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Sylvia Potts Memorial 2014

Angie Smit

Five years on and Angie Smit is running stronger than ever, chalking up her fifth straight victory in the Sylvia Potts Memorial 800m for women.

Angie Smit forever strong

Smit can almost lay permanent claim to the Memorial Trophy after her impressive victory in 2:03.72.

This is the eleventh fastest time of her career and a race record which gave her a bonus of $400 on top of $300 for winning.

The bonus was to be paid out if any runner could better the late Sylvia Potts’ career best of 2m 4.08s set in winning the 1970 national title at Mt Smart Stadium.

Samantha Baldwin of Takapuna provided the perfect pace over the first lap setting Smit up to go under 2m 4s.

After a not too spectacular start to the season Smit was delighted with her performance.

“I’m really stoked as that was definitely my aim to try and get that time as other years I’ve been a little bit off, like last year I had glandular fever, so it’s really good to come and get that record. I hope Allan (Potts) is happy as well – as we get on really well and it’s such an honour to get under that time,” said Smit.

“I’m so appreciative having Samantha pacing it really helped. It is a better start to the season after a bad mile two weeks ago, I was really off my time where I should have been and it didn’t feel very good at all whereas today I felt like my old self.”

“It felt good coming around with a lap to go, I heard it was 59 seconds so I thought well I’ll just give it everything I’ve got,” she added.

Ariana Harper of Wellington was second in 2:10.94 with Takapuna’s Lucy Jacobs third in 2:11.05.

Mike Lowe of Nelson came from behind to out run defending title holder Jacob Priddey of Hamilton over the final 400m to win the New Zealand junior 3000m championship in 8:35.14. Priddey, who set the pace throughout was second in 8:37.15 with Jeff Lautenslager third in 8:48.34.

Lowe said that his coach Greg Lautenslager was pretty thrilled with his win and would be having another victory cigar when he gets home.

“Last year I raced Jacob and came second to him after an all out battle in a sprint off over the last 700m, so I sort of wanted a bit of revenge for that. I was just hanging on the back and then the last 200m I thought just give it everything I have left and I got a good result,” said Lowe.

Priddey was philosophical over losing the title.

“I don’t want to waste a race or anything and if I’m feeling good there’s no point sitting back and just try to win it. So I always go out for a fast time, always aiming for PBs and trying to get better.

“The wind didn’t help me and Mike’s tactics of just sitting on me and then out sprinting me, well that’s racing. It’s a national event so I can’t do anything about it and I tried to take it from the front and I thought see what happens,” said Priddey.

As expected Rosa Flanagan of Canterbury easily collected the women’s under 20 title in a championship record of 9:29.48. Flanagan led from the start and had the race to herself, with Amelia Morgan of Timaru a distant second in 10:13.11 and Anneke Grogan of Tauranga third in 10:23.97.

Flanagan said that the aim was to get the title and also run under nine thirty.

“I wanted the title and another qualifying time for the world junior champs even though I’m not going for the 3000m I’m only going for the 3000m steeplechase, it’s good to know I’ve done another 3000m time.

“I was going to do both at the world champs but then it’s ended up that the final and the heat of the two different races are on the same day so I can’t do both but it’s nice to know that I’ve qualified for the 3000m as well,” said Flanagan.

National sprint champion Joseph Millar highlighted the sprints with two victories, within 40 minutes, over 200m in 21.13 (+1.6) and 21.27 (+1.5).

Millar was happy with how both races went, the second being in a 2 x 100m relay with Millar going all the way. He said that he is looking forward to a good season.

“I’m starting faster than I ever have, so everything is looking really good. The only real difference is that I’ve got a lot more endurance this time round. The amount of quality work and the amount of speed that I can put on from now is a lot more than I could have done last year so the potential is set to go a lot faster than I have before,” said Millar.

He is hopeful that New Zealand will have a relay team at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

“My coach Kerry Hill has arranged our first crack at a time in Wellington (at the Capital Classic) so it would be good to get it done first try and take some of the pressure off,” Millar added.

Secondary Schools 400m champion Shannon Geary headed in 2012 national champion Kristie Baillie over 400m in 55.95. National 200m and heptathlon champion Portia Bing won the 100m hurdles in 14.54 and was out to a winning leap of 5.56m (0.0) in the long jump. Zoe Ballantyne recorded a personal best of 59.53s in the 400m hurdles, for 15th place on the New Zealand all time list, with second placed Amy Robinson also securing a PB of 1:01.52. Robinson was second in the long jump 5.50m (+0.8). Ellerslie’s Joshua Hawkins was over the senior 110m hurdles in his fastest time of 14.58 (-1.7) which now ranks him 17th on the New Zealand all time list. National 100m and long jump champion Mariah Ririnui clocked a career best of 24.80 (+1.3) in the 200m and was third in the long jump with 5.29m (+1.5). Ririnui and Robinson won the 2 x 100m relay in 23.54. New Zealand secondary schools senior boys 800m champion Thomas Monnery won the 800m in 1:55.19.

Vincent Hobbie won the pole vault in his best ever height of 4.70m while Eliza McCartney won the women’s pole with a vault of 3.90m. Montaya Wharehinga won the throwing double with 48.47m in the hammer and 35.25m in the javelin. Ryan Tinkle was out to 57.74m with the senior hammer.


  1. […] Angie Smit followed up her 800m victory in Hastings two days earlier with a personal best mile of 4:43.66, seven seconds faster than she ran in Timaru three weeks ago. Rosa Flanagan was second in 4:46.37 and Caroline Mellsop third in 4:52.31 a five second improvement on her time in the same race last year. […]

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