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
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