Athletics: McCartney steals the show with record jump

Eliza McCartney of Auckland competes in the 2016 National Track & Field Championships. Photo / Getty Images
Eliza McCartney of Auckland competes in the 2016 National Track & Field Championships. Photo / Getty Images

Eliza McCartney stole the limelight on day two of the Lion Foundation New Zealand Track and Field championships in Dunedin on Saturday, setting a New Zealand record of 4.80m in the pole vault.

The clearance in the Bluebridge Ferries sponsored event bettered the national, resident, allcomers and under 20 records as well as the Oceania record and takes the Auckland 19 year old to the top of the world outdoor rankings for 2016, although four athletes have vaulted higher indoors this year.

McCartney is now forcing herself into the early reckoning for medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games if she can continue her recent improvements.



But before Rio, the Halberg Emerging talent award winner will contest the World Indoor Championships in under two weeks in the US city of Portland, Oregon.

The best track race of the day was the women's 100m hurdles which turned into a titanic battle between 100m champion Rochelle Coster and previous hurdles champion Fiona Morrison.

Coster started well but Morrison finished faster to take the title by just 0.02. Morrison's 13.21 and Coster's 13.23 were personal bests and took them to second and third on the all-time list respectively.

Josh Hawkins repeated his Otago Polytechnic 110m hurdles title win from last season in 14.25.

The middle distance 800m titles had a symmetry about them with training partners Brad Mathas and Angie Petty, both coached by Maria Hassan and both taking their fifth consecutive titles. Petty ran from the front all the way to win in a season's best of 2:02.08 while Mathas faced more of a challenge before winning in 1:50.47.



Andrew Whyte won back his men's title in 46.70 while women's champion Louise Jones collected her fifth title with 54.05, both in dominant displays.

Julia Ratcliffe's hope for a big distance didn't materialise but she had the satisfaction of winning her third national hammer title in 65.93, the longest ever distance for the championships.

- NZ Herald

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