Former Waipukurau resident Briana Stephenson has just arrived back in Auckland, where she has been attending Auckland University.
The 20-year-old athlete from the North Harbour Bay Cougars club has had a successful weekend in Christchurch at the New Zealand National Athletics Track and Field Championships.
Having been the only female New Zealand long jumper to leap more than 6m twice since the season started back in October, she was a favourite to take out the Senior Women's National title, especially after top jumpers, Corrina Minko (Manawatu) retired, and Kelsey Berryman (Canterbury) had a shoulder injury, were missing.
Conditions weren't favourable for big jumps as a frustrating gusty side wind prevailed. Briana's first jump was over-stepped and fouled but rumoured to have been around 6.25m.
Briana performed a safety jump next, where she sacrificed speed so not to foul again, reaching 5.75m.
Winding up the speed again Briana did 5.91m during round three.
Her gold medal leap came in round four where she nailed 6.08m, a personal best effort.
This was followed up with 5.79m and 5.90m. The last jump was well short of the board, as she fell back on her landing and was estimated to be around 6.40m. Bronze was 5.74m but Briana's victory by 33cm was immense.
Briana was crowned Golden Senior Women long jump Champ for 2020, after four silvers and a bronze in previous age groups. She also maintains her number one top ranking in NZ Women's long jump since achieving it in February.
Briana was also no slouch during the sprints. As a long jumper who sprints, a seventh 100m placing and a sixth 200m spot in the finals were positive. An 11.89s tailwind 100m heat time was sharp but after an exhausting six long jumps and a late evening 100m final, 12.17s resulted. Her 200m heat produced a PB, 24.06s and a tailwind 23.94s in the final.