Wairarapa athletes pile up points for winners

By Gary Caffell


Wairarapa athletes did themselves proud at the North Island 14-17 years interprovincial track and field championships at Masterton's Colin Pugh Sports Bowl.

The 14 locals taking part on Saturday were an important cog in the Wellington team which scored most points in both the 14-15 years and 16-17 years divisions of a meet which seriously tested the versatility of the participants.

Each competitor in the 14-15 year grade had to contest either one track and two field events or two track and one field event, while in the 16-17 years grade they had the choice of competing in three track events, three field events or a mix of both.

Alison Andrews-Paul was the star act for Wairarapa.

Although better known for her feats over middle distances, she registered a personal best time in winning her 400m race and also made a good fist of the 200m and the long jump.

Andrews-Paul scored the most individual points in the girls 14-15 year section.

Gun sprinter Alex Howden was third highest points scorer in the boys 16-17 year age group and Katie Smith, who excelled in the throwing events, also placed third in the 16-17 years girls' competition.

Finn Yeats also placed third overall in the boys 14 years grade.

Other Wairarapa athletes selected to compete under the Wellington banner were Sian Chapman, Dhruv Raman, Edward Hewitt, Tyler Griffiths, Lauren Balsillie, Daniel Childs, Tim Girling-McLean, Emma Kruszona, Toyah Churton and Tessa Laven.

The new all-weather track and throwing circles at the Colin Pugh Sports Bowl attracted much favourable comment from visiting officials, with many of them predicting Masterton would become a regular venue for national championship meets in the years ahead.

The next major test for the new track's facilities will come in early April when the North Island secondary schools championships are hosted there.

More than 500 athletes are expected to be involved in that event, a huge increase from the 180 taking part on Saturday.


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