From the first time Olivia Hala competed at the Colgate Games she narrowly missed out on gold.
She always achieved highly with podium placings in her events every year since her first one at the age of 10, but up until this year, silver was her peak.
It was at the 2020 North Island event, held in Inglewood, Taranaki last weekend, that the 14-year-old Tauranga Girls' College student secured her first gold at the competition and she followed that with two more over the three days.
She raced in the 800m, 1500m and the medley events and won gold in each - results that left Olivia "super stoked with", especially given it was her final year of being able to compete at the games. The Colgate Games are only eligible for athletes aged 7-14.
"I felt pretty good, I was quite happy with all my races," Olivia says.
Being able to end her Colgate Games experience on a high with gold is a highlight for the rising star.
"It was so amazing. It was just such a happy and proud moment."
Olivia trains five days a week, with a couple of slow jogs thrown in on her recovery days.
She started athletics when she was about 6 and has always enjoyed it - with her preference for middle-distance running.
Getting a taste of representing New Zealand as a Trans-Tasman competition when she was 11, she plans to continue running those 800m and 1500m distances and represent New Zealand again one day - with the ultimate goal of the Olympics.
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Olivia was one of 11 young athletes representing the Tauranga Ramblers at the games, along with Andre Gundersen, Lily Aitken-Keogh, Mitchell Taylor, Eli Marsters, Candice Pretorius, Mitchell Taylor, Abigail Wikeepa, Gemma Groenewald, Meadow Maharey and Jackson Jones.
Club president Malcolm Taylor says they all did "brilliant", coming home with seven golds.
To top off the results, Olivia and Andre took home two of the four Athletics New Zealand scholarships available at the North Island competition. The scholarships, named after Olympic Games medallist Nick Willis, are given to athletes who display exceptional performance, strong sporting values and future potential and is worth $700.
For stand-out athlete Andre, 14, this year was also his last at the Colgate Games after entering for the first time at 10.
Every year he has come home with at least three gold medals and this year was no different, winning his discus, high jump and relay events. He also scored two silvers in his shot put and 100m hurdles and finished third in his long jump events.
The 187cm athlete says he has been enjoying athletics since he started at the age of four and with an obvious talent in track and field events, his eyes are set on becoming a professional decathlete to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games.
Andre says the Colgate Games has been an amazing experience, and he has enjoyed the recognition he has achieved at the competition over the years. While he's admittedly sad about not being able to compete any more, he plans to return as a volunteer official next year.