Wairarapa will have powerful representation at the New Zealand secondary schools track and field championships at Dunedin's Caledonian Ground from Friday to Sunday.
The 31-strong Wairarapa contingent comprises students from seven colleges from Tararua in the north to Kuranui in the south and several of them are medal-winning prospects.
Two of the prime chances for gold medals will be Wairarapa College duo Alex Fafeita and Alison Andrews-Paul.
Fafeita will be making his final appearance at these championships after being a dominant field event exponent at secondary schools level for years and a successful defence of his senior boys' hammer throw title would be no surprise. He is also likely to feature prominently at shot put and discus.
Andrews-Paul is rated one of the most promising middle-distance runners in the country and, while she will meet stern opposition in the junior girls' 800m and 1500m, she is set to be among the front-runners in both.
Masterton athletics coach Mark Harris says the championship programme will be a test for many of the athletes who could find themselves involved in heats, quarter-finals, semifinals and then finals.
"Take the sprinters; they could have to race eight times over a couple of days. Some handle that sort of pressure better than others," he said.
Representing Wairarapa are:
Chanel College: Sian Chapman, senior girls' 100m and 200m; Holly Travers, junior girls' 200m and 400m.
Kuranui College: Toyah Churton, junior girls' 100m, triple jump and long jump; Connor Henare, senior boys' triple jump.
Makoura College: Alex Howden, senior boys' 100m and 200m.
Rathkeale College: Tim Girling-McLean, senior boys' discus and shot put; Edward Hewitt, senior boys' 400m; Callum Hobbs-Turner, senior boys' 3000m and 6000m road race; Jackson Hunter, junior boys' shot put and discus; Dylan Lord-Bune, senior boys' 800m; Jonty Morrison, junior boys' 100m and 200m; Tom Quinn, senior boys' javelin, shot put and hammer throw; Dhruv Raman, senior boys' 400m; Finn Yeats, junior boys' 100, 200m and high jump.
St Matthew's Collegiate: Hannah Lang, junior girls' 100m and 200m; Tessa Laven, senior girls' 800m; Bridget Milne, junior girls' 100m and 200m; Sara-Jane Raleigh, junior girls' 100m and 200m; Ella Sims, junior girls' 1500m.
Tararua College: Grace Burmeister, Year 9 girls' 3000m road race.
Wairarapa College: Alison Andrews-Paul, junior girls' 800m and 1500m; Daniel Anstis, AWD boys' 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump; Lauren Balsillie, junior girls' 100m and 200m; Molly Creagh, senior girls' 100m; Alex Fafeita, senior boys' hammer throw, discus and shot put; Samantha Hodgins, senior girls' 800m and 1500m; Emma Kruszona, junior girls' hammer throw; Stevie Paine, senior girls' 800m and 1500m; Katie Smith, senior girls' discus and shot put; Keelan Ward AWD boys' 100m, 200m and 400m; Molly Wilkins, junior girls' 200m and 400m.
Meanwhile, Wairarapa athletes did well at the Carol McNie Memorial track and field meet in Wanganui last weekend.The 60m sprints saw Alex Howden and Simone Small to the fore with Small's win in 8.11s over 60m a highlight. Personal best times were recorded by Edward Hewitt and Dhruv Raman over 300m and Tessa Laven impressed when second over 600m.
60m, Division one: Alex Howden 7.30s 3, Finn Yeats 7.58s 4, Daniel Anstis 8.56s 7. Division two: Simone Small 8.11s 1, Tyler Griffiths 8.50s 3.
100m, Division one: Simone Small 13.14s 2.
300m, Division two: Edward Hewitt 37.60s 2, Dhruv Raman 37.85s 4.
Division three: Daniel Anstis 43.28s 5, Vanya Arnopp 53.65s 6.
600m: Tessa Laven 1min 41.2s 2.
1000m: Andrea Lambert 3min 28.94s 9.
2x100m relay, Women: Simone Small and Tessa Laven 27,10s 2, Toyah Churton and Tyler Griffiths 8.13s 5. Men: Dhruv Raman and Alex Howden 23.29s 2, Edward Hewitt and Finn Yeats 23.8s 5, Vanya Arnopp and Daniel Anstis 29.55s 8.
Shot put: Andrea Lambert 6.19m 2.
High jump: Finn Yeats 1.75m 1.
Long jump: Toyah Churton 4.60m 5. Triple jump: Toyah Churton 8.91m 2.