Kennedy Taylor leading eventual winner Samantha Fookes in the U14 Girls 1,500m. Both Samantha and Kennedy went under the 1,500m record. PHOTO: Southland Secondary School Sport.
Back in 2006 Christina Taylor set an U14 Girls 3000m record in the Southland Secondary School Track and Field Championships. Christina went on to capture every other grade championship record in the U15, U16 and Senior grades. Along the way she also collected New Zealand championship and NZSS medals on the road, track 3000m and steeplechase.
Given her background, it is not surprising the U14 record survived 13 years. Until this year.
What was surprising was the margin by which the record was broken at last Friday’s Southland school championships – nearly half a minute. To be precise, 28 seconds was taken off a record originally set by someone who went on the win national championships and represent New Zealand.
And the new record holder? Another Taylor, this one 13 year old Kennedy.
While no relation Kennedy attends the same school (Southland Girls’ High School) and has the same coach as her namesake.
The diminitive, slight 13 year old is a small version of the energiser battery, always on the go. As well as setting running records she was in the Basketball Southland U15 development squad, a touch player, swimmer, competitive cyclist and triathlon champion.
While lopping 28 seconds off the secondary schools record, running a fraction over 11 mins, Kennedy has run faster, with a 10.49 late last year to her name.
She will be competing in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Triathlon Championships in New Plymouth next Friday and Saturday during Summer Tournament Week. Last year she won the U13 girls section at the national championships.
Her older brothers (Jaxon and Josh) are also prominent in athletics and triathlons.
There is no doubt the remaining Southland Secondary School 3000m records will be held by a Taylor. But which one? Will it simply be a matter of the records keeper changing the initials? Time will tell.
Another leading performer at the recent South Island Track and Field Championships in Invercargill was Samantha Fookes from Wakatipu High School.
Fookes broke the U14 Girls 800m and 1500m records .The old 800m record was 2.26.53 and Fookes ran 2.20.54, and the old 1500m record was 5.08.67 (set 19 years ago) and her new record time was 5.02.17.
Of note, the U14 Boys 800m, 1500m and 3000m races were all won by the same athlete – Ethan Friend from St Peter’s College, Gore.
Another Wakatipu High School athlete, Hayato Yoneto broke the Senior Boys 100m record (10.97s) and looked like he could have broken the 200m but slowed down (winning time 23.49) to conserve energy for the Wakatipu HS 4 x 400m relay team that broke a 20-year old record. The record had been 3.41.81 and they ran 3.36.20.
Southland Girls’ High School’s Dannika Collins-Wilmshur won the Senior Girls 100m in 13.10s and the Senior Girls 200m in 26.74s (+3.7 wind).
Many of the leading athletes will now head to Saxton Oval, Nelson from 29-31 March for the SISS Athletics Championships, ahead of the NZSS Championships in Wellington at the start of December.
For full results go HERE
The 96th annual McEvedy Shield athletics competition will be staged at Newtown Park, Wellington on Tuesday.
Wellington College, St. Patrick’s College, Wellington, St. Patrick’s College, Silverstream and Rongotai College are the fierce annual combatants.
The McEvedy Shield features four age groups, U14, U15, U16 and Open. Ten track disciplines and six field events are held. Points are rewarded on a 4-1 basis for every event with the winner receiving four points.
Can anyone stop Wellington College from a five-peat in 2019?
Wellington’s record for most wins on the trot is five between 1993 and 1997. The record for most consecutive wins at the McEvedy Shield is six by Silverstream between 1968 and 1973.
Has won the Shield a record 52 times. The sheer size of the school role, nearly double that of the other schools, is a significant advantage.
Last year Wellington College won by 38 points which isn’t anywhere near as convincing as their 90-point romp in 2017.
Does this suggest Wellington College is on the wane?
Wellington College had another successful New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs in December winning eight medals across a range of events.
One of those medals was a Silver in the junior discus by Max Abbot. He will hard to beat in the U16 discus although team mate Caleb Stanley could very well.
Year 9 student Fiti Aliva finds himself in multiple events in the U14 grade. However it will be the hurdles and discus where he will most likely prosper.
Jamie Kearns has a busy day ahead of him in the U15 grade competing in all three jumps again. He has had great success recently, breaking the Wellington College U15 long jump record. He’s also running the 200m and is a member of the relay team.
Joshua Williams will be hoping for his fourth consecutive 100m victory at McEvedy, this year running in the U16 grade. Last year he ran 10.98 seconds which would have smashed the current U15 electronic record of 11.30 seconds.
If Lachlan Bruce can win in the U16 400m and 800m, it would be his third year in a row achieving this feat.
Wellington College won 26 of 55 events in the McEvedy last year.
St. Pat’s Town
Town has won the Shield five times in the last 11 years and 20 times overall.
Town won the recent Old Boys Cup against Silverstream by 86 points, four-times the margin they achieved in 2018.
Town was consistent across the board winning 20/33 track events and 20/30 field events. Town won all five relays.
Isaac Oliver and Fereti Ahanu-Brown are co-captains and the former is the current record holder in the senior 100m (10.94) and 200m (22.31). He is also the current title holder of the senior 400m. At the New Zealand Secondary School Championships Isaac gained a Bronze medal in the senior boys 200m (22.91sec) and came 6th in the 100m (11.31sec).
Ahanu-Brown, a talented rugby player, will represent Town in the Senior triple jump.
On the subject of jumping, William Georgeson shares the McEvedy record of 1.88m in the U16 High Jump and was sixth in the senior division at Nationals last year leaping 1.90m.
Mark Tyrell made headlines in the U14 age group at the Old Boys Cup winning the 100/200m double as well as the long jump, shot put and discus. On Tuesday he will be competing in six events – 100m 200m, high jump, long jump, discus and shot put.
St. Pats Silverstream
Hasn’t won the Shield since 2003 and that’s unlikely to change after a poor showing at the Old Boys Cup.
Silverstream was beaten by more than 70 points at Old Boys last week, despite winning 15 events at McEvedy last year - more than Town.
Tellingly Silverstream lack depth in the senior age group winning just five of 25 events.
Ollie Krijnen, winner of four events at last year’s McEvedy, is absent with a fracture in his lower back.
Sautia Misa was responsible for nearly a quarter of Silverstream’s victories at Old Boys finishing first in the U16 100m and 200m as well as striding clear in the hurdles, long jump and triple jump.
Misa broke the U15 high jump and long jump records at McEvedy 2018 and looks certain for further acclaim a year on.
Thomas Strawbridge and Logan Stoupe are two middle distance runners who’ve shown vast improvement in the last 12 months while Hamish Lock in the open hurdles was a silver medalist at Nationals in December.
Silverstream have won the Shield 14 times overall and in veteran coach Hugh Steel boast one of the genuine legends of Wellington Secondary School athletics.
Rongotai College holds the record for the largest victory ever in 1989 and has won the Shield seven times overall.
Disturbingly, Rongotai didn’t win a single event last year. Will things improve in 2019?
Rongotai are unlikely winners, but they have some athletes with pedigree and promise.
Jaylin To’o is a New Zealand U17 Basketball rep who personifies power. He is the younger brother of Denny To’o who won multiple field events at McEvedy for Rongotai. Jaylin will feature in shot put and discus.
Bevan Cox fought hard to finish third in both the U15 800m and 1500m at McEvedy 2018. A talented middle distance runner with a lovely running style, he should compete strongly in both.
Pose Tuilaepa is a recent arrival from Samoa joining family here. His stature and athletic prowess are striking. Tuilaepa impressed at the Rongotai Athletics day and has entered the open 200m, 400m, relay and 110m hurdles.
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