Last month Hamilton Boys’ High School’s Isaiah Priddey did the Senior Boys 1500m-3000m double at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in Hastings.
Maintaining his hot form on Tuesday night in Wanganui, Priddey smashed the New Zealand U18 1500m record and won the New Zealand Commonwealth Games 1500m trial race in at the Cooks Classic meeting.
Priddey ran 3:44.34 to slash 1.76s off the record held by Southlander Eddie Crowe for 28 years.
Race favourite Simon Rogers, who sat on the pacemaking of Theunis Pieters early in the race, went to the front with 500m to run and looked like he would hold on to the lead, but the young Priddey chased hard and burst past Rogers at the start of the home straight.
Rogers ran an excellent 3:44.75 for second, just outside his personal best.
In winning the biggest race of his career, Priddey ran a personal best by almost 5 seconds and went well under the 3:48 standard for selection for the World U20 Championships with fellow 17 year old Nick Moulai of St Bede’s College in third place also dipping under the standard with 3:47.05.
NZ championships bronze medallist Peter Wheeler filled fourth in 3:48.20, a big personal best, just ahead of another 17 year old Samuel Tanner from Bethlehem College, with national Under 20 champion Theo Quax out of Macleans College in sixth.
Priddey won a much slower, tactical race in 4.03.89 in winning the NZSS race in December, ahead of Tanner, Moulai and Quax.
Two years ago, Priddey’s running caught the attention of Olympic bronze medallist and leading 1500m runner and miler Nick Willis. The former Hutt Valley High School runner had these words for Priddey through College Sport Media:“It’s great to see you running so well at such a young age mate. Hope you enjoy all the sport has to offer and don’t put too much pressure on yourself too soon. I’m still improving at age 32, and still having fun!”
Recent National Secondary Schools 100m and 200m Senior Girls champion Lucy Sheat, from Marlborough Girls’ College, was slow out of the blocks but powered home to win the women’s 100m in 11.88 and then the 200m in 23.99.
Local Wanganui Collegiate athlete Genna Maples, who won two golds in the Junior Sprints in Hastings in December, finished sixth in the 100m, while Senior Boys champion Nick Smith from Hutt Valley High School finished third in the Men’s 100m. Senior Javelin champion Cam Robinson from Wellington College threw 58.27 to finish third in the men’s javelin.
The Classic series and Commonwealth Games trials head to Hastings on Saturday for the Potts Classic.
The team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be announced on Friday 2 February.
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