Jake Robertson has Dick Quax's long-standing national 10,000m record in his sights.

Quax set the mark of 27m 41.95s in London in 1977 but Robertson, who won the 5000m on day one of the New Zealand Track and Field Championships in Wellington yesterday, said he wanted to set a new 10,000m record at the Payton Jordan Invitational in the US in early May.

Robertson holds the third-best 10,000m time by a Kiwi after he clocked 27m 45.46s in the US in April, 2013.

The Payton Jordan meeting at Stanford, California is where Robertson will kick his 2015 campaign up another gear as he tries to qualify for August's world championships in Beijing.


"A lot of people will be looking to Stanford for the early qualification in the 10,000, that's why I'm heading there and hopefully I'll topple the New Zealand record as well," Robertson said.

The 25-year-old, who is from Hamilton but is based in Kenya and sports a shaggy mullet, was rarely troubled as he won the the national 5000m title in 14m 3.71s yesterday, despite being limited by a damaged hand. He also had to fight surging winds.

"It was hard out there," he said of the conditions. "I almost got blown in to the infield once.

"It was good to be back in Waikato colours and I really enjoyed it."

Robertson said he could run the 5000m and 10,000m events at the world championships depending on his form later in the year, providing he qualifies.

His twin brother Zane, who splits his time between Kenya and Ethiopia, didn't run yesterday as his calf problem flared up again.

Zane, who won a bronze medal in the 5000m at last year's Commonwealth Games, is likely to attend next month's London Marathon as a pacemaker, providing his calf heals.

In yesterday's other action, Cameron French, the country's leading sprinter in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles this season, defended his national crown in the 400m hurdles in a time of 50.28s.


Horrid conditions hindered his warm up but the rain cleared in time for his race, which he dominated as Campbell Wu (Auckland) ran second in 53.51s.

The Hamilton sprinter will head to the Sydney Track Classic next weekend where a deeper field should push him towards his goal of producing a world championship qualifying time of 49.5s.

"Hopefully next week in Sydney I can get some competition there to have a good race," French said. "It just makes you think about them rather than yourself. When you've got someone else there that animal instinct kicks in."

High jumper Hamish Kerr caused a boilover as he beat six-time defending champion William Crayford by 4cm with a personal-best effort of 2.13m.

In the women's discus, Siositina Hakeai (57.27m) edged fellow Aucklander TeRina Keenan (56.74m) to win her fourth consecutive national title.

The highlight of today's events was likely to be the women's 800m featuring Angie Petty (nee Smit) and Nikki Hamblin.

Long jump world record holder Mike Powell, 51, was also set to shoot for the masters mark for 50-54 year olds of 6.84m.