The climax to the senior boys’ 400m at the National Track and Field Championships in Timaru on Sunday was perhaps the most exciting moment of the meeting.
Alex Haye from St. Pats Town was a mile behind the highly promising Oliver Miller from St. Peter’s College, Auckland. Somehow Haye managed to pip Miller on the line.
Haye was a silver-medallist in the same event a year ago and took a philosophical approach into the meeting.
“I’m only ever going to be as fast as my last race. If I learned anything from 2014 it was that winning was never going to be easy, it takes a lot of skill and dedication,” he says.
Haye run personal bests in the 100m and 200m in regional meetings prior to Nationals. He was confident he could carry this form with him to the South Island.
“My main strategy was just to run my own race. Last year I got a bit overwhelmed because it was my first nationals where I had a chance of winning. I tried to run a Bailey Stewart (2014 winner) type of race rather than my own. I had been training since North Island’s so I knew what I had to do,” Haye says.
Haye fell behind from the start, but at no stage did he panic.
“Oliver Miller and Harry Symes were great competition. I think Oliver Miller has a lot of talent as he still has two more years. The conditions were great to run in which helped with my finish,” Haye admits.
Haye kept a lid on things until the last 100m.
“I just analysed things throughout the race. I changed a few things here and there. In the last 100m I decided to go, I had to, but I thought I could win it.”
Miller still lead with 50-meters to go. He led with 20-meters to go, but a late surge and lunge saw Haye prevail in a personal best time of 48.02sec.
Haye, who won seven McEvedy Shield races in just three years, credits coach Yarride Rosario with much of his success. Rosario is a Town old boy who competed in the Junior Olympics in 2010.
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