Despite the heavy rain and windy conditions Eves Athletics Whangārei's Athletes enjoyed a very successful start to the track and field season at the Athletics Auckland Senior Meeting at Mount Smart Stadium.

The Girls U16/U18 400m included Holly Rule (Northland U16 champion, Whangārei), Isabel Allen (Auckland U16 champion) and Zoe Taylor (U18, Waitakere former national finalist), on Saturday.

Rule ran a superbly judged race, passing both Allen and Taylor in the final 10 metres equalling her personal best time of 60.02, with Allen (60.35) and Taylor (60.70) taking second and third.

Athletics NZ top ranked U16 high jumper Jenna Johnston (Eves Athletics Whangārei) won the U16 high jump with a first-time clearance 1.63m equalling her best performance. Evie McClennan (Papakura) also set a personal best with 1.60m in second place.


"National qualifying performances from both Whangarei girls, they adapted well to the conditions. These results are also a reflection of the quality winter training made possible by having the track and field facilities at the Trigg Sports Arena," said Chris Portch, who coaches Rule and Johnston.

Another of Eves Athletics Whangārei's elite athletes, national champion thrower Nik Kini used the meeting as part of his preparation for the Oceania Championships, where he will represent Athletics NZ, winning the U18 discus with 53.06m - nearly 10m further than other athletes.

Sprinter Ugen Iyer, from Eves Athletics Whangarei, was third in her 100m race, but head winds prevented any fast times.

Reuben Gregory (Eves Athletics Whangārei), like Rule, had to run the 400m during a torrential downpour but was pleased to run close to his best time, finishing second in the U20 event won by Michael Graham (ACA) who was the national youth champion in 2017.

Gemma Brock (Eves Athletics Whangārei) and Lilli Bing (Bays) as novice pole vaulters were able to benefit from being involved for the first time with an official competition and learned a lot from the Athletics Auckland coaches, officials and experienced vaulters.