Just 24 hours after Nick Moulai struck gold with a New Zealand under-17 record in the boys senior 3000m older brother Tom delivered his lines to take victory in the senior boys 800m final.
The 18-year-old St Bede’s College student produced a mature performance from the front to stop the clock in a new lifetime best of 1:54.43 to finish 0.96 clear of silver medallist Joshua Nairne (St Patrick’s College).
Inspired by his younger sibling’s accomplishments over the seven-and-a-half lap distance yesterday, Tom said: “You never really know what is going to happen, so I’m just pleased to win. I’ve struggled with injury for a few years and Nick is very dedicated, probably a bit more than me.” The pair are both coached by Graham Christie.
Bronze went to Max Spencer (Rathkeale College) in 1.56.09 – 0.11 clear of Flynn Palmer (Macleans College), who was on the shoulder of Moulai in second entering the home stretch.
Lilly Trotter added the women’s senior girls 800m to the junior two-lap crown she won last year with an assured performance. Making her move down the back straight of the final lap the Christchurch Girls student flashed past the line in 2:14.08 – some 1.17 clear of silver medallist Tessa Hunt (Wellington East Girls).
Trotter, a former sprinter, has adapted well to switching to middle-distance and praises the role her coach, Maria Hassan, has played in her success.
“Maria has a great training squad and with her experience (she formerly coached Olympic 800m runner Angie Petty) she’s got the winning recipe.”
Hamish Gill survived clouting the penultimate hurdle and a recent shoulder injury to take a narrow and dramatic win in the final of the boys senior 110m hurdles final.
The St Bede’s College XV winger faces shoulder surgery on Thursday, which has badly compromised his training, but despite enjoying a far from perfect final his dive for the line earned him a time of 14.80 to finish 0.05 clear of Ben Kennedy (Kristin) 14.85.
“I was initially disappointed to hit the hurdle,” said Gill, who had a bad graze on his knee after striking hurdle nine. “But I’ll take the gold.”
In the senior girls 100m hurdles final Cara Lonergan, who placed third in the junior sprint hurdles at last year’s event, showed much improved form to strike gold in a personal best 14.59.
The Rangitoto College student finished 0.09 clear of silver medallist Alex Hyland (Onehunga HS) and in so doing wiped a full 0.50 from her lifetime best during the course of the championship. Lonergan had posted a PB of 14.88 in the heats before improving by a further 0.29 in the final.
“I didn’t have any expectations, I just tried to run the best I could,” says Lonergan, who now moves on to compete in the senior girls high jump final later today.
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