Tauranga Girls' College Year 12 student Jessica Bitcheno created history at the Bay of Plenty Secondary School Championships, held at the Tauranga Domain on Tuesday.
When she cruised down the back straight to easily win the senior girls 800m title, she broke the long-standing best time to give her five concurrent Bay of Plenty records.
She set her first two at junior level in the 800m and 1500m in 2011, and two more the following year at intermediate level over the 400m and 800m distances.
Her winning time on Tuesday of 2m.19.10s was actually six seconds slower than her personal best set at the Porritt Classic in Hamilton on February 8 but good enough to give her a special place in Bay of Plenty secondary school athletics.
Jessica is now focused on the 800m at the upcoming national championships, where she will represent Waikato Bay of Plenty.
She is ranked third fastest in the under-18 category and wants to be No1 at the end of the champs. "From my PB I need to go about three seconds faster and I want to do that at nationals," she said.
Jessica and Bethlehem College runner Sam Tanner are the only athletes to win two AIMS Games cross-country titles. But getting faster on the track is her only goal.
To achieve that she has a new coach in nationally ranked Kevin Hoare, who recently moved to Tauranga from his key role at the Millennium Institute of Sport & Health on the North Shore.
He coached New Zealand's top 400m hurdler, Zoe Ballantyne, and sees huge potential in Jessica.
"Up until now she has been doing a lot of work on stamina and endurance but I saw she has speed. I am expecting big things from her," he said.