Finn Seeds is a young man to catch. In the past 12 months the junior middle distance runner at Hutt International Boys' School has won a swag of local, regional and national titles, often competing with boys above his age.
Seeds' most recent triumph was at the Capital Classic at Newtown Park in Wellington. He won the U16 800m as the youngest competitor in the field by three years.
"That was a tough race. It was a really windy which effects your approach. You have to conserve energy and fight more. I like the races which are hard to win because they feel more worthy," Seeds says.
Seeds has reduced his best times in the 800m by seven seconds and 1500m by 11 seconds. He holds the U14 Wellington and Regional titles. At the Colgate Games in January he won the 800m by over ten seconds and the 1500m by over 20 seconds.
"I am grateful to my coach and parents for the effort they put in. Andrew Ledger my schoolmate is a tough competitor in Wellington. We train together and he keeps me grounded," Seeds acclaims.
Seeds also competes in the road race. In the winter he won the Wellington and North Island titles and in December captured National Secondary Schools' gold for the first time. Seeds recalls the race in Auckland.
"It was held on the last day, early in the morning which was good because the conditions were cooler . The course was mostly flat, but there were a couple of inclines which forced you to think. I didn't want to attack the inclines too quickly and run out of energy. One of the inclines was good because you had a bird's eye view of the course so you could see how far ahead of the rest of the field you were."
Seeds was well ahead. He won by 30 seconds in a personal best time.
Seeds has another year in the U14 grade. Olly Marshall from Napier Boys' High School may threaten Seeds dominance in this grade, but expect plenty more success for Seeds in 2017.
Hannah O’Connor (Sacred Heart College, New Plymouth) and Jared Lautenslager (Garin College, 2016), won the New Zealand Junior 3000m titles this evening at the Cooks Classic track and field meeting in Wanganui.
Hannah O’Connor retained the title she won last year with a convincing win, with Phoebe McKnight (Hutt Valley High School) second, Charli Miller (St Peter’s, Cambridge) third and Tessa Webb (Feilding High School) fourth.
Her custom is tostart fast and lead from the front – as she did last month in blitzing the NZ Intermediate Girls’ 1500m field at the NZSS championships – and this race was no different. She led by almost 50 metres after the first lap of eight and crossed in first by the length of the straight in 9.33.40 in what were blustery conditions.
McKnight, who shattered the Wellington Intermediate Girls’ 3000m record last year, was a clear second placed finisher in 9.56.13, while 2016 NZ Junior Girls’ cross country champion Miller pipped 2016 NZ Senior Girls’ cross country winner Webb in a close finish between the pair.
The U20 men’s 3000m race that followed was a tight tussle between several athletes evenly grouped up to and including the bell lap. Lautenslager beat recent and current school athletes Christian Conder (Wanganui Collegiate) and Angus White (New Plymouth Boys’ High School) and James Uhlenberg (Sacred Heart College, Auckland) into the minor placings. Lautenslager’s winning time was 8.37.96.
There were also a number of current and recent secondary school athletes at the Cooks Gardens meet. Some other winners [of results available this evening] included Atipa Mabonga (Central Southland College) in the women’s triple jump, Tegan Duffy (Villa Maria College) in the women’s 100m hurdles, Georgia Hulls (Havelock North High School) in the women’s 200m, Alex Hyland (Onehunga HS)in the women’s shot put.
The summer classics series continues this Friday in Wellington for the Capital Classic, with rising star pole Vaulter Olivia McTaggart (Kristin School) set to be competing.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand