Nick Willis is one of the world's highest-profile middle-distance athletes. It's an accolade well earned by the Wellington runner who was a silver medallist in the 1500m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a finalist in the same event at the London Olympics four years later.
But Willis has never allowed his impressive international standing to stop him from helping those looking to follow in his footsteps and that was the main thrust behind his appearance at a Wellington centre track and field meet held on the new all-weather surface at the Colin Pugh Sports Bowl in Masterton on Saturday.
Competitors in the two men's 1500m events had the benefit of Willis as a pace-maker and he ensured some impressive times were recorded, most notably the 3min 47.1s returned by Auckland visitor Ben Moynihan, believed to be the fastest time clocked by any Kiwi over that distance so far this summer.
Another highlight came in the high jump where Billy Crayford from the Bay Cougars club recorded an impressive leap of 1.95m.
Several Wairarapa athletes also starred at the meet, including sprinters Alex Howden and Sian Chapman, middle-distance stars Stevie Paine and Alison Andrews-Paul and field eventer Tim Girling-McLean.
Wairarapa results were:-
100m: Women 18yrs heat one: Sian Chapman 13.17secs 1, Lauren Basillie 13.51secs 3, Toyah Churton 14.21secs 4. Women 18yrs heat two: Bridget Milne 14.53secs 2, Tasman Hill-Tatham 17.61secs 3. Men 18yrs: Jonty Morrison 12.46secs 4, Daniel Childs 12.66secs 5. Junior men: Alex Howden 11.34secs 1. AWD: Daniel Anstis 13.59secs 1, Keelan Ward 14.88secs 2.
200m: Women 18yrs: Alison Andrews-Paul 27.57secs 1, Tessa Laven 29.28secs 2. Women 20yrs: Stevie Paine 27.26secs 1. Men 20yrs: Michael Hammond 26.45secs 1.
400m: Women 18yrs: Sian Chapman 1min 8.33secs 1, Bridget Milne 1min 8.83secs 2, Lauren Balsillie 1min 19.22secs 3, Tasman Hill-Tatham 1min 23.60secs 4. Men 18yrs race one: Jonty Morrison 58.61secs 2. Men 18yrs race two: Daniel Childs 59.21secs 1. Junior men: Alex Howden 55.88secs 1. AWD: Daniel Anstis 1min 2.47secs 1, Keelan Ward 1min 9.45secs 2.
800m: Women 18yrs: Alison Andrews-Paul 2min 14.58secs 1, Tessa Laven 2min 23.66secs 2. Junior women: Stevie Paine 2min 18.37secs 1. Junior men: Michael Hammond 2min 10.85secs 1.
1500m: Men 35yrs plus: Tony Price 5min 8.37secs 1.
Triple jump: Women 18yrs: Toyah Churton 9.67secs 1.
Shot put: Junior men: Tim Girling-McLean 14.05m 1.14yrs male: Nathan Whiteman 9.93secs 1.