’s well – we might just have to change the title a little bit.

“It’s great for New Zealand shot putters with me and Jacko and we’ve got Ryan Ballantyne and Nick Palmer, and in the women we have Maddie and Val, so it’s good to get out and try and entertain the New Zealand public a little bit.”

Next up for Walsh is the Potts Classic.

Ben Tuimaseve F37 bettered his New Zealand Para-Athlete 5kg shot put record of 12.08m with a distance of 12.33m.

Maddison-Lee Wesche was impressive in the women’s shot put with a series of five throws all over 17m, her best of 17.48m coming in the last round. Kaia Tupu-South was second with the 4kg shot throwing 15.23m. Lisa Adams F37 had the 3kg shot out to 14.70m.

Hamish Kerr, who shares the New Zealand record of 2.30m with Glenn Howard, cleared 2.27m in the high jump. He then requested the bar be set at 2.31 to claim the New Zealand record outright. He missed his first attempt and he then went on for two unsuccessful attempts at an Olympic Games qualifier of 2.33m.

“It’s been a bit of a topsy-turvy season. This is my fourth jump already and we’ve just been trying to get things right and it’s definitely starting to click again,” said Kerr.

“That was my second highest performance ever, so I’ll definitely take it at this time of the year.”

Kerr said that he took advantage of the long winter.

“It enabled me to get to some really good strength under my belt which was everything I needed.”

The injury that affected his performance at the World Championships in Doha is totally cleared.

“Everything is cleared up. You’re always going to have niggles as an athlete but for the most part I’m looking positive and I’m excited for the season.”

His next competition is at the Cooks Classic on 30 January.

Josie Taylor won the women’s high jump with 1.81m.

Julia Ratcliffe, in her first competition since winning the national title in Christchurch in March, produced her third best ever hammer throw of 71.02m to beat recent New Zealand record holder Lauren Bruce, who was out to 70.42m

“It was the first outing of many this season. It’s good to have the first one on the cards, but I know that Lauren will be coming back strong, so it’s going to keep me on my toes.

“Lauren couldn’t have thrown the distances she has at a better time for me. She has come to the party and it’s awesome, and we’re going to have such a fun domestic season,” said Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe had her sights on the Olympic qualifying mark of 72.50m during the competition.

“I’ve had a really good training block over the last three months and I was a little bit disappointed, I was hoping to go further today, but I had a really consistent series, probably one of my best ever.”

Bruce, who set a New Zealand record of 73.47m in September, said it was good to have top competition from Ratcliffe.

“It was nice to have a head on competition with Julia. Obviously I didn’t come out and throw further today, but we’ve got the rest of the season.

“I’m not pleased with the distance. I got some good throws out there, I just hooked them a bit and I foot fouled one of them as well. I know it’s all there and it’s good having the chance to test it against someone else who throws similar distances,” said Bruce.

Cameron French, who last raced a 400m hurdles in Switzerland in September, was around the lap of hurdles in 51.50.

French was pleased to be back on the track.

“It was nice to be back, I was ready to go in March, April to race and then Covid hit so I had to come home. I haven’t raced for over a year so it was nice to do the full ten in a race environment, and get the ball rolling for next year.”

Anna Percy won the women’s 400m hurdles in 59.22 from Alessandra Macdonald 61.76 PB.

Eddie Osei-Nketia qualified in the heats of the 100m in 10.49 +0.3 and went on to record exactly the same time on his way to winning in the final, with a following wind of 0.6. Joseph Millar just headed Hamish Gill for second, both timed at 10.58.

Zoe Hobbs was well clear in the women’s 100m in 11.48 +1.1, Nadia Evans was second in a PB 11.93 and Georgia Hulls third in 12.03.

Olivia McTaggart and Imogen Ayris provided an interesting contest in the women’s pole vault, both clearing 4.40m and went close to their personal bests this season of 4.50m.

Max Attwell cleared 4.30m and Ruben Vogel had a PB of 4.15m in the men’s pole vault.

Alexander Parkinson followed up his discus throw of 57.47m in Hastings in September with a throw of 55.84m. Savannah Scheen won the women’s discus with a throw of 49.45m. Anthony Nobilo opened his account this season in the hammer throwing 61.34m. James Harding was solid in the 800m winning in 1:51.64 from training partner James Ford who ran a PB 1:53.22. Max Karamanolis also ran a PB of 1:53.71 in third. Joanna Poland came from behind to snatch the women’s 800m in 2:12.69 from Sophie Atkinson and Stella Pearless.

Blessing Sefo 5kg SP 16.68m PB. Liam Ngchok-Wulf 6kg SP 16.31m PB. Nadia Kumerich 4kg SP 12.50m PB, 3kg HT 51.10m PB. Centaine Noom-Duckworth 4kg HT 50.61m PB, first time over 50m. Finn Burridge 700g JT 43.39m. Daniel Shaw 800g JT 44.34m PB also 700g JT 41.20m. Brianna Tirado 500g JT 43.00m PB, 600g JT 42.01m PB.

James Trathen BU/16 2000m 6:09.58. Sophie Robb GU/16 2000m 6:52.19. Imogen Barlow GU/14 2000m 6:33.24, Eryn Westlake 6:33.24. Jamie Maunder BU/14 2000m 6:40.94. Kobe Parsons BU/10 800m 2:45.22. Tia Korewha GU/10 800m 2:53.60.

Lifestyle Sports Night of Miles, Newtown Park – 19 December 2020
In blustery conditions Susannah Lynch led from start to finish in the women’s mile, recording 5:01.04. Lynch, who has a best mile time of 4:49.73 in the States in 2017, pushed hard on the final lap in an effort to dip under five minutes, but the wind on the final bend proved too much. Nicole Mitchell was second in 5:16.81 and Amelia Harris third in 5:27.31 PB.

In the senior men’s race, Malcolm Hodge was the only runner to go with the 66-second first lap of pacemaker Saravee Sos. From there he continued to run solo until 15-year-old Jack Hunter (Wairarapa College) wound him in on the home straight. He went past with about 10 metres to go and Hodge was unable to respond. Hunter won in 4:26.83 to Hodge 4:26.96. Nathan Tse was third in 4:33.47.

In the women’s B Race, Michele Allison broke the New Zealand W65 record with her time of 6:46.87. The previous record of 7:25.36 was set by Judith Stewart in 2014. Allison has now set five W65 records this summer.

Mile walk; Sean Lake 8:21.92. Dani McLean 9:51.09. In other events; Cody Wilson 100m 10.72 +5.2, Zechariah Kingi 10.85, 200m 22.83 +3.8. Saravee Sos 200m 22.54 +3.8, 400m 51.77. Rowan Blaikie 400m 50.29.

Athletics Canterbury Meeting, Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub – 19 December 2020
Jared Neighbours, silver medallist in the 2019 national junior decathlon championship, scored personal bests in the pole vault with 4.05m and the 800g javelin throwing 55.08m. Tiaan Whelpton 100m 10.59 +1.4, 200m 22.31 +1.2. Elliot Nye 100m 11.11, 200m 22.53. Daniel Roswell 800m 1:56.16, Judd Cargin 1:57.01 PB, Chanel Muir 1:58.48. Ethan Bone HJ 1.88m PB. Ethan Gow TJ 13.57m +2.7. Jonah Cropp 2000m RW 9:00.70. Jordyn Blake 100m 11.96 +2.5, 200m 24.25 +3.9. Amy Robertson 100m 12.10, 200m 24.77. Camryn Smart 200m 24.26. Eliza Meekings PV 3.35m. Tatiana Kaumoana DT 45.10m. Holly Robinson F46 600g JT 37.80m. James Moore (14) HJ 1.75m. Walter Stevenson (14) HJ 1.75m. Otto Church (11) 800m 2:24.27. Kirsty McCarthy (15) DT 34.77m, JT 30.89m.

Canterbury 10,000m championship:
Thomas Richards 32:32.65, Matt Dryden 35:30.88.

Athletics Southland Meeting, Surrey Park – 12 December 2020
James Tudor 800g JT 40.79m, Norman Tudor 800g JT 38.98m.

International Competition Results

Friday Night Lights II, Narrabeen Sydney, 11 December: Esther Keown 800m 2:13.63 (2).

Launceston Running Festival, Tasmania, Think Big Half Marathon, 13 December: David Ridley 1:07:53 (12).

Albie Thomas Mile Meeting, Sydney 19 December: Liam Webb 400m 47.95 PB (3).

ACNW Open T & F Meeting, McArthur Stadium Potchefstroom, 8 December: Welrè Olivier (18) TJ 15.94m +1.4 PB (1), NZ U/19 and U/20 record. Ethan Olivier (15) TJ 15.27m +0.7 PB (1) NZ U/17 record, LJ 7.16m +2.7 also 6.94m +1.5 (1).

Road and Trail Races Around the Country

Pakuranga 5km, Lloyd Elsmore Park, 14 December: Dion Wallwork 19:56.

O’Hagan’s 5km, Viaduct Harbour, 15 December: Keith Burrows 17:19, Adam Berry 18:13, James Fisher 18:14. Skye Dick 19:06, Tia Knight 20:40, Christine Adamson 21:18.

Rat Race 5km, Takapuna, 16 December: Andy Kilding 18:15, Mike Wanden 18:38, Shaun Cooper 19:48. Helen Kilding 20:54.

Eastside Riverpath 5km, 15 December: John Mering 17:09, Craig Houston 18:51, Sunil Fernandez-Ritchie 19:55.

Waterfront 5km Series, 15 December: Nick Horspool 15:22, Malcolm Hodge 15:35, Ben Twyman 15:55. Madison Wos 19:21. Walk; Clive McGovern 30:20, Sean Lake 30:26, Ian Sutton 31:51. Jacqueline Wilson 32:24, Daphne Jones 37:02.

The Honest 10km, Oriental Bay, 20 December: Walter Somerville 36:35, Jeff Bannister 39:05. 5km; Dan Nixon 16:45.

Honest Lawyer 5km, Monaco, 14 December: Darragh Faughey 19:39, Mike Beever 19:41, Jack Rawlings 19:50.

Eddyline 4 Underpasses 5km, 16 December: Curtis Moore 17:54, Brian Kemp 18:17, Richard Greatrex 19:52. Colette Read 21:47.