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Track Champs 2012

Track New Zealand

Track New Zealand


New Zealand Track and Field Championships, Douglas Track, Trusts Stadium Waitakere, 23/25 March 2012
Joseph Millar on fire in the sprints

Joseph Millar bypassed the junior championship to take on the senior sprints at the New Zealand track and field championships and came away with the senior sprint double and the fourth fastest all time New Zealander over 100m.

The 19 year old from Tauranga was all power over the final 25 metres crossing the finish in 10.36s to shut out Isaac Tatoa 10.55s and champion for the last three years Carl Van der Speck 10.57s. Millar was just one hundredth of a second outside David Ambler’s national M19 record.

“That’s amazing,” said Millar on hearing his time.

“I did a similar time with a huge tail wind, so I’ve really outdone myself this time,” he added.

“I got to half way after a fantastic start, saw Isaac Tatoa and just didn’t know how I was going to get him, but I hit another gear and started clawing past him.

“All I’ve gone through this year – fractured spine, had a number of health issues, so to be able to come back from it and pull out a time like that it’s an absolute thrill to be able to go that quickly,” said Millar.

On the last day of the championships he was equally impressive winning the senior 200m in 21.74s, heading in Frazer Wickes 21.76s and Tama Toki 21.89s.

“My legs started giving out on me just before the finish line as the head wind was almost too much to take – but I just remembered to relax and keep my legs moving no matter what. I wound up for a dip and I think that’s what won it for me. It was a hard race,” said Millar after the 200m.

In the M20 4 x 100m relay Millar anchored the Waikato Bay of Plenty team of Kodi Harman, Ryan Howe and Cameron French to victory in 41.11s, exactly one second outside the New Zealand M19 record. Millar was also a member of the winning Waikato team in the 4 x 400m relay.

Monique Williams back to regain sprint double

After a year of injuries Monique Williams captured the senior women’s sprint double edging out Rochelle Coster in the 100m, both timed at 11.95s and Kristie Baillie in the 200m in 24.50s to Baillie’s 24.63s. Williams’ father Chris coaches Monique and Baillie.

“The expectations were high with the crowd who probably didn’t know that I’ve been injured,” said Williams.

“It’s always nice to get your national titles back and actually finish a race,” she added.

“I quite pleased with how I’ve gone – if you could take out that massive head wind that wasn’t very nice to run into in the 200m – the time for me wouldn’t have been that bad. But considering I’ve only done one full week of training I’ve got to be confident with that,” said Williams.

Nick Willis cruises through to retain 5000m title

Nick Willis comfortably retained his 5000m title in 13m 54.29s. Training partner American William Leer was second in 14m 5.77s with Kenyan Edwin Kaitany third in 14m 27.98s. Willis said the race was a good indicator for him.

“It was an honest pace and I was fortunate to go under 14 minutes. Anytime I run a 5000m is a new challenge and even though I was pretty stuffed at the end I enjoyed it,” said Willis.

“I’m putting in a lot of miles in training which is more suited long term for the 1500m, but I’m on the right track and I have a couple of opportunities over the next three months to achieve the 5000m qualifying time (for London),” he added.

Philip Jensen claimed his 18th hammer throw title sending the ball of steel out to 60.65m, beating Ryan Tinkle 57.29m for the title.

“It went pretty well, good distance, better than last year, so I’m on the improve,” said the 44 year old.

“I take it year by year,” when asked if he will be back for number 19.

“I’ve spent a bit more time training because I’ve been working with Ryan and we’ve got a little bit of work to do over the winter so I’ll see what pans out,” he added.

Hannah Newbould claimed her first senior title wining the 5000m in 16m 26.37s. Sally Gibbs, the national 10,000m champion, who was second in 16m 44.53s, broke her own New Zealand masters W45 record of 16m 46.97s.

Jacko Gill held centre stage during the M20 shot put going close to his New Zealand record with the 6kg shot. He was out to 22.30m, just 1cm short of his record. Gill was also aiming for the world’s best for an 18 and 19 year old of 22.73m.

“That was really good, I didn’t freshen up for this competition and after a big warm up throw I didn’t go as far as I had hoped,” said Gill.

“I used the event to start my new technique – I’ve made some changes to my technique a couple of months before so it’s pretty good to see that’s going well.

“I’m training pretty hard in weights and stuff so I’m not fresh at all, so when I freshen up I’ll feel a lot better. I’m on track for that record definitely. Today was to see where I was with the world junior champs – I think I am exactly where I want right now, so I’m quite happy with that,” said Gill.

Brad Mathas stepped up to the senior 800m and came away with his first senior title in 1m 51.50s.

“I’m pretty happy, it’s good to get my first senior title, it’s all about winning in the end. I just wanted to get in the lead and get as much of a gap as I could then just hold on for home, and that’s what I did,” said Mathas. William Leer was second in 1m 53.76s with last season’s junior champion Glen Ballam third in 1m 53.82s.

Angie Smit dominated the women’s 800m from start to finish with only the wind her opposition. Smit didn’t give the other two competitors a chance winning as she liked in 2m 4.50s. Camille Buscomb was second in 2m 12.53s.

Smit said it was the plan to go out hard from the start.

“But it was so windy and I had to make sure I didn’t completely blow it up on the second lap, I think I paced it pretty well in the end. Just off my PB, so I’m pretty pleased. I feel that training has been going probably the best as they ever have for me at the moment,” said Smit.

Impressive 400m times were put up by Alex Jordan in defending his senior title in 46.83s from Tama Toki 47.16s and Frazer Wickes 47.38s. Coming off a hip injury and racing on raw fitness Andrew Whyte was an impressive winner of the M20 400m in 47.68s. Kristie Baillie promoted herself from junior champion last season to senior title holder in a personal best 53.71s with Smit second in 56.64s.

Waikato Bay of Plenty showed strength in women’s 400m running with Talia Horgan collecting the W17 title, Ellie McCleery the W20 and Baillie the senior.

Andrea Miller, who last won the senior 100m hurdles title in 2008, was back in winning form covering the sprint hurdles in 13.49s, heading in defending champion Fiona Morrison who recorded 13.79s.

“I’m obviously happy to have another title, it’s been a few years since I’ve been able to run at nationals – so happy with that,” said Miller.

“Overall I’m actually quite happy with the run, been in a moon boot for a few weeks so just happy to be out of that and back running again. I had a bit of a toe injury and you always lose a bit of top end speed with those sorts of injuries, but it is all good now,” she added.

Miller, who said the London qualifying time of 12.96s is achievable, will be competing in the Queensland championships this weekend.

Nikki Hamblin made a welcome return to the racing track to make it four years in a row and third title in the senior women’s 1500m in 4m 19.63s. Smit rallied hard over the final 50 metres to claim another silver at these championships in 4m 22.07s. Lydia O’Donnell, who led for most of the race, was third in 4m 22.51s.

Hamblin, who has been plagued with a bursitis injury under her Achilles, has spent more time training in the pool in recent weeks.

“I’m obviously not near the form when I did my Olympic qualifying time last year, I’ve had a lot of time in the pool and I didn’t know how I would go. A time of 4m 8s would have got me in the team but it is a little bit quick for me right now. Lydia went out hard, that’s her strength, but to go for the win I had to hang on and wait as late as possible to come and go around the outside,” said Hamblin.

The Delhi Commonwealth Games double silver medallist said that she will now train solid for six weeks.

“I will have a start in the Diamond League in Shanghai on May 19 and hope to get the qualifier there, if not race a week later in Hengelo where they always have a really quick race,” said Hamblin.

Julian Matthews dropped in to New Zealand for two weeks to collect the senior men’s 1500m title. Matthews, from Nelson, but now based in Providence Rhode Island, had a great battle with his former Providence team mate Hayden McLaren down the finishing straight, pulling clear in the closing stages to win in 3m 54.37s from McLaren 3m 55.03s and Malcolm Hicks 3m 55.19s.

“It is so great to be back in New Zealand again, I haven’t raced here for a very long time and I’ve got a great support crowd here today,” said Matthews.

“It was really, really slow so I knew it was going to be a good sprint in the end for the title. I had faith in my sprint and I pulled through. It was a lot of fun coming down the home straight with my team mate Hayden – we’re good old mates,” said Matthews.

He flew back to the States on Monday.

Stuart Farquhar was reasonably happy with his performance in collecting his 12th national javelin title. Farquhar was out to 79.37m for a clear victory over Ben Langton-Burnell 65.16m and Brent Newdick 55.26m.

“It was pretty tricky in these conditions. The javelin kept flying to the right because of the left to right wind. It felt good for these conditions, still early days. I’m in hard training and haven’t freshened up yet, and there is still a lot of work to do on technique,” said Farquhar.

“I’m getting together slowly and the body is feeling good. I’m looking forward to competition in Japan in Hiroshima on 29 April and Kawasaki on 6 May,” he added.

Brent Newdick had a busy three days. Honing his skills for the decathlon Newdick won the 110m hurdles 14.58s, was first equal with Nicholas Southgate in the pole vault 4.85m, won the long jump by one centimetre in 7.17m, and won bronze medals in the shot put 14.59m, discus 44.17m and javelin 55.26m. He also competed in the 400m heats recording 49.59s.

“Performance wise I did a personal best in the pole vault. I had been training well so it was good to get that result out,” said Newdick who will compete in the Australian decathlon championship in two weeks in Melbourne.

Nicholas Southgate established a fresh national record in the M20 pole vault. Southgate added 5cm to his M17 record and equalled Paul Gibbons M18 record with a clearance of five metres.

Southgate said it was more a relief than anything in finally reaching the five metre barrier.

“I’ve had quite a few attempts at it and it’s been just a long time coming really. I had a similar struggle reaching the four metre barrier as well a couple of years ago so it must be a metre barrier,” said Southgate.

“Paul’s M19 record of 5.40m is quite a big record, but I’ve equalled his M18 record and now I’m just looking to push that out even further,” he added.

“The five metres is also a Barcelona world champs B qualifier, but I might have to do it again.”

Roseanne Robinson won the walking double 3000m track in 14m 8.01s and the 20km road in 1h 45m 49s with 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games 30km bronze medallist Scott Nelson collecting the same double in the men in 13m 4.52s and 1h 39m 47s.


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