A day that could have ended disastrously ultimately saw Joseph Miller become the fastest Kiwi on home turf, taking out the men's 100 metres at the NZ track and field championships in resident-record time.
Miller's 10.18s was not just a personal best time, eclipsing his 10.24s recorded in Canberra last week, but also lopped almost a tenth of a second off Chris Donaldson's 10.27s resident mark, set 18 years ago on the same straight at Hamilton's Porritt Stadium.
It leaves him still short of automatic qualifying for this year's IAAF world championships in London (10.12s), but does put him within the Athletics NZ "B" threshold (10.20s), effectively a foot in the door.
"I knew from the first step that I was moving," he reflected afterwards. "I knew I was out in front of everyone and then just put it down, tried to really focus on good mechanics - feeling light, but feeling powerful.
"I just knew once I was across the line that was over a lot quicker than other races."
But the path to his achievement, also his fourth national 100m title in six years, was not nearly as smooth as his acceleration once the gun sounded.
Hoping for ideal sprinting conditions, Millar arrived at the track for morning heats to find slight headwinds prevailing. He duly progressed with the fastest preliminary time of 10.75s, but not without further challenges at the start-line.
When his blocks began slipping during warm-ups, Millar was allowed to have someone stand on them as an anchor.
But when that problem persisted in the build-up to the final, this time, officials wouldn't permit outside assistance and Millar had spare blocks piled up behind him in an effort to steady his take-off.
"It's not the first time I've had issues with blocks," he said. "I was actually really happy in the heats that they were so accommodating.
"Then to turn up to the final and find that, I had to flip it and use it to my advantage - getting pissed off was the best thing.
"Some people wouldn't have liked it, but I turned it into a positive."
Millar got an inkling this might be his night when the breeze - what there was of it - turned to a tail for the women's final immediately before his race. Auckland Zoe Hobbs scooted to 11.57s, not far off her best (11.53s) and the women's resident record (11.52s).
"When Zoe ran through and I heard her time, I thought 'cool, we might be on for something today'."
For Millar, the key now is rest and recovery, as he tries to maintain his recent run of form into the 200 metres, with heats on Saturday and the final Sunday. With a PB of 20.68s, also clocked last week across the Tasman, he needs 20.44s to qualify for world champs, but just 20.61s for another resident mark.
Elsewhere, the best results came from junior field events, where Auckland's Connor Bell came within a couple of metres of a national record in the U18 men's discus and Olivia McTaggart reminded everyone that Eliza McCartney's age-group marks are not safe from those following behind.
Bell finished 15 metres clear of his nearest challenger with 60.47m, less than a metre from his personal best (61.02) and two from Jacko Gill's national standard (62.05m), set before he began specialising in the shot.
McTaggart cleared 4.25m in the women's U18 pole vault, before missing three attempts at 4.35m, still short of her 4.40m best and McCartney's 4.45m youth record. McTaggart will also contest the U20 junior competition on Saturday, but has opted not to challenge the Olympic bronze medallist for the senior title on Sunday.
Auckland's Te Rina Keenan finally broke her duck at the nationals with victory in the women's discus, throwing 56.51m on her final throw and the penultimate attempt of the contest to pip five-time defending champion Siositina Hakeai.
Keenan is ranked second on the NZ all-time list behind former world champion Beatrice Faumuina, with Hakeai third on that list, but Keenan had finished runner-up to her rival for the past four years and will surely savour this result.
Matt Bloxham took out his third consecutive men's hammer title, with his season's best of 59.81m, and at just 20 years old, has a chance to secure a long tenure at the pinnacle of this event.
In the men's discus, Otago's Marshall Hall took out his eighth title in nine years with a distance of 55.11m.
Rio Paralympic silver medallist Holly Robinson threw 42.54m in her javelin event, just 14cm short of her personal best.
Check out the live steam of action from Porritt Stadium tomorrow and Sunday, from 9am, on nzherald.co.nz.
100m: Zoe Hobbs (Auckland) 11.57s 1, Kelsey Berryman (Canterbury) 11.93s 2, Rochelle Coster (Auckland) 12.01s 3.
3000m walk: Lauran Langley (Hawke's Bay Gisborne) 13m 36.76s 1, Rozie Robinson (Canterbury) 13m 59.29s 2, Erin Talcott (International) 14m 06.97s 3.
Discus throw: Te Rina Keenan (Auckland) 56.51m 1, Siositina Hakeai (Auckland) 55.04m 2, Lauren Bruce (Canterbury) 45.77m 3.
5000m: Laura Nagel (Hawkes Bay Gisborne) 16m 04.45s 1, Olivia Burne (Auckland) 16m 24,79s 2, Jean Kosyniak (Wellington) 17m 24.34s 3.
100m: Lucy Sheat (Tasman) 11.96s 1, Georgia Hulls (Hawkes Bay Gisborne) 11.97s 2, Emma Hopcroft (Southland) 12.57s 3.
5000m: Phoebe McKnight (Wellington) 16m 28.43s 1, Sammy Burke (Otago) 17n 16.46s 2, Katherine Badham (Auckland) 17m 19.59s 3.
Shot Put: Maddison Wesche (Auckland) 15.13m 1, Mellata Tatola (Auckland) 13.02m 2, Emma Ryan (Southland) 11.82m 3.
Javelin: Vaimiti Marii (Tahiti) 41.29m 1, Caitlin Bonne (Canterbury) 36.80m 2, Sofia Hewitt (Auckland) 35.11m 3.
Long jump: Emma Hopcroft (Southland) 5.79m 1, Ashleigh Bennett (Taranaki) 5.75m 2, Atipa Mabonga (Southland) 5.71m 3.
100m: Maia Broughton (Canterbury) 12.49s 1, Sofia Lome (Auckland) 12.49s 2, Leah Belfield (Waikato BOP) 12.61s 3.
3000m: Hannah O'Connor (Taranaki) 9m 30.74s 1, Phoebe McKnight (Wellington) 9m 38.49s 2, Charli Miller (Waikato BOP) 9m 48.03s 3
3000m walk: Hannah Gilberd (Taranaki) 17m 17.16s 1, Laura Kehely (Taranaki) 17m 30.94s 2
Javelin: Catilin Bonne (Canterbury) 41.66m 1, Vaimiti Marii (Tahiti) 41.12m 2, Savannah Scheen (Auckland) 39.33m 3.
High Jump: Olivia Burnham (Canterbury) 1.66m 1, Imogen Shelton (Wellington) 1.66m 2, Sofia Utting (Auckland) 1.66m 3.
100m: Libby Leikis (Wellington) 16.25s 1, Anna Stevens (North Harbour Bays) 16.46s 2.
Shot: Tamara Gotty (Auckland) 6.56m 1, Amy Dunn (Waikato BOP) 4.10m 2.
Long Jump: Anna Grimaldi (Otago) 5.38m 1, Anna Steven (North Harbour Bays) 3.35m 2.
Javelin: Holly Robinson (Otago) 42.54m 1, Caitlin Dore (Otago) 22.00m 2, Tamara Gotty (Auckland) 12.41m 3.
100m: Joseph Millar (Waikato BOP) 10.18s 1, Kodi Harman (Waikato BOP) 10.59s 2, Cameron French (Waikato BOP) 10.72s 3.
5000m: Daniel Malchin (Canterbury) 14m 15.68s 1, Aaron Pulford (Waikato BOP) 14m 17.85s, Ryan Sissons (Auckland) 14m 19.81s 3.
3000m walk: David Smyth (Australia) 15m 46.28s 1.
Hammer: Matt Bloxham (Auckland) 59.81m 1, Warren Button (Waikato BOP) 56.83m 2, Todd Bates (Otago) 53.96m 3.
Discus: Marshall Hall (Southland) 55.11m 1, Alexander Parkinson (Auckland) 52.94m 2, Nathaniel Sulopo (Wellington) 49.82m 3.
100m: Nick Smith (Wellington) 11.13s 1, Kamal Patwalia (Auckland) 11.13s 2, Ethan Holman (Waikato BOP) 11.24s 3.
5000m: Jared Lautenslager (Tasman) 14m 43,71s 1, Oli Chignell (Otago) 14m 47.47s 2, Mitchell Small (Canterbury) 14m 49.91s 3.
Hammer: Anthony Nobilo (Auckland) 59.46m 1, Nick Hailes (Auckland) 52.36m 2, Hugh McLeod-Jones (Otago) 50.88m 3.
High Jump: Christopher Goodwin (Waikato BOP) 1.96m 1, Tevita Finau (Waikato BOP) 1.86m 2, Teaue Teihotaata (Tahiti) 1.86m 3.
Long jump: Thomas Rawstron (WaikBoP) 7.13m 1, Christopher Goodwin (WaikBoP) 7.10m 2, Felix McDonald (Otago) 6.90m 3.
100m: James Guthrie-Croft (Auckland) 11.12s 1, Tapasu Paea (Auckland) 11.25s 2, George Kozlov (Auckland) 11.39s 3.
3000m: Isaiah Priddey (Waikato BOP) 8m 27.73s 1, Samuel Tanner (Waikato BOP) 8m 31.92s 2, Kalani Sheridan (Tasman) 8m 35.40s 3.
3000m race walk: Bradyn Popow (Manawatu Wanganui) 16m 35.31s 1.
Long Jump: Nic Forster (Canterbury) 6.67m 1, Cody House (Canterbury) 6.66m 2, Cameron Miller (Otago) 6.59m 3.
Discus: Connor Bell (Auckland) 60.47m 1, Hamish Mears (Otago) 45.13m 2, Nikolas Kini (Northland) 43.24m 3.
100m: Lachlaon Foote (International) 12.22s 1, Ethan Rangi (Auckland) 12.78s 2, Keegan Pitcher (Auckland) 13.55s 3.
800m: William Stedman (Canterbury) 2m 11.68s 1, Keegan Pitcher (Auckland) 2m 12.02s 2, Sunil Fernandez-Ritchie (Waikato BOP) 2m 18.04s 3.
Long Jump: William Stedman (Canterbury) 4.97m 1, Ethan Rangi (Auckland) 4.48m 2.
Seated Shot: Tui Te'o (Auckland) 3.88m 1.
Discus: Jaydon Ahi-Perez (Auckland) 35.37m 1, Jack Lewer (Manawatu Wanganui) 28.78m 2, Aodhan Hamilton (Waikato BOP) 25.58m 3.
Seated Javelin: Tui Te'o (Auckland) 9.28m 1.
Javelin: Tui Te'o (Auckland) 9.28m 1.