Several records have fallen over the opening two days of the NSZAA Track and Field and Road Running Championships in Hastings and more are expected to tumble on day three on Sunday.
Two records that fell at either end of a blistering hot Hawke’s Bay day in the field were the Senior Girls Shot Put and the Senior Girls Pole Vault.
In the first field event of the day, Lynfield College’s Maddison Wesche broke her own record set last year (16.75m) to hurl the 3kg shot put 17.03m, on her first attempt.
Late in the afternoon, Olivia McTaggart (formerly Kristin School) broke the Pole Vault mark of 4.10m which McTaggart and Olympic hero Eliza McCartney had both jointly held since last year.
McTaggart had a late competition duel with Takapuna Grammar School’s Imogen Ayris. Both vaulters cleared 4.00m, before McTaggart got to 4.30m on her first attempt at that height, before missing three attempts at 4.40m.
Following her medal presentation in the morning, Maddison Wesche told College Sport Media she was thrilled with the win – her fifth straight win at the NZSSA nationals.
“I won this event twice as a junior and now three times as a senior, so it’s pretty unreal. My friends reminded me beforehand but I didn’t know really how to respond as I wasn’t sure how I would go with a lot of good competition out there.”
“I came here to hopefully get a personal best, but to win again and break the record is really good,” she enthused. Her PB is 17.85kg.
Christchurch Girls’ High School’s Jaidyn Busch finished second with a best throw of 14.22m, ahead of St Mary’s College, Mellata Tatola with 14.15m. Later in the afternoon, Tatola finished third in the Senior Girls discus.
Winner Maddison, whose final NCEA exam was Level 3 history last Friday, was philosophical about her last act in school colours.
“It’s pretty sad to be leaving school, but I’m moving on to bigger and better things, which is good!”
Bigger also includes an increase in the size of the shot put. “I just threw 3kg for the last time ever, so from now I’ll be throwing 4kg.”
Maddison said her next goal is to qualify for the World Junior Athletics Championships in Finland next year. “I’ll be training hard, trying to qualify for the worlds next year, so 14.90m with the heavier put is my aim.”
She thanked her support crew. “[Coach] Walter Gill has been amazing; he has stuck with me when it didn’t look like I was going to be too good. I have just got Mike Schofield on board and it is looking good.”
Valerie Adams is the benchmark in her sport. “I have competed against her once, I was pretty nervous because she is so good and at that time I was just starting off, but that was really cool.”
Next year she is taking a gap year to try and qualify for Finland, and is eyeing up starting university after that.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand