Scott Gregory was ten years old when he enjoyed golden success at the Colgate games. He attended as a sprinter and won the 100/200m double as well as the long jump.
A chance meeting with Valerie Adams soon changed his direction in athletics.
“I remember meeting her and being awestruck. She was so big! I looked up and had a headache! She was really nice. She called me ‘cowboy’ because I had a silly cowboy hat on,” Gregory recalls.
Sprinting was soon aborted and throwing became the primary focus. Gregory was already throwing the discus, but not with much intent.
Last Saturday at the National Athletics Championships in Dunedin, Gregory won six medals, including four gold medals in throwing events.
The Year 13 at Whangarei Boys’ High School swept the under-18 discus, shot put and hammer and also won the under-20 hammer and collected silver in the discus and bronze in the shot put.
Gregory’s specialist event is the hammer throw. He took it up three years ago on the advice of his coach. In 2014 he broke the intermediate record at the National Secondary Schools Championships and on Saturday won both the under-18 and 20 National titles by more than five-meters.
“The hammer is quite a technical event. It’s harder to control and requires a lot of precision and concentration. I enjoy that challenge.” Gregory says.
Matthew Bloxham is a two-times National open champion. The North Harbour athlete, only a few years Gregory’s senior, has a personal best of 79.74m with a 5kg hammer. Gregory’s best is around 71m. Can Gregory eventually catch Bloxham?
“79 is a big throw, but I think I can do it. There are a lot of things in my technique that need improving and I will get stronger,” Gregory insists.
Work ethic and passion are not in question. Gregory says the most satisfying victory of the four achieved last weekend happened in the under-18 shot put.
“I threw 18.26m which put me in the lead for a while until Ryan Ballantyne threw a 18.99m. My personal best prior to the weekend had been 18.50m. The great thing about the shot put and the discus is that sometimes you can just let it all hang out. On my last throw I got 19.01m. I was bloody thrilled,” Gregory explains.
Ballantyne won the under-20 title throwing a 6kg shot.
In the winter Gregory is determined to make another decent fist of rugby. The first-five/second-five made the First XV last year and cracked the Blues Under-17′s. He is hungry for more success.
“I really enjoyed rugby last year. It’s a big year for the First XV playing in the North Harbour comp. It will be a big step up in terms of competition. I hope we will get more exposure playing on the North Shore. We lose a lot of players to Auckland. Hopefully playing in North Harbour will encourage more to stay.”
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