“It’s always come down to the last straight. It’s rare I get out kicked, but that was happening earlier in the year so I had to address my speed. ”Isaiah Priddey explains of his build up to the National Secondary School Track and Field Championships in Hastings.
In 2015 Hamilton Boys’ High School’s Priddey completed the National junior 1500m-3000m double, but last year he only had one silver medal to show for his toil.
Priddey resolved he would have to get quicker.
“I always have good strength at the start of the summer because of cross country, but I knew if I was going to have a good Nationals, I would have to target the 1500m because the field was really strong,” Priddey reveals.
On Saturday, Priddey won the 3000m in 8:40.12, four seconds ahead of Joseph Clark from Westlake Boys’ High School. Priddey seized the lead with 300m left and was never passed.
By Sunday, Priddey had already run 7.5km and was hoping for a slow 1500m final.
“The slower the race, the better for me. I had covered a lot of track and I knew if I could hold my nerve my improved speed would help at the end,” Priddey admits.
A blustery warm wind kept the speed in check and the real action only start about 300m shy of the finish. Priddey captures the drama.
“When the bell went for the last lap Sam Tanner [Bethlehem College] was the first runner to increase the pace and jump to the front. I tried to stay with him, but I didn't want to push it.
“With about 200m to go Tanner accelerated again and I told myself to be patient. By this point Theo Quax [Macleans College] had come up alongside me so I ventured out wider to make it harder for him to pass me. I didn’t want to try and pass either Tanner or Quax on the bend so with about 100m to go was when I put my foot down.”
Priddey won in 4:03.89 over Sam Tanner and Nick Moulai [St Bede’s College] who threw himself at the finish line to shut Theo Quax out of a medal.
Priddey’s win was welcome news at Hamilton Boys’ who recently lost long serving teacher Graham Robinson to a sudden heart attack.
“That was unexpected. He was a big part of the school and a good teacher. In Year 9 I was scared of him because he was the discipline guy, but once you got to know him he lightened up and was a good man.”
In August, 2018, Priddey will start a full scholarship at Oklahoma State University.
Girls Team List
Imogen Ayris - Takapuna Grammar School - Pole Vault
Caitlin Bonne - St Margaret’s College - Javelin, Discus
Liliana Braun - Cashmere High School - 3000m, 1500m,
Jaidyn Busch - Christchurch Girls High School - Shot Put
Tegan Duffy - Villa Maria College - Long Jump
Aimee Fergusson - Rototuna High School - 3000m, 1500m
Kayla Goodwin - Sacred Heart Girls College Hamilton - Triple Jump
Ruby Hansen - Woodford House - 300mH
Anna Hayward - Craighead Diocesan - 200m
Georgia Hulls - Havelock North High School - 100m
Tessa Hunt - Wellington East Girls - 800m, 1500m
Tatiana Kaumoana - Te Aroha College - Discus
Cara Lonergan - Rangitoto College - 100m H
Alessandra Macdonald - Fairfield College - 100m H, 300mH
Olivia McTaggart - Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu - Pole Vault
Tanya Murray - Sancta Maria College - Javelin
Emma Osbourne - Wanganui Collegiate - 400m
Lisa Putt - St Kentigern’s School - Long Jump
Josephine Reeves - Chilton St James School - High Jump
Alana Ryan - Hawera High School - Hammer
Lucy Sheat - Marlborough Girls College - 100m , 200m
Jamie Speer - Massey High School - Long Jump
Mellata Tatola - St Mary's College - Hammer
Lily Trotter - Christchurch Girls High School - 800m
Tessa Webb - Feilding High School - 2000mS/c
Maddison Wesche - Lynfield College - Shot Put
Maddie Wilson - Gisborne Girls High School - High Jump
Hannah Knighton - Waikato Diocesan Schools for Girls - Road Race
Samantha Burke - Mt Aspiring College - Road Race
Grace Ritchie - Waikato Diocesan Schools for Girls - Road Race
Navajo Prentice - Villa Maria College - Road Race
Boys Team List
Andrew Allan - Gore High School - Triple Jump
Louis Andrews - St Thomas of Canterbury College - 300m H
Matthew Aucamp - Elim Christian School - 110mH
Anthony Barmes - Westlake Boys High School - Hammer
Connor Bell - Westlake Boys High School - Discus
Joseph Clark - Westlake Boys High School - 3000m, 3000ms/c
Dylan Forde - Central Southland College - 800m
Nic Forster - Lincoln High School - Long Jump
Metuaiviivitoa Herman - Auckland Grammar School - Discus
Sam King - Christs College - 200m
Cameron Miller - Otago Boys High School - Long Jump
Oliver Miller - St Peters College - 300m H, 400m
Luke Murray - St Andrews College - High Jump
Joshua Nairne - St Patricks Wellington - 800m
Anthony Nobilio - Westlake Boys High School - Hammer
Dominic Overend - Auckland Grammar - 100m
TJ Paea - Liston College - 100m
Flynn Palmer - MacLean’s College - 800m
Nick Palmer - Karamu High School - Shot Put
Olly Parkinson - Auckland Grammar - 110mH
Isaiah Priddey - Hamilton Boys High School - 3000m, 1500m
Cam Robinson - Wellington College - Javelin
Anton Schroeder - Otago Boys High School - Javelin
Nick Smith - Hutt Valley High School - 100m, 200m
Sam Tanner - Bethlehem College - 1500m
Zion Trigger‐Faitele - Scots College - Shot Put
Jayden Williamson - Rosmini College - High Jump
Gregor Finlay - Mt Aspiring College - Road Race
Stuart Hofmeyr - Westlake Boys High School - Road Race
Murdoch MacIntyre - Westlake Boys High School - Road Race
Connor Melton - Cashmere High School - Road Race
Athletes of the Meet
Track and Field
Connor Bell - Westlake Boys High School
Olivia McTaggart - Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
Tanya Murray - Sancta Maria College
Aria Rhodes - Pinehurst School
Lucy Sheat - Marlborough Girls College
Maddison Wesche - Lynfield College
Hannah Knighton - Waikato Diocesan Schools for Girls
Murdoch MacIntyre - Westlake Boys High School
Danielle Aitchison - Hauraki Plains College
“We’ve always been good at throwing things except tantrums," quips Cam Robinson when addressing the question of why he and his younger brother Tim Robinson have enjoyed success in javelin throwing.
On the weekend at the National Secondary School Track and Field Championships in Hastings, the Wellington College duo won gold medals in the senior and junior disciplines respectively.
Cam (Year 12) threw a personal best of 69.68m to defeat Anton Schroeder from Otago Boys’ High School by more than 10 metres. Tim (Year 11) threw 54.99m to edge Ethan Walker of Tokomairiro High School by four metres.
“I managed to pop out a 69 with my first attempt which was a great start,” Cam recalls.
“I wanted to throw over 70m but I am happy anyway. That is my PB, beating the 65m I threw earlier in the year at the Porritt Classic. I have been working really hard and it feels great to win my first national title,” he continued.
Tim, overcoming a back injury prior to the meet, was forced to work a lot harder for his triumph.
“My best throw was the fourth of six. Ethan is a real tough competitor. It was pretty nervy there for a while,” Tim reflects.
Both boys started hurling the spear seriously only recently. Wins in the annual McEvedy Shield athletics meet between Wellington College, St Patrick’s Colleges Town and Silverstream and Rongotai College was a big inspiration.
“McEvedy is great. The atmosphere is really loud and competitive. I gave up cricket because I thought I was fast, when I am not.” Cam explains.
Naturally, Tim has got into javelin through Cam. “He has learnt it and then he has passed it on to me so I owe a lot of it to him,” Tim says.
Both also thank the Wellington College athletics coaches and also coach Debbie Strange – former Olympian Stuart Farquhar’s coach - for their success.
Both are seniors next year, so all going to plan they will soon be competing against each other.
The school finished for the year, what does a national champion javelin thrower get up to in the following days? “I’m off shearing for a few days at the family farm up in Hunterville,” says Cam.
Wellington College enjoyed a very successful meeting securing nine medals in total. In addition to the Robinson brothers’ gold medals, Sean Howe took home a silver medal in the senior shot put and a bronze in the discus.
Rowan Blaikie won silver in the senior 400m. Harley Patel-Muxlow claimed a silver in the junior long jump and bronze in the hurdles. Xander Manktelow collected a bronze in the junior high jump and the senior relay team were runners up in the 4x400m relay.
If brotherly success was the major feature of the boys javelin, record-breaking was the highlight of the senior girls competition. First Caitlyn Bonne from St Margaret's College surpassed the previous record of 44.44m with a fantastic throw of 47.97m and then Tanya Murray of Santa Maria College unleashed a huge effort of 48.95m in the fifth round to take the title. Murray's throw also added more than three metres to her own New Zealand Under 17 record set at the 2016 national championships in Dunedin.
Evidently the boys javelin records are still held by former New Zealand Olympians. In 1997, Stuart Farquhar threw 65.36m in winning the junior javelin crown while in 1984 Gavin Lovegrove threw 73.74m in a smashing senior success.
Perhaps the most notable achievement in the boys field was the performance of Junior Commonwealth Games discus champion Connor Bell from Westlake Boys’ High School. Bell not only bettered Chris Mene’s 1990 school’s record of 61.76m in the senior discus throw, he also improved on his New Zealand under 17 and under 18 records with his massive effort of 65.63m.
Two New Zealand Secondary School track titles in two hours.
It doesn’t come much better than that for Wellington East Girls’ College runner Tessa Hunt.
On Sunday, Hunt won the Senior Girls 800m title and backed it up not long after with the Senior Girls 1500m win.
It was double delight for WEGC, with Hunt’s teammate and good friend Kirstie Rae coming in fifth in the 800m and then finishing third in the 1500m.
Speaking to College Sport Media between races, Hunt said she was nervous heading into the 800m final. “I was really nervous – I knew that [second placed finisher] Lily Trotter was in good shape and I knew it would come down to a sprint finish.”
“I don’t even know what happened there, I just hit the straight and ran as hard as I could and it worked out well for me!”
Like the Senior Boys 800m that followed, the eight starters were all still in contention in the final bend from home, but Hunt launched her sprint for home at the start of the home straight and kicked on to win in 2:13.08 in a new personal best time.
Lily Trotter from Christchurch Girls’ High School finished second in 2:13.66 and Sophie Atkinson from Glendowie College came third in 2:15.51.
All going well, Year 12 Hunt and Year 11 Rae will both be back in 2018. “Kirstie and I train together; we do everything together, so this is great for both of us together.”
Hunt explained her preliminaries leading up to the 800m final. “I ran 2:17 in my heat, it was a bit faster than I was hoping but I felt fine. I also did the 1500m heat so I was a bit stuffed on Saturday.”
Heading into the 1500m final, Hunt was optimistic at the time. “I’ll see how I feel, there is tough competition but I don’t know what will happen.”
She obviously felt great in the 1500m, again burning off the opposition in the home straight to claim the double in a time of 4:40.67.
Aimee Fergusson from Rototuna High School in Hamilton came second in 4:41.28, ahead of Rae in third in 4:44.00. Hannah Knighton of Waikato Dio finished mid-field, backing up her earlier win on Sunday in the Senior Girls road race.
This was Hunt's first major win at this meet. “I won the NZ Track and Field Championships last year in Hamilton and then Lily Trotter won the secondary schools race last year so there has kind of been a rivalry between us.”
A Pathway to Podium athlete, Hunt won the 800m at the Oceania Championships in Fiji in early July.
Hunt is also a leading cross country runner in the winter months. “I am going to the World Cross Country Championships in Paris next March so I am looking forward to that.”
Of note, another Wellington runner, Isobel Hagen from Wellington Girls’ College, finished a spot behind Rae in sixth in the Senior Girls 800m.
Hagen’s younger sister Lucy Hagen won the Junior Girls 800m final (pictured left). That race also featured another WEGC runner, Maali Kyle-Ford, who finished sixth.
Meanwhile, nine new championship records were set over the three days of competition and two athletes, Lucy Sheat and Olivia McTaggart surpassed qualifying standards for World Junior Championships.
Lucy Sheat of Marlborough Girls' College ran a stunning senior girls 100m final at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track & Field Championships, setting a new record of 11.59, erasing the oldest record in the books, Kim Robertson’s 11.66, set at the inaugural NZ schools championships in 1973.
Senior Boys 800m winner Dylan Forde summed up the race as a “blur” moments after collecting his winner’s medal this afternoon at the Hawke’s Bay Sports Park on the third and final afternoon of the NZSSA Track and Field Championships.
There were some dramatic finishes to several finals on another sweltering afternoon showcasing the best secondary school track and field athletes from the length and breath of the country.
None more so that the Senior Boys 800m that saw several runners still in contention as the runners hit the home straight and an ensuing blanket finish, with Central Southland College’s Forde hitting the finish line just ahead of the others.
“I can’t believe it, I can’t remember a lot of it,” said Forde. “The pace quickened up in that second lap and I didn’t know if I could do it with some great athletes out there who I guess all pulled me through.”
Forde won the race in 1.54.57, with Macleans College’s Flynn Palmer second in 1.55.10, St Pat’s Wellington’s Josh Nairne third in 1.55.12 and Sacred Heart College’s Jono Ansley across the line in fourth in 1.55.34.
The winning time for this race last year in Auckland by St Bede’s College’s Tom Moulai was 1.54.43. The record of 1.50.24 set in 2011 Brad Mathas of Cullinane College in Wanganui, stands for another year at least.
“In the last 400m the pace increased probably half as much again. I didn’t know if I could keep up. With 300m to go Flynn Palmer picked it up and pulled away and I thought here we go; this is going to be a long second lap!”
Forde won both his heat on Friday afternoon and his semi-final on Saturday.
He credited his light build-up to the NSSA Nationals – courtesy of a leg [Iliotibial band] injury – as helping him qualify for the final and then come through and win.
“I haven’t done any long runs in the past two months, and have been doing much of my training the pool in recent times. A lot of these other guys have been running some hard races."
Forde’s school Central Southland College is proving it’s the little school that could in the athletics space. Other recent CSC athletes to feature strongly at the national and international level include fellow runner Jack Beaumont and long jump and triple jump champion Atipa Mabonga.
Forde started taking running seriously in year 9. “I got a couple of wins under my belt in Southland athletics and then that got me going. I’ve been really happy with my coach Lorne – he is a brilliant coach, he lets us play other sports and that is all part of our speed training.”
Another CSC athlete doing well at the Nationals this weekend was Adam Norman, who got second on Saturday in the Senior Boys Triple Jump, behind winner Andrew Allan of Gore High School in Southland, and then finished seventh in the Senior Boys High Jump not long after Forde’s 800m racw was playing out.
Of note, three of the four NZSS triple jump records are held by Southlanders.
As well as athletics, Forde plays both basketball and rugby. Just finishing year 13, his plans are to head up to Lincoln University on a sports scholarship.
Meanwhile, the Senior Boys 1500m race was won by Hamilton Boys’ High School’s Isaiah Priddey, backing up his 3,000m win on Saturday, while Wellington East Girls College’s Tessa Hunt did the Senior Girls 800m-1500m double on Sunday afternoon.
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