Jaidyn Busch (Christchurch Girls’ High School) and Kaia Tupu-South (Westlake Girls’ High School) won the Senior Girls’ Shot Put and Discus events in blustery conditions at Wellington’s Newtown Park on Saturday afternoon on day two of the 47th NZSSA Track and Field Championships.
Both throwers battled competitive fields as well as the elements to win their competitions, both defending their titles that they won last year in Dunedin.
Jaidyn said she was motivated to give it her all, and threw a best of 16.51m with her penultimate throw to head the 22-strong field of Senior Girls Discus throwers.
“I just wanted to leave everything out there, it is my last year and I just to push it out there and hope for the best, she said.
“It is always a really strong competition with all the other girls, so it was just great to win again.”
Jaidyn wasn’t entered in any other events, so how was she going to celebrate?
“I will go and get some KFC with my family! Then I will stay around and support the rest of the my team and watch some other events.”
This was year 13s Jaidyn’s last act of her school career, which earlier this year saw her represent CGHS at No. 8 in the Top 4 rugby tournament in Palmerston North that saw them as beaten finalists. She enjoyed watching many of her teammates win the Condor 7s last weekend.
Next year she plans on training hard for future events and starting study in Christchurch in teaching and early childhood care.
Kaia, who is year 12 and is Westlake GHS head girl in 2020, was second in the Senior Girls Shot Put with a best of 16.34m, with St Andrew’s thrower Tapenisa Havea third with a best on the day of 16.03m.
Tairi College's Zharna Beattie threw a personal best in finishing fifth and broke the Otago Secondary School’s record by about a metre and a half.
Jaidyn won the SG Shot Put last year with a best hurl of 16.00m, so her winning effort was a full 51cm improvement on that. In turn it was exactly 51cm short of the meet record set by Lynfield College’s Maddison Wesche two years ago in Hastings.
A few hours later, Kaia summed up her Senior Girls Discus win a word as “stressful.”
“You never know when someone is going to do something big – all it takes is one throw.”
She needn’t have worried, winning by over six metres to second placed Zharna Beattie.
Kaia’s winning throw was 46.25m, achieved with her final throw of the competition, but she had bettered 45m and then 43m in earlier rounds.
Runner-up Zharna threw 40.69m and last year’s Junior champion St Cuthbert’s College’s Violette Perry was third with a best throw of the 1.0kg implement of 39.30m. There were 20 competitors in the field.
Like Jaidyn in the Shot Put, Kaia won this event last year with a best of 44.88m in 2018.
Kaia was pleased to win the SG Discus, but was hoping to do the double heading into the day. “I really wanted to win the Shot Put as well, but coming second in that was extra motivation to win the Discus.”
“I have always got a silver in Shot Put and a gold in Discus – so hopefully next year.
Kaia said the wind was a tough and definitely a factor in the Discus event.
“I am happy though for the day today, everyone was finding it hard in the wind this afternoon.”
Kaia’s PB is 47.90, so in favourable conditions in competitions coming up she is hopeful of surpassing that distance.
Meanwhile, the Junior Girls Shot Put was won by Natalia Rankin-Chitar from Saint Kentigern College, with Elizabeth Hewitt from Chilton St James second and Suzannah Kennelly from Auckland Dio third.
The same three competitors filled the gold, silver and bronze medals on the podium of the Junior Girls Discus, with Natalia doing the double and winning, and Suzannah second and Elizabeth third.
Elizabeth Hewitt had won the Junior Girls Hammer throw on day one of the meet on Friday, heading off Manurewa High School sisters Jasmine and Jamane into the second and third.
The Senior Girls Hammer Throw is scheduled for Sunday at 11.00am.
On Monday, Jaidyn, Kaia and other leading athletes from this weekend’s Track and Field Championships will be attending a Pathway to Podium camp.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand