Hannah O’Connor (Sacred Heart College, New Plymouth) and Jared Lautenslager (Garin College, 2016), won the New Zealand Junior 3000m titles this evening at the Cooks Classic track and field meeting in Wanganui.
Hannah O’Connor retained the title she won last year with a convincing win, with Phoebe McKnight (Hutt Valley High School) second, Charli Miller (St Peter’s, Cambridge) third and Tessa Webb (Feilding High School) fourth.
Her custom is tostart fast and lead from the front – as she did last month in blitzing the NZ Intermediate Girls’ 1500m field at the NZSS championships – and this race was no different. She led by almost 50 metres after the first lap of eight and crossed in first by the length of the straight in 9.33.40 in what were blustery conditions.
McKnight, who shattered the Wellington Intermediate Girls’ 3000m record last year, was a clear second placed finisher in 9.56.13, while 2016 NZ Junior Girls’ cross country champion Miller pipped 2016 NZ Senior Girls’ cross country winner Webb in a close finish between the pair.
The U20 men’s 3000m race that followed was a tight tussle between several athletes evenly grouped up to and including the bell lap. Lautenslager beat recent and current school athletes Christian Conder (Wanganui Collegiate) and Angus White (New Plymouth Boys’ High School) and James Uhlenberg (Sacred Heart College, Auckland) into the minor placings. Lautenslager’s winning time was 8.37.96.
There were also a number of current and recent secondary school athletes at the Cooks Gardens meet. Some other winners [of results available this evening] included Atipa Mabonga (Central Southland College) in the women’s triple jump, Tegan Duffy (Villa Maria College) in the women’s 100m hurdles, Georgia Hulls (Havelock North High School) in the women’s 200m, Alex Hyland (Onehunga HS)in the women’s shot put.
The summer classics series continues this Friday in Wellington for the Capital Classic, with rising star pole Vaulter Olivia McTaggart (Kristin School) set to be competing.
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