From June 28 to July 1, New Zealand athletes won 34 titles at the Oceania Area Athletics Championships in Suva and a total of 74 medals across the six age grades and Para events.
Cameron Miller from Otago Boys’ High School was a convincing victor in the Under-18 decathlon, so much so he was hopeful for stiffer competition.
“It was a little bit disappointing to be honest. The standard of competition was like a National event in New Zealand. I was hoping there would be someone at the same level or slightly better than me,” Miller observes.
Miller won the gold medal by over 1100 points. Luke Hunter from Australia proved less competitive than expected and even the Fijian weather was manageable.
“It was overcast and about 25 degrees on the days of the competition. I thought it would be hotter, but am glad it wasn’t,” Miller reveals.
Miller is ranked number 1 nationally after winning the NZ Under 18 Combined title in February scoring 5691 points, ahead of Matthew Aucamp (Elim Christian College) and Jared Neighbours (Papanui High School).
Going into the final event Cameron was in third 55 points behind leader Jared and 46 behind Matthew. But a 4:30.59 1500m saw Cameron safely through for the title.
Miller will attend the National Secondary School championships in Hastings in December and could compete in the long jump, high jump, discus and 400m. There is no heptathlon so his next challenge is to improve his National senior ranking which give or take some weight and height adjustments is in the top five.
“My big work on is pole vault. I have jumped a 2.90 in training, but my best recorded jump is 2.70 which is terrible. I don’t really enjoy pole vault, but I am working hard to change that,” Miller assesses.
Miller plays third XV rugby in the winter. In 2016, he accidentally dislocated his shoulder in a play fight with a mate.
“I pushed my friend so in retaliation he tugged my arm and the shoulder popped out. It took a while to recover,” Miller laughs.
Miller is coached by Brent Ward (track) and Dave McNeil (throwing). He is grateful for the support of his parents as well.
Miller is a focused academic and intends to study health science and medicine science at Otago University next year.
Miller’s Personal Best’s
Long Jump: 6.59m
Shot Put: 11.19m
High Jump: 1.87m
110m Hurdles: 16.6s
Pole Vault: 2.70m
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