Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton, athlete Kayla Goodwin is leading a group of all-round female track and field athletes to current success.
This past weekend at Cooks Gardens, Whanganui, year 12 athlete Kayla not only defended her New Zealand women’s U18 heptathlon title, she broke the national record and broke through the 5000-point barrier at the same time.
Kayla’s 5007 points betters former Junior World Championship fifth placed finisher Portia Bing’s 2010 record of 4947 and her own points tally of 4752 in winning this same event last year.
This weekend Kayla competes in Melbourne at the Australian Junior Combined Event Championships. Next weekend she is at the National Championships at home at Hamilton.
Kayla won six of the seven heptathlon events in Whanganui.
“Everything came together for me over the two days,” she said. “My hurdles race was probably most satisfying, because that was a PB and a Waikato U18 record. That was the first event, which helped.”
Other events on day one were the high jump, shot put and the 200m. Day two was the long jump, javelin and the 800m to finish, which was the only event she didn’t win.
Zoe Taylor (Rutherford College) was second and Sam MacInder (Manukura) was third.
Also filling the first three places in the U20 heptathlon were year 13 athletes, Kayla’s good friend and training partner Alessandra Macdonald (Fairfield College), Hayley Marx (Pukekohe High School) and former St Hilda’s Collegiate athlete Joccoaa Palmer.
Louis Northcott (Kapiti College) and Shaun Woodd (Central Southland College) were first and second in the U18 men’s decathlon.
Kayla said she had been training hard for last weekend’s NZ Combined Championships, this weekend’s trip to Auckland also the NZ Track and Field Championships next week.
“All the training I have done paid off for me. The past month and a half after the secondary schools nationals I have been focusing on the heptathlon nationals and this current period of competition.
“I have got a good training partner, Alessandra Macdonald, who did the U20 heptathlon with me, so it made training easier and more fun.
“The NZ Championships are here in Hamilton on my home track. There are no hepthalon events there, so I am entered in six individual events there.”
She also entered in individual events in her first year as a senior at last December’s NZSS Championships in Hastings, where in the space of a couple of hours of disappointment turned to elation.
“I was disqualified for a false start from my 100m hurdles heat. But an hour later the Senior Girls triple jump started so I had to put that behind me and refocus for that. I ended up winning this so that made up for it.”
Kayla jumped 11.95m with her second jump, which proved the gold medal leap, sealing her win on her sixth attempt with a 12.10m jump. Her friend Lisa Putt from Saint Kentigern College finished second with a best of 11.78m with Jamie Speer from Massey High School was third with 11.72m.
She also finished fifth in the Senior Girls’ long jump in Hastings.
The triple jump is not part of the heptathlon. But is it her favourite event? “I don’t really have a favourite event or one that I think am really good at. It is kind of whatever happens on the day.”
Last winter she competed at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas. She finished fifth in the long jump and 14th in the hurdles.
Kayla was awarded one of four prestigious Nick Willis scholarships at the North Island Colgate Games in 2016, later in the year competing at the Polynesian U18 Championships in Tahiti and winning gold in triple jump, silver in the long jump and bronze in the high jump.
Kayla explained how she got into athletics. “I have been doing athletics since I was four; I followed my older brother down and joined in. I always gave everything a go!”
Her brother is 2016 Hamilton Boys’ High School Sports Captain and athlete Christopher Goodwin.
At the December 2016 NZSS Championships in Auckland Kayla won Junior Girls Long Jump, 80m hurdles and triple jump events and was second in the 300m hurdles. Chris won the Senior Boys triple jump and was second in both the high jump and long jump.
Brother Chris is now on an athletics scholarship at the University of Central Missouri, and he watched the live stream of Kayla’s winning performance from Whanganui this past weekend.
Kayla’s dad John is her coach and her parents are hugely supportive.
Junior track 300m-400m and 800m runner Krystie Solomon is another promising athlete from Sacred Heart Hamilton, alongside Kayla.
Kayla plays football for school, club and reps as a “wing or striker,” so is busy and active year-round. In the classroom she is just starting NCEA Level 2.
Last month Hamilton Boys’ High School’s Isaiah Priddey did the Senior Boys 1500m-3000m double at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in Hastings.
Maintaining his hot form on Tuesday night in Wanganui, Priddey smashed the New Zealand U18 1500m record and won the New Zealand Commonwealth Games 1500m trial race in at the Cooks Classic meeting.
Priddey ran 3:44.34 to slash 1.76s off the record held by Southlander Eddie Crowe for 28 years.
Race favourite Simon Rogers, who sat on the pacemaking of Theunis Pieters early in the race, went to the front with 500m to run and looked like he would hold on to the lead, but the young Priddey chased hard and burst past Rogers at the start of the home straight.
Rogers ran an excellent 3:44.75 for second, just outside his personal best.
In winning the biggest race of his career, Priddey ran a personal best by almost 5 seconds and went well under the 3:48 standard for selection for the World U20 Championships with fellow 17 year old Nick Moulai of St Bede’s College in third place also dipping under the standard with 3:47.05.
NZ championships bronze medallist Peter Wheeler filled fourth in 3:48.20, a big personal best, just ahead of another 17 year old Samuel Tanner from Bethlehem College, with national Under 20 champion Theo Quax out of Macleans College in sixth.
Priddey won a much slower, tactical race in 4.03.89 in winning the NZSS race in December, ahead of Tanner, Moulai and Quax.
Two years ago, Priddey’s running caught the attention of Olympic bronze medallist and leading 1500m runner and miler Nick Willis. The former Hutt Valley High School runner had these words for Priddey through College Sport Media:“It’s great to see you running so well at such a young age mate. Hope you enjoy all the sport has to offer and don’t put too much pressure on yourself too soon. I’m still improving at age 32, and still having fun!”
Recent National Secondary Schools 100m and 200m Senior Girls champion Lucy Sheat, from Marlborough Girls’ College, was slow out of the blocks but powered home to win the women’s 100m in 11.88 and then the 200m in 23.99.
Local Wanganui Collegiate athlete Genna Maples, who won two golds in the Junior Sprints in Hastings in December, finished sixth in the 100m, while Senior Boys champion Nick Smith from Hutt Valley High School finished third in the Men’s 100m. Senior Javelin champion Cam Robinson from Wellington College threw 58.27 to finish third in the men’s javelin.
The Classic series and Commonwealth Games trials head to Hastings on Saturday for the Potts Classic.
The team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be announced on Friday 2 February.
“It’s always come down to the last straight. It’s rare I get out kicked, but that was happening earlier in the year so I had to address my speed. ”Isaiah Priddey explains of his build up to the National Secondary School Track and Field Championships in Hastings.
In 2015 Hamilton Boys’ High School’s Priddey completed the National junior 1500m-3000m double, but last year he only had one silver medal to show for his toil.
Priddey resolved he would have to get quicker.
“I always have good strength at the start of the summer because of cross country, but I knew if I was going to have a good Nationals, I would have to target the 1500m because the field was really strong,” Priddey reveals.
On Saturday, Priddey won the 3000m in 8:40.12, four seconds ahead of Joseph Clark from Westlake Boys’ High School. Priddey seized the lead with 300m left and was never passed.
By Sunday, Priddey had already run 7.5km and was hoping for a slow 1500m final.
“The slower the race, the better for me. I had covered a lot of track and I knew if I could hold my nerve my improved speed would help at the end,” Priddey admits.
A blustery warm wind kept the speed in check and the real action only start about 300m shy of the finish. Priddey captures the drama.
“When the bell went for the last lap Sam Tanner [Bethlehem College] was the first runner to increase the pace and jump to the front. I tried to stay with him, but I didn't want to push it.
“With about 200m to go Tanner accelerated again and I told myself to be patient. By this point Theo Quax [Macleans College] had come up alongside me so I ventured out wider to make it harder for him to pass me. I didn’t want to try and pass either Tanner or Quax on the bend so with about 100m to go was when I put my foot down.”
Priddey won in 4:03.89 over Sam Tanner and Nick Moulai [St Bede’s College] who threw himself at the finish line to shut Theo Quax out of a medal.
Priddey’s win was welcome news at Hamilton Boys’ who recently lost long serving teacher Graham Robinson to a sudden heart attack.
“That was unexpected. He was a big part of the school and a good teacher. In Year 9 I was scared of him because he was the discipline guy, but once you got to know him he lightened up and was a good man.”
In August, 2018, Priddey will start a full scholarship at Oklahoma State University.
Girls Team List
Imogen Ayris - Takapuna Grammar School - Pole Vault
Caitlin Bonne - St Margaret’s College - Javelin, Discus
Liliana Braun - Cashmere High School - 3000m, 1500m,
Jaidyn Busch - Christchurch Girls High School - Shot Put
Tegan Duffy - Villa Maria College - Long Jump
Aimee Fergusson - Rototuna High School - 3000m, 1500m
Kayla Goodwin - Sacred Heart Girls College Hamilton - Triple Jump
Ruby Hansen - Woodford House - 300mH
Anna Hayward - Craighead Diocesan - 200m
Georgia Hulls - Havelock North High School - 100m
Tessa Hunt - Wellington East Girls - 800m, 1500m
Tatiana Kaumoana - Te Aroha College - Discus
Cara Lonergan - Rangitoto College - 100m H
Alessandra Macdonald - Fairfield College - 100m H, 300mH
Olivia McTaggart - Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu - Pole Vault
Tanya Murray - Sancta Maria College - Javelin
Emma Osbourne - Wanganui Collegiate - 400m
Lisa Putt - St Kentigern’s School - Long Jump
Josephine Reeves - Chilton St James School - High Jump
Alana Ryan - Hawera High School - Hammer
Lucy Sheat - Marlborough Girls College - 100m , 200m
Jamie Speer - Massey High School - Long Jump
Mellata Tatola - St Mary's College - Hammer
Lily Trotter - Christchurch Girls High School - 800m
Tessa Webb - Feilding High School - 2000mS/c
Maddison Wesche - Lynfield College - Shot Put
Maddie Wilson - Gisborne Girls High School - High Jump
Hannah Knighton - Waikato Diocesan Schools for Girls - Road Race
Samantha Burke - Mt Aspiring College - Road Race
Grace Ritchie - Waikato Diocesan Schools for Girls - Road Race
Navajo Prentice - Villa Maria College - Road Race
Boys Team List
Andrew Allan - Gore High School - Triple Jump
Louis Andrews - St Thomas of Canterbury College - 300m H
Matthew Aucamp - Elim Christian School - 110mH
Anthony Barmes - Westlake Boys High School - Hammer
Connor Bell - Westlake Boys High School - Discus
Joseph Clark - Westlake Boys High School - 3000m, 3000ms/c
Dylan Forde - Central Southland College - 800m
Nic Forster - Lincoln High School - Long Jump
Metuaiviivitoa Herman - Auckland Grammar School - Discus
Sam King - Christs College - 200m
Cameron Miller - Otago Boys High School - Long Jump
Oliver Miller - St Peters College - 300m H, 400m
Luke Murray - St Andrews College - High Jump
Joshua Nairne - St Patricks Wellington - 800m
Anthony Nobilio - Westlake Boys High School - Hammer
Dominic Overend - Auckland Grammar - 100m
TJ Paea - Liston College - 100m
Flynn Palmer - MacLean’s College - 800m
Nick Palmer - Karamu High School - Shot Put
Olly Parkinson - Auckland Grammar - 110mH
Isaiah Priddey - Hamilton Boys High School - 3000m, 1500m
Cam Robinson - Wellington College - Javelin
Anton Schroeder - Otago Boys High School - Javelin
Nick Smith - Hutt Valley High School - 100m, 200m
Sam Tanner - Bethlehem College - 1500m
Zion Trigger‐Faitele - Scots College - Shot Put
Jayden Williamson - Rosmini College - High Jump
Gregor Finlay - Mt Aspiring College - Road Race
Stuart Hofmeyr - Westlake Boys High School - Road Race
Murdoch MacIntyre - Westlake Boys High School - Road Race
Connor Melton - Cashmere High School - Road Race
Athletes of the Meet
Track and Field
Connor Bell - Westlake Boys High School
Olivia McTaggart - Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
Tanya Murray - Sancta Maria College
Aria Rhodes - Pinehurst School
Lucy Sheat - Marlborough Girls College
Maddison Wesche - Lynfield College
Hannah Knighton - Waikato Diocesan Schools for Girls
Murdoch MacIntyre - Westlake Boys High School
Danielle Aitchison - Hauraki Plains College
“We’ve always been good at throwing things except tantrums," quips Cam Robinson when addressing the question of why he and his younger brother Tim Robinson have enjoyed success in javelin throwing.
On the weekend at the National Secondary School Track and Field Championships in Hastings, the Wellington College duo won gold medals in the senior and junior disciplines respectively.
Cam (Year 12) threw a personal best of 69.68m to defeat Anton Schroeder from Otago Boys’ High School by more than 10 metres. Tim (Year 11) threw 54.99m to edge Ethan Walker of Tokomairiro High School by four metres.
“I managed to pop out a 69 with my first attempt which was a great start,” Cam recalls.
“I wanted to throw over 70m but I am happy anyway. That is my PB, beating the 65m I threw earlier in the year at the Porritt Classic. I have been working really hard and it feels great to win my first national title,” he continued.
Tim, overcoming a back injury prior to the meet, was forced to work a lot harder for his triumph.
“My best throw was the fourth of six. Ethan is a real tough competitor. It was pretty nervy there for a while,” Tim reflects.
Both boys started hurling the spear seriously only recently. Wins in the annual McEvedy Shield athletics meet between Wellington College, St Patrick’s Colleges Town and Silverstream and Rongotai College was a big inspiration.
“McEvedy is great. The atmosphere is really loud and competitive. I gave up cricket because I thought I was fast, when I am not.” Cam explains.
Naturally, Tim has got into javelin through Cam. “He has learnt it and then he has passed it on to me so I owe a lot of it to him,” Tim says.
Both also thank the Wellington College athletics coaches and also coach Debbie Strange – former Olympian Stuart Farquhar’s coach - for their success.
Both are seniors next year, so all going to plan they will soon be competing against each other.
The school finished for the year, what does a national champion javelin thrower get up to in the following days? “I’m off shearing for a few days at the family farm up in Hunterville,” says Cam.
Wellington College enjoyed a very successful meeting securing nine medals in total. In addition to the Robinson brothers’ gold medals, Sean Howe took home a silver medal in the senior shot put and a bronze in the discus.
Rowan Blaikie won silver in the senior 400m. Harley Patel-Muxlow claimed a silver in the junior long jump and bronze in the hurdles. Xander Manktelow collected a bronze in the junior high jump and the senior relay team were runners up in the 4x400m relay.
If brotherly success was the major feature of the boys javelin, record-breaking was the highlight of the senior girls competition. First Caitlyn Bonne from St Margaret's College surpassed the previous record of 44.44m with a fantastic throw of 47.97m and then Tanya Murray of Santa Maria College unleashed a huge effort of 48.95m in the fifth round to take the title. Murray's throw also added more than three metres to her own New Zealand Under 17 record set at the 2016 national championships in Dunedin.
Evidently the boys javelin records are still held by former New Zealand Olympians. In 1997, Stuart Farquhar threw 65.36m in winning the junior javelin crown while in 1984 Gavin Lovegrove threw 73.74m in a smashing senior success.
Perhaps the most notable achievement in the boys field was the performance of Junior Commonwealth Games discus champion Connor Bell from Westlake Boys’ High School. Bell not only bettered Chris Mene’s 1990 school’s record of 61.76m in the senior discus throw, he also improved on his New Zealand under 17 and under 18 records with his massive effort of 65.63m.
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