Athletics: Pilmer leads Whangarei medal haul

By Cameron Leslie

Watch out Nick Willis, here comes Whangarei's Jess Pilmer - 17 years his junior.

Pilmer, 12, claimed her first Athletics Auckland title at the John Walker Night of Miles as she lead the G12 1500m from start to finish recording 5m 03s as she slashed a full 30 seconds off her personal best - set last month in winning the Waitakere Festival.

However, Pilmer wasn't the only athlete on Saturday from Whangarei in medal contention as the G13 championship 1500m saw three other Athletics Whangarei athletes in the hunt.

Madi Doar, another winner from the Waitakere Festival, led from the start but gave way on the final lap to Georgia Clode of Eastern. Doar finished with the silver medal and a new personal best of 5m 02s. Behind Doar was Ella Harold who finished strongly to take a bronze medal with Bella Anderson just a second down, both girls also recording their fastest ever times for the distance.

All four girls are coached by Athletics Whangarei's Chris Portch who commented "the girls have trained well together this season, not only improving their fitness and speed but also learning about pace judgement and race tactics and I am very pleased that they are getting the success they deserve."

Athletics Whangarei's second winner of the night was Corinne Smith who joined the club this season. Smith demonstrated why she was a nationally ranked race walker in her native France, by taking out the Mile Walk in 7m 57s.

Current Athletics Auckland 3000m Champion Imogen Hull, 15, contested the under-18 mile, finishing 3rd to gain a spot in the national rankings for this distance.

The three junior medallists will be contesting the 2000m race at the North Harbour Bays Night of 5s this Wednesday at the AUT Millennium Stadium.

They will be joined by Hull who will race in the Elite Women's 5000m where she will attempt to improve on the Athletics Northland under-18 and under-20 record she set in the same race last year.

- Northern Advocate

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