Birkenhead College 400m runner making giant strides in toughest of events.

The 400m is one of the toughest sprints in athletics. It is close to a minute of gut-busting endeavour, pushing your whole body to the limit at top speed.

But Megan Kikuchi loves the 400m. It is her specialist event and she is the No1 senior girl in the North Harbour region, cleaning up at last week's zonal meet in a time of 58.30s.

Not bad given she has battled a hamstring injury in recent times. Her PB sits at 55.95s. Now she is setting her sights on tomorrow's Champions of Champions meet at Mt Smart Stadium and the April 5-6 North Island Secondary School Championships in Masterton.

The 17-year-old Birkenhead College student got into running at the age of 12 and found she had the requisite fast twitch fibres to be a success.


"It just happens that my best race is also the hardest race," Kikuchi says. "The 400m is pretty hard-out. All your training is for that last 100m. The most we do is 500m but we do a lot of 300m reps. You plan stages of it. You try to go hard-out the whole way, but that's kind of hard, so you have stages."

So how much is the race about guts and how much is technique?

"I reckon it's a bit of both," she says. "You definitely have to be gutsy, but you have to hold your form or you wouldn't be able to finish it."

Kikuchi has two good sounding boards at Birkenhead College. Director of sport Andy Henley, a 1997 North Harbour rugby wing, was a 400m runner, while former champion pole vaulter Jenni Dryburgh is also on the school staff.

Time management is vital to Kikuchi's life. A Year 13 student, she is on the school's student council; she is on the sports council, which helps organise events at schools; and she will be playing netball for the school in winter.

"I struggled a bit last year after coming back from Ukraine and missing so much school, so this year I have to be on top of it."

Don't worry, she hasn't been to a war zone. Ukraine was a rather safer place last August for the World Youth Athletics Champs, where Kikuchi helped the New Zealand 4x400m relay team through to 10th place. It was her biggest international meet to date, and has whetted her appetite for more. The 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast are on her horizon, as are the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. That would be extra special for her to be part of, as her father is Japanese. Shorter-term are the May Oceania Champs in Rarotonga.

For now, it's more twice daily training under the watchful eye of her Takapuna club coach Henry Rogo, tapping into the opportunities through the Performance Potential Squad of Athletics NZ, hitting the books, and fulfilling leadership duties at college. Next year she hopes to study sports science and nutrition.


North Harbour zonal meet finals:

Senior boys' 100m: Jake Hurley 1, 11.32s, Garrick Rollinson 2, Hamish Sellar 3 (all Westlake BHS)
Senior girls' 100m: Kirsty Sutherland 1, 12.93s, Grace Tobin 2 (both Kristin School), Georgia Pert 3 (Westlake GHS)
Intermediate boys' 100m: Jordon Bolland 1, 11.50s (Northcote College), Matthew Watson (Pinehurst School) 2, Ben Donovan (Long Bay College) 3
Intermediate girls' 100m: Akiene Reed 1, 13.22s, Greer Noble Tawhai 2 (both Westlake GHS), Amy Robertson (Rangitoto College) 3
Junior boys' 100m: Chicayne Prior 1, 12.51s (Kaipara College), Alex Roberts (Takapuna Grammar School) 2, Christopher Elisaia-Hopa (Birkenhead College) 3
Junior girls' 100m: Isla Norman-Bell 1, 13.32s, Cara Lonergan 2 (both Rangitoto), Imogen Ayri (Takapuna Grammar)

Senior boys' 200m: Tyler Williams (Long Bay) 1, Danyon Morgan-Puterangi 2, Ban Callister (Westlake BHS) 3
Senior girls' 200m: Rosalind Crickett (Rangitoto) 1, Eden Manuel (Mahurangi College) 2, Rafaela Martinic (Carmel College) 3
Intermediate boys' 200m: Jordon Bolland (Northcote), 1 Matthew Watson (Pinehurst) 2, Jordan Brennan (Rosmini) 3
Intermediate girls' 200m: Elena Brown 1, Greer Noble Tawhai 2 (both Westlake GHS), Amy Robertson (Rangitoto) 3
Junior boys' 200m: Regan McClennan (Orewa College) 1, Tony Tsoi (Albany Junior High School) 2, Nico Mirabito (Rangitoto) 3
Junior girls' 200m: Delwyn Lewis (Long Bay) 1, Isla Norman-Bell (Rangitoto) 2, Georgia Logan (Kaipara) 3

Senior boys' 400m: Reuben McNair 1, Tyler Williams (Long Bay) 2, Louis Young (Mahurangi) 3
Senior girls' 400m: Megan Kikuchi (Birkenhead) 1, Kirsty Sutherland (Kristin) 2, Eden Manuel (Mahurangi) 3
Intermediate boys' 400m: Markos Ingham (Rosmini) 1, Jack Anderson 2, Luke Mercieca (Westlake BHS)
Intermediate girls' 400m: Stella Pearless (Pinehurst) 1, Alex Wansink (Rangitoto) 2, Elizabeth Timings (Carmel) 3

Senior boys' 800m: Troy Lonergan (Westlake BHS) 1, Jacques Harsveld (Rangitoto) 2, Louis Abplanalp (Westlake BHS) 3
Senior girls' 800m: Hannah Lynch (Carmel) 1, Tessa McNair (Takapuna Grammar) 2, Emma Lane (Westlake GHS) 3
Intermediate boys' 800m: Liam van der Boom (Rangitoto) 1, Adam Rundle (Takapuna Grammar) 2, Samuel Cadwallader (Mahurangi) 3
Intermediate girls' 800m: Stella Pearless (Pinehurst) 1, Amanda Holyer (Rangitoto) 2, Katherine Badham (Takapuna Grammar) 3
Junior boys' 800m: Matt Conroy (Westlake BHS) 1, Olivo Silverstro (Mahurangi) 2, Damon Harrison (Westlake BHS) 3
Junior girls' 800m: Julia Giurgiu (Takapuna Grammar) 1, Amber-Lee Lockhart (Westlake GHS) 2, Maddy Hailes (Pinehurst) 3

Senior boys' 1500m: Troy Lonergan (Westlake BHS) 1, Reuben Shepherd (Kingsway School) 2, Finn Mason (Westlake BHS) 3
Senior girls' 1500m: Hannah Lynch (Carmel) 1, Catriona Stanton (Westlake GHS) 2, Lily MacDonald (Takapuna Grammar) 3
Intermediate boys' 1500m: Dan Hoy 1, Bradley Hall 2, Tommy Shiferaw 3 (all Westlake BHS)
Intermediate girls' 1500m: Katherine Badham (Takapuna Grammar) 1, Amanda Holyer 2, Jacey Cropp (Rangitoto) 3
Junior boys' 1500m: Jack Culley (Rangitoto) 1, Stuart Hofmeyr (Westlake BHS) 2, Oliver Houghton (Rosmini) 3
Junior girls' 1500m: Julia Giurgiu (Takapuna Grammar) 1, Bernadette Doyle (Westlake GHS) 2, Millie Simpson (Carmel) 3

Senior boys' 4x100m relay: Westlake BHS 1, Long Bay 2, Rosmini 3
Senior girls' 4x100m relay: Kristin 1, Rangitoto 2, Birkenhead 3
Intermediate boys' 4x100m relay: Pinehurst 1, Westlake BHS 2, Rosmini 3
Intermediate girls' 4x100m relay: Westlake GHS 1, Rangitoto 2, Pinehurst 3
Junior boys' 4x100m relay: Westlake BHS 1, Kaipara 2, Northcote 3
Junior girls' 4x100m relay: Rangitoto 1, Long Bay 2, Kaipara 3

Senior boys' long jump: Jake Hurley (Westlake BHS) 1, Jamie Lee (Rosmini) 2, Oliver Pike (Birkenhead) 3
Senior girls' long jump: Kim Franklin (Westlake GHS) 1, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson (Whangaparaoa College) 2, Genevieve Marnoch (Northcote) 3
Intermediate boys' long jump: Issac Letoa 1, Anthony Kouch 2 (both Westlake BHS), Jordan Bollard (Northcote) 3
Intermediate girls' long jump: Akiene Reed 1, Greer Noble Tawhai (Westlake GHS) 2, Tonya Botherway (Mahurangi) 3
Junior boys' long jump: Angelo Velasco (Rangitoto) 1, Cane Whitaker (Mahurangi) 2, Corban Wedlock-Aston (Westlake BHS) 3
Junior girls' long jump: Cara Lonergan (Rangitoto) 1, Imogen Ayris (Takapuna Grammar) 2, Mackenzie Hancox (Rangitoto) 3

Senior boys' high jump: Levi McBirney 1, Yanni Wetzell 2 (both Westlake BHS), Alex Horsfield (Kaipara) 3
Senior girls' high jump: Georgia Glover-Clark (Pinehurst) 1, Anneke Simmonds (Carmel) 2, Abbigail Sim (Mahurangi) 3
Intermediate boys' high jump: Issac Letoa (Westlake BHS) 1, Jack Buchanan (Takapuna Grammar) 2, Corey Annandale (Westlake BHS) 3
Intermediate girls' high jump: Shannon Cook (Long Bay) 1, Megan Cox (Carmel) 2, Alex Wansink (Rangitoto) 3
Junior boys' high jump: Jac Roberts (Takapuna Grammar) 1, Rowan Brown (Rangitoto) 2, James Moors (Westlake BHS) 3
Junior girls' high jump: Cara Lonergan (Rangitoto) 1, Imogen Ayris (Takapuna Grammar) 2, Hailey Regan (Long Bay) 3

Senior boys' triple jump: Sam Waring (Long Bay) 1, Liam Flew (Orewa) 2, Peter Kim (Pinehurst) 3
Senior girls' triple jump: Georgia Glover-Clark (Pinehurst) 1, Taylor Duncan (Orewa) 2, Mischa Tattley (Rangitoto) 3
Intermediate boys' triple jump: Scott Vriens (Orewa) 1, Corey Annandale 2, Anthony Kouch 3 (both Westlake BHS)
Intermediate girls' triple jump: Tonya Botherway (Mahurangi) 1, Molly Leggett (Orewa) 2, Kenya Brooke (Rangitoto) 3
Junior boys' triple jump: Sam Stevens (Glenfield College) 1, Kees Grootjans (Birkenhead) 2, Jack Kelleher (Rosmini) 3
Junior girls' triple jump: Anna Steele (Kaipara) 1, Jenna Washbrook (Orewa) 2, Roxy Clarke (Kaipara) 3

Senior boys' shot put: Vincent Hobbie (Rangitoto) 1, Alexander O'Neill (Rosmini) 2, Sefa Seufale (Birkenhead) 3
Senior girls' shot put: Sarah Doyle (Kristin) 1, Claudine Wallace (Carmel) 2, Sia Muna (Westlake GHS) 3
Intermediate boys' shot put: Jay Morris (Mahurangi) 1, Rizvan Caukwell 2, Leon Bongare (both Rosmini) 3
Intermediate girls' shot put: Makenzie Vitasovich 1, Georgia Henare 2 (both Orewa), Andreana Kelsall (Carmel) 3
Junior boys' shot put: Sean Vete (Westlake BHS) 1, Pale Vaotangi (Mahurangi) 2, Kruz Perrott-Hunt (Rosmini) 3
Junior girls' shot put: Mackenzie O'Neil (Carmel) 1, Charne du Plessis (Long Bay) 2, Beeba Amuera (Mahurangi) 3

Senior boys' discus: Alexander O'Neil (Rosmini) 1, Vincent Hobbie (Rangitoto) 2, Daniel Marsden (Kristin) 3
Senior girls' discus: Sarah Doyle (Kristin) 1, Claudine Wallace (Carmel) 2, Lily MacDonald (Takapuna Grammar) 3
Intermediate boys' discus: Brandon James (Westlake BHS) 1, Jay Morris (Mahurangi) 2, Anthony Nobilo (Westlake BHS) 3
Intermediate girls' discus: Makenzie Vitasovich (Orewa) 1, Jaime Rogers (Carmel) 2, Elena Brown (Westlake GHS) 3,
Junior boys' shot put: Rowan Brown (Rangitoto) 1, Pale Vaotangi (Mahurangi) 2, James Moors (Westlake BHS) 3
Junior girls' discus: Mackenzie O'Neil (Carmel) 1, Bernadette Doyle (Westlake GHS) 2, Charne du Plessis (Long Bay) 3

Senior boys' javelin: Matthew Moncrief (Rosmini) 1, Daniel Marsden (Kristin) 2, Dominic Bravenboer (Albany) 3
Senior girls' javelin: Marike de Wet (Kingsway School) 1, Epenesa Mau'u (Glenfield) 2, Alisha Dempsey (Mahurangi) 3
Intermediate boys' javelin: Matthew Fenn (Kristin) 1, Finn Tito (Westlake BHS) 2, Scott Burfoot (Long Bay) 3
Intermediate girls' javelin: Dareesha Fa'avae-Pilosi (Northcote) 1, Makenzie Vitasovich (Orewa) 2, Megan McMullen (Orewa) 3
Junior boys' javelin: Andy Lin (Rangitoto) 1, Noah Hallam 2, Pale Vaotangi 3 (both Mahurangi)
Junior girls' javelin: Malia Hemehema (Kaipara) 1, Katie Sadlier (Westlake BHS) 2, Morgan Zuyl (Orewa) 3

Premier 9-hole

(March 10):
Auckland Division 1: Ormiston default to St Kentigern 1; Macleans 118 drew with Lynfield 118; King's 114 beat AGS 1 118
Auckland Division 2: AGS 2 125 beat MAGS 149; Botany Downs 131 beat AGS 3 138; St Kentigern 2 119 St Kentigern 3 122
Auckland Division 3: AGS 4 128 beat Kelston Boys' 134; AGS 5 136 beat Rosehill 144
North Harbour: Massey 108 beat Rangitoto 115; Kristin 127 beat Rosmini 132; Westlake Boys' 114 beat Wentworth 119
(March 17):
Auckland Division 1: Ormiston default to King's; Lynfield 122 drew with St Kentigern 1 122
Auckland Division 3: Kelston Boys' 133 beat Rosehill 148
North Harbour: Westlake Boys' 108 beat Kristin 113; Wentworth 117 beat Rangitoto 125; Rosmini 116 drew with Massey 116

Champion of Champions finals:

Junior boys' singles: Liam Stoica (1) beat Sam Bird (8) 6-0, 6-1
Intermediate boys' singles: Connor Williamson (2) beat Petar Gorgiovski 6-1, 6-2
Senior boys' singles: Edward Stoica (1) beat Jack Heslin (3) 6-1, 2-6, 7-6
Junior girls' singles: Paige Alter (2) beat Brooke Kenny (3) 7-5, 6-2
Intermediate girls' singles: Lana Popovich (3) beat Stella Cliffe (4) 6-1, 6-3
Senior girls' singles: Kelly Drew (1) beat Laura Isbey (2) 6-3, 6-2
Junior boys' doubles: Sam Bird/Liam Stoica (1) beat Filippo La Cava/Robbie Stuart (2) 3-6, 6-4, 10-3
Intermediate boys' doubles: Kieren Rooney/Connor Williamson (1) beat Petar Gorgiovski/Alexander Limberger 6-1, 6-4
Senior boys' doubles: Trent Smith/Edward Stoica (1) beat Nathan Metzger/Cameron Philpot (2) 6-4, 3-6, 15-13
Junior girls' doubles: Paige Alter/Brooke Kenny (2) beat Alysha Nowacki/Kirsten Swindell 2-6, 7-6, 10-4
Intermediate girls' doubles: Lana Popovich/Shaylee Syme (2) beat Lauren Alter/Stella Cliffe (1) 6-2, 2-6, 10-3
Senior girls' doubles: Kelly Drew/Sarah Wardenburg (1) beat Katie Antsupova/Claudia Maddren (2) 6-2, 6-1

Water polo

Premier boys' championship: Sacred Heart Sharks 14 Westlake Boys' 5; St Kentigern 11 Kristin 5; AGS 1 9 Rangitoto 7
Premier boys' plate: Sacred Heart Dolphins 6 King's 5; St Peter's 3 AGS 2 3
Premier girls' championship: Kristin 12 EGGS 5; Rangitoto 6 St Cuthbert's 5; Diocesan 5 Westlake Girls' 3
Premier girls' plate: St Kentigern 5 MAGS 3; Baradene 7 St Mary's 7


Counties Zone

Boys: James Cook 5 Alfriston 1 3; James Cook Puutake 5 Tangaroa 0; Wesley 10 Manurewa 1; Papakura 5 Alfriston 2 2
Girls: Papakura 1 5 James Cook 1; James Cook Puutake 7 Tangaroa 2
Girls: James Cook Puutake 3 Alfriston 1; Tangaroa 2 James Cook 0
Mixed: Alfriston Mixed 5 Pukekohe Red 0; Rosehill default to Tuakau
Mixed: Rosehill default to Manurewa Mixed; Alfriston Mixed 10 Tuakau 2

Southern Zone
Boys: De La Salle 9 Aorere 0; Southern Cross default to King's; Otahuhu 3 Mangere 1; Papatoetoe 3 Auckland 7th Day Adventist 2
Girls: Otahuhu 5 Auckland 7th Day Adventist 2; McAuley 7 Papatoetoe 0; Southern Cross A 4 Mangere 1
Girls: Southern Cross A 2 Papatoetoe 0; Aorere 3 McAuley 0; Mangere 2 Auckland 7th Day Adventist 2
Mixed: Southern Cross 3 Otahuhu 3

Eastern Zone
Boys A grade playoffs: Pakuranga 5 Botany Downs 1 3; One Tree Hill Blue default to St Kentigern Premiers; Sacred Heart A 4 Tamaki 3; default to Sacred Heart B
Boys B grade playoffs: St Kentigern Senior A 2 Howick Red 1; One Tree Hill White default to Howick Blue; Sacred Heart C 3 St Kentigern Senior B 1; Glendowie default to Selwyn
Girls A grade playoffs: Botany Downs 1 6 Sancta Maria 1; One Tree Hill default to St Kentigern Premier A; St Kentigern Senior A 8 Botany Downs 2 0; Macleans 2 Pakuranga 1
Girls B grade: St Kentigern Senior C 2 Selwyn 1; Glendowie 5 Botany Downs 3 0
Mixed: Macleans Mixed 5 Pakuranga Mixed 0

Central Zone
Girls A grade playoffs: Onehunga 3 St Cuthbert's A 2; MAGS 6 Marist 0; Diocesan A 4 EGGS 2; Baradene 6 AGGS A 3
Girls B grade: St Mary's Red 9 Lynfield 0; Baradene B 2 Baradene C 0
Girls B grade: St Cuthbert's B default to Lynfield
Boys A grade: St Peter's B default to St Peter's A; St Paul's 7 Onehunga A 1; AGS 6 MAGS 2
Boys B grade: Dilworth B 4 Dilworth C 3; St Peter's C default to Lynfield
Mixed: Western Springs 12 MRGS 0

Western Zone
Boys: Kelston Boys' 2 8 Rutherford 2; Kelston Boys' 1 7 Massey 1 0
Boys: Kelston Boys' 1 8 Kelston Boys 2 2; Liston 12 Rutherford 1; Henderson 4 Avondale A 2; Waitakere 3 Massey 2 3
Girls Pool A: Kelston Girls' default to Avondale A; St Dominic's 1 3 Massey 2 0; Henderson 13 Green Bay 0
Girls Pool B: Avondale B default to Rutherford; Waitakere 6 St Dominic's 2 0
Mixed: Rutherford Mixed 2 Massey Mixed 1

North Harbour
Boys A grade: Westlake Boys' A 7 Westlake Boys' B 0; Rosmini 9 Mahurangi 0
Boys A grade: Westlake Boys' A 4 Rosmini 3; Westlake Boys' B 7 Orewa 1
Boys B grade: Hato Petera 13 Birkenhead 4; Northcote 6 Takapuna 3
Girls A grade: Kristin 3 Pinehurst 2; Rangitoto A 8 Westlake Girls' A 3; Mahurangi A 10 Whangaparaoa 3
Girls B grade playoffs: Hato Petera 2 Westlake Girls' Black 1
Girls B grade playoffs: Carmel Cruisers 7 Westlake Girls' Gold 1; Westlake Girls' Red 4 Kristin Jade 1; Rangitoto B 6 Westlake Girls' Green 0; Westlake Girls' Black 4 Westlake Girls' White 3
Mixed grade playoffs: Kaipara 1 6 Orewa 5; Mahurangi A 10 TKKM O Te Raki Paewhenua A 5; Birkenhead Blue default to Long Bay A; Northcote 8 Kaipara B 4; Birkenhead White 9 Long Bay B 2