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12 September 2023 • Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup 12 September 2023

Tom Walsh was on fire in Zagreb, firing the shot out to a monster 22.46m effort. Credit: Getty Images

New Zealand Road Championships, Massey University Campus – 10 September 2023
Daniel Balchin, the sole South Island competitor, outshone the North Island runners with a gutsy run to clinch the New Zealand 10km road title raced around the Massey University Campus in Palmerston North.

From the early stages of the five 2km lap race the battle for line honours was down to Balchin and Ronan Lee. They matched strides well clear of the rest through to the end of lap three. Balchin used the uphill to full advantage to break clear and hold a winning edge over the final 2km.

With thumbs raised he crossed the finish in 30:27, 13 seconds clear of Lee with Nathan Tse taking a well-earned bronze in 30:53.

It was the third road title for Balchin having won in 2016 and 2017.

“It was a great two-way battle with Ronan and I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go,” said Balchin.

“It wasn’t until the last lap where I got a gap. It was a good battle and Ronan made me work for it.

“I’m always stoked in getting a national title, I last got the 10km road title six years ago so it’s a long time between drinks.”

Lee was pleased to receive his first national medal. “On the hills on the last three laps I was able to make a move on Dan and I’d drop him up there, he said.

“But then on the flat bit I tried to recover but he wouldn’t let me and coming into the last lap he broke me, and I couldn’t stick with him.”

Tse said that he was hurting from the start and that he focused on Lee in an effort to hold on to third ahead of Andre Le Pine-Day.

“I had the best seat in the house, watching the Dan and Ronan show play. Full credit to the first two they put on a good race.”

The same scenario played out in the senior women’s 10km with Sarah Drought and Katrina Andrew holding fort out front in a two-way dual.

Andrew held an edge over the first three laps but going into the final 2km circuit Drought was able to consolidate a seven-second advantage out to a 15-second winning margin.

Drought recorded 35:23 with Andrew second and Sophie Hicks third in 36:14.

“I changed my tactics from the (New Zealand) cross country championships, and I came into this, being patient and thankfully Katrina did put on a decent pace which made being patient much easier.

“I knew at some point I had to try and go for it and in my mind I thought around 4k on the flat seemed sensible, but the last 2km definitely feels like a long way.”

Andrew said that she was pleased with her run taking into consideration the course which was surprisingly hard with a sharp uphill.

“Sarah definitely has the fitness and speed on me, but my plan was not to let third place get too close to us,” said Andrew.

“I decided to put in a good tester and fight off Sarah if I could but unfortunately I couldn’t.”

Four race walkers achieved performance standards for the 2024 World Race Walking Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey next April.

Laura Langley was outstanding winning the senior 20km race walk in a PB 1:42:45. In the U20 10km all three bettered the standard, Jonah Cropp recording a PB 47:23, Lucas Martin 48:59 and Toby O’Rorke 52:38.

Langley was stoked with her walk.

“I was hoping for under 1:44, but just under 1:43 is brilliant. The course was great, conditions really good for race walking, so I’m so happy with this. It feels like the course was designed for race walkers this year which is just fantastic,” said Langley. “Everything is progressing really well, so I’m just rapt.”

After a bit of a break from racing with a lot of training Langley is looking to go to Melbourne in December for a 20km event.

“I then race in Adelaide in February and then (plan to run) the team champs in Turkey in April.”

Langley paid a tribute to her coach Damian Blocki.

“He is phenomenal and I Iove working with him. I also want to make a shout out to my parents who are here today, given that they travelled from Hawke’s Bay to watch me race. It’s great to do a PB and have them here to watch. My brother was also here to watch.”

Mel Brandon, 45, won the combined age groups masters women 5km in 18:43, just five seconds ahead of the amazing 60-year-old Sally Gibbs. Four times former national steeplechase champion and ex-national cross country and road champion Fiona Crombie was third in 19:17.

Brandon said that she tried to stay on Gibbs’ shoulder the whole way.

“Sally is phenomenal, and I thought if there was enough kick at the end I’d try and give it my best which I did.

“There was a bit of a personal health issue that was driving the win today and a personal goal wrapped up in that for extra motivation,” she added.

Brandon was open about the health issue which is breast cancer, as she wants to raise awareness.

“I’m squeezing some races in before I go for treatment and come out the other end hopefully.”

Brandon said that she has won her age group before in 2019 but didn’t beat Gibbs.

“I’ve never been able to beat the formidable Sally, so with all respect it was quite nice to win outright today.

“I’m one of the lucky ones with a chance pick up on the breast cancer early, so good prognosis and running helps me get through it mentally and physically.”

Gibbs later competed in the senior women’s 10km finishing a creditable eleventh in 39:50.

Nick Moore, 49, outran the others in the 45-49 age group to win the master men 10km outright in a PB 32:40. Dwight Grieve, 46, was second overall in a PB 32:54 with 47-year-old Daniel Clendon third in 33:15.

Moore was delighted to have won overall. “I’ve been second once before and I always try and support the event because I think it’s a lot of fun running against these guys and after running against them for years you kind of build up a bit of rivalry. There’s some top competitors here, so I stuck in to 6km and then surged and no one went with me and I just kept it going so it’s good,” said Moore.

Grieve said that he knew that Nick would be a tough one to beat on this course.

“At 6km he opened up a little gap, I tried to go with him, and I couldn’t hold it. So, I thought right I’ll take him at 8km, I’ll come back and fight him as I’m good at the end normally.

“But no, full credit to him he just stretched it out and I couldn’t run much harder than that as it was another massive PB for me, finally broken 33m, so I’m stoked with that,” said Grieve.

Sophie Spencer, who has won triathlon titles, won her first running title taking out the U20 women 5km in 18:19.

“It went out pretty fast up the first hill, it was pretty rough, but I thought if I just stick in and hold on to the group I’ll be sweet. I got into a rhythm and I got a good little kick in at the end to push from third to win the U20 title,” said Spencer.

“It’s pretty brutal, the downhills are nice but the girls are running pretty fast downhill, so I didn’t get to catch my breath too much. But it’s a good course but it was very hot out there today, so it made it extra tough,” she added.

Spencer only took part in the New Zealand Road Championships as part of her winter racing to see where she was for the upcoming triathlon season.

Jodie Nash won the combined U18 and U20 race outright, collecting the U18 title in 18:04.

Nash said it was tough going.

“I’m really happy with the title and I didn’t expect it and it was really hot today,” said Nash.

Pai Wynyard after a long involvement in athletics won his first national title taking out the U20 8km crown in emphatic style. He recorded 24:39, ten seconds ahead of local runner Nelson Doolan.

“There is a first time for everything,” was Wynyard’s response.

“I felt a bit uneasy on the first lap, but I started to ease into it and found my rhythm and with the last k (kilometre) left I took the lead. I put a surge on the hill and it worked out fine.

“With 200 metres left I got that second breath and pushed into a sprint, I looked behind me and there was a decent gap so across the line I was very pleased.”Wynyard now looks forward to the track season where he will be racing 1500m and 3000m and maybe the odd 5000m.

Elliott Pugh led throughout the U18 men’s 6km.

“I wasn’t going to lead from the start, but I felt pretty good for the first couple of k’s and I managed to get to the front and then when people starting dropping off I went a bit faster and managed to stay in front the whole way.

Pugh now adds the road title to the national junior road mile title.

“I’m excited to do the mile race again next year and try and break my own record.”

Pugh leaves for the States to attend Providence College in Rhode Island in August next year.

“I’ll still be able to do the track season and (New Zealand) Cross Country Championships next year before I leave,” said Pugh.

Alexander MacBeth who returned to New Zealand a month ago after moving back from Canada won the U16 4km in 12:43.

In Canada he only raced on the track both indoor and outdoor breaking two Canadian age group records and seven provincial records. He won the Ontario indoor and outdoor titles.

Now living in Wellington and attending Wellington College, MacBeth looks forward to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track, Field and Road Championships in December.

Imogen Barlow found it tough going in winning the U16 girls 4km in 13:50, holding out Paige Dobson and defending champion Scarlett Robb in a tight finish.

“The hill was very difficult, very steep. The pace was on at the bottom of the hill as we knew the finish was coming.

“I’m really happy with myself and really proud of the way I had it done,” said Barlow.

“I love my training and my coach Mike (Trathen), he’s the best,” she added.

Senior 10km: Daniel Balchin (Canterbury) 30m 27s 1, Ronan Lee (Auckland) 30m 40s PB 2, Nathan Tse (Wellington) 30m 53s PB 3. Teams: Manawatu Wanganui 1, Wellington 2, Auckland 3.
Masters 10km: Nick Moore (Auckland) 32m 40s PB 1, Dwight Grieve (Southland) 32m 54s PB 2, Daniel Clendon (Wellington) 33m 15s 3.
U20 8km: Pai Wynyard (Canterbury) 24m 39s 1, Nelson Doolan (Manawatu Wanganui) 24m 49s PB 2, Lorcan Rabbitte (Wellington) 24m 54s 3. Teams: Canterbury 1.
U18 6km: Elliott Pugh (Waikato Bay of Plenty) 18m 30s PB 1, George Wyllie (Waikato BoP) 18m 50s 2, Ben Oxford (Auckland) 18m 51s PB 3.
U16 4km: Alexander MacBeth (Wellington) 12m 43s 1, Justin Cunningham (Palmerston North) 12m 44s 2, Chris Chambers (Egmont) 13m 8s 3.
U14 3km: Jacob Williams (Hutt Valley) 9m 59s 1, Matthew Meiklejohn (Trentham) 10m 5s 2, Bair Waldrom (Trentham) 10m 25s 3.
Senior 10km: Sarah Drought (Wellington) 35m 23s 1, Katrina Andrew (Auckland) 35m 38s 2, Sophie Hicks (Canterbury) 36m 14s PB 3. Teams: Wellington 1, Auckland 2.
Masters 5km: Mel Brandon (Wellington) 18m 43s 1, Sally Gibbs (Manawatu Wanganui) 18m 48s 2, Fiona Crombie (Canterbury) 19m 17s 3.
U20 5km: Sophie Spencer (Auckland) 18m 19s 1, Poppy Martin (Waikato BoP) 18m 31s 2, Lucy Jurke (Wellington) 18m 44s 3. Teams: Wellington 1, Manawatu Wanganui 2.
U18 5km: Jodie Nash (Auckland) 18m 4s PB 1, Ava Sutherland (Wellington) 18m 15s PB 2, Sophie Robb (Auckland) 18m 21s 3. Teams: Auckland 1, Wellington 2, Manawatu Wanganui 3.
U16 4km: Imogen Barlow (Pakuranga) 13m 50s 1, Paige Dobson (Napier) 13m 56s 2, Scarlett Robb (Auckland) 13m 57s 3.
U14 3km: Olivia McDowell (Kapiti) 11m 2s 1, Mia Thomson (Kapiti) 11m 5s 2, Morgan Day (Pakuranga) 11m 22s 3.

Race Walks                 
Senior 20km: Alex Brown (Dunedin) 1h 47m 20s 1.
U20 10km: Jonah Cropp (Canterbury) 47m 23s PB 1, Lucas Martin (Whanganui) 48m 59s 2, Toby O’Rorke (Taranaki) 52m 38s 3.
U18 5km: Richie Trathen (Pakuranga) 25m 51s PB 1, Ari Bennett (Taranaki) 27m 36s 2.
U16 5km: Nathan Baylis (Taranaki) 30m 29s 1, Drew Smal (Pakuranga) 39m 0s 2.
Senior 20km: Laura Langley (Canterbury) 1h 42m 45s PB 1, Arnika Nelson (Palmerton North) 1h 52m 20s 2.
Masters 10km: Catherine McCarten (Taranaki) 1h 8m 18s 1, Samantha Holliss (Taranaki) 1h 18m 38s 2, Vicky Jones (Taranaki) 1h 25m 26s 3.
U18 5km: Stacey Hooper (Canterbury) 30m 7s 1, Yandri Fourie (Pakuranga) 30m 10s 2.
U16 5km: Sinead O’Sullivan (Taranaki) 29m 0s 1.
U14 3km: Morgan Day (Pakuranga) 18m 37s 1, Mckenzie Reed (Taranaki) 18m 52s 2, Hayley Hoare (Canterbury) 18m 55s 3.

Gala Dei Castelli, Bellinzona, 3 September: Olivia McTaggart PV 4.38m (7), (4.38 xo, 4.48 xxx).
4 September: Zoe Hobbs 100m 11.20 0.0 (4).

XXXVII^ Gara Int.le di Salto con l’Asta in Piazza, Chiari, 4 September: Imogen Ayris PV 4.45m (4), (4.35 o, 4.45 xxo, 4.53 xxx).

LIX^ Palio Citta’ della Quercia, Rovereto, 6 September: Imogen Ayris PV 4.35m (5), (4.25 o, 4.35 o, 4.52 xxx). Olivia McTaggart PV NH (4.35 xxx).

Memoriał Wiesława Maniaka, Szczecin, 6 September
: Tom Walsh SP 21.92m (1), (20.97, 21.92, 20.82, 20.83, 20.88, 21.70).

Diamond League, Memorial van Damme, Brussels, 8 September
: Zoe Hobbs 100m 11.14 0.0 (4). Tori Peeters JT 59.93 (6), (58.89, 56.74, 58.49, 59.93, 59.81). Sam Tanner 2000m 4:53.09 (10), Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway won in a world record 4:43.13.

73rd Boris Hanžeković Memorial, Sports Park Mladost, Zagreb, 9 September
: Tom Walsh SP 22.46m (1), (21.65, 21.84, 21.93, 22.46, 21.64, 21.34).

Volksbank Stabhochsprung Meeting, Beckum, 10 September: Olivia McTaggart PV 4.54m (2), (4.28 o, 4.42 o, 4.48 xo, 4.54 o, 4.60 xxx). Imogen Ayris PV 4.54m (4), (4.28 o, 4.42 o, 4.48 xo, 4.54 xxo, 4.60 xxx).

BMC Regional Races, Gillingham, 2 September: Josh Nairne 800m 1:54.57 (3RB).

Watford Harriers Meeting, Watford, 6 September: Josh Nairne 800m 1:54.16 (2).

Cardiff 10km Road Race, Cardiff, 3 September: Blair McWhirter 32:00 (1).

42nd Fifth Avenue Mile, New York, 10 September: George Beamish 3:50.0 (3).

Fordham Fiasco, Trials of Miles Cross country Meeting, Riverdale New York, 9 September: 8km Jared Lautenslager 27:48 (1).

Massey University Campus, Palmerston North, 9 September 2023
Election of Office Holders:
Patron: Sir John Walker
President: Sharee Jones
Vice-President: Andrew Stark
Board appointments panel – Club appointee: Alan McDonald
Board members: Cameron Taylor, Jo Sullivan, Ian Olan, Courtney Ireland, Gen Macky, Catherine Rossiter-Stead, Dr Chris Tooley
Merit Awards: Karen Gillum-Green, Sharee Jones, Daniel Reese, Criss Strange, Debbie Strange
Life Membership: Rodger Brickland, Kevin Jago, Dianne Rodger

Fox Trot 5km, Viaduct Harbour, 5 September: Adam Berry 17:16, Greg Darbyshire 17:22, Harry Harris 18:00. Tracy Hill 21:30, Caitlin Knox 21:37, Emily Richardson 22:13.

Rat Race 5km, Takapuna, 6 September: Joel Martin 18:48, Tom Hanrahan 19:30, Helen Kilding 20:38.

Run Auckland 21km, Millwater Estuary, 10 September: Brent Kelly 1:15:54, Oliver Norman 1:18:41, Julian Ng 1:20:32. Justyna Blajerska 1:35:12, Fleur Walter 1:36:28, Lani Dodds 1:37:42. 5km; Cameron McFarlane 17:21, Mark Carryer 17:44, Stephen Tan 17:53. Georgia Lynch 18:16, Lisa Cross 18:16, Jamie-Lee Lofroth 19:11.

Emerson’s Dunedin Marathon, Portobello to Central Dunedin, 10 September: Tom Galloway 2:34:31 PB, Clinton Manderson 2:39:01, Nathan Shanks 2:43:57. Hannah Oldroyd 2:50:19, Margie Campbell 2:57:39, Gabriela Diver 3:11:59. Half marathon; Harry Rattray 1:09:23 PB, Robbie Smith 1:12:59, Jason Van Kempen 1:18:26. Eleanor Thorpe 1:22:44, Hannah Mahern 1:22:49, Taryn McLean 1:27:44. 10km; Reuben Beard 32:27 PB, Alex Witt 32:33, Simon Cromarty 32:50. Liliana Braun 38:24, Becky de la Harpe 40:01, Aly Craigie 42:35. 5km; Millie McFadzien 18:42, Caleb Dobier 20:30, Ethan Kaina 20:59.

It is with regret that we note the passing of Canterbury athletic stalwart Daniel Reese on Monday 11 September 2023 aged 69 after suffering from cancer.

Daniel joined the University of Canterbury Club in 1973 and as well as competing was soon involved with the administration of the club, holding positions of Treasurer, Club Captain, Secretary, Race Secretary and President.

As a competitor he represented Canterbury at national cross country and road championships.

He has held the role of race manager of the Hagley Memorial Relays continuously since 1998.

Daniel became a member of the Athletics Canterbury cross country and road committee in 2007, taking on the role of cross country and road selector. In 2009 he took on the role of race director and chair of the local organising committee for the Takahe to Akaroa relay. He managed numerous Canterbury teams with aplomb, to national championships, always looking after the interests of the athletes with plenty of encouragement from the sidelines.

In 2007 he took on the position of secretary of the Christchurch International Marathon Trust and in 2011 became the chairman of the Trust. In 2015 he was elected to the Athletics Canterbury Board and in 2016 became the Centre secretary. He was keen to promote the sport and would report on winter events on Newstalk ZB and road events for the Saturday Sports Talk Team.

He was an A grade out of stadia official and received an Athletics New Zealand long service award in 1996 and in 1999 was elected a life member of the University of Canterbury Club in 1999. In 2021 he was elected a life member of Athletics Canterbury. At the AGM of Athletics New Zealand on Saturday Athletics Canterbury board chair Andrew Stark delivered an outstanding and moving citation on Daniel in nominating him for an Athletics New Zealand Merit Award which he explained had already been presented to Daniel in Christchurch while he was able to receive and acknowledge the honour.

Former President and Life Member of Waikato Bay of Plenty Masters Athletics Bryan Mayall of Hamilton died on 30 August 2023 aged 88.