Isaiah Priddey ran an outstanding race to crush the New Zealand under 18 record and win the New Zealand Commonwealth Games 1500m trial race in Whanganui at the Cooks Classic meeting on Tuesday evening.
The seventeen year old Hamilton athlete ran 3:44.34 to slash 1.76s off the record held by Southlander Eddie Crowe for 28 years.
Race favourite, Waitakere's Simon Rogers, who sat on the pacemaking of Theunis Pieters (Hamilton) early in the race, went to the front with 500m to run and looked like he would hold on to the lead, but the young Priddey chased hard and burst past Rogers at the start of the home straight.
Rogers ran an excellent 3:44.75 for second, just outside his personal best.
In winning the biggest race of his career, Priddey ran a personal best by almost 5 seconds and went well under the 3:48 standard for selection for the World U20 Championships with fellow 17-year-old Nick Moulai (Papanui) in third place also dipping under the standard with 3:47.05.
NZ championships bronze medallist Peter Wheeler (Papakura) filled fourth in 3:48.20, a big personal best, just ahead of another 17-year-old Samuel Tanner (Tauranga), with national Under 20 champion Theo Quax (Papakura), just turned 18 in sixth.
In a very close 100m hurdles Games trial for women Fiona Morrison (Christchurch) just held off Rochelle Coster (Papakura) 13.42 to 13.51 in a windy race.
Conditions on the night were not suitable for athletes to meet Commonwealth Games qualifying criteria.
A brisk wind blustering over 3 metres per second was too strong to record legal times in the track events.
Organisers gave them a chance by shifting all the early sprint races, including the hurdles to the back straight where runners benefited from a tailwind.
Meanwhile, Zac Topping (Palmerston North) caused an upset in the men's 100m winning in 10.89, while Lucy Sheat (Marlborough) recovered from a slow start to take the women's 100m in 11.88 and then the 200m in 23.99.
Whanganui's Genna Maples demonstrated that she is coming back into form stopping the clock at 12.37 seconds finishing sixth in a strong senior field. Her training partner Tayla Brunger set a personal best in finishing second in Division 2 (12.69) with young club mate Sophie Williams fourth in 12.89.
The junior 1500 metres was won by Benjamin Wall from Palmerston North in 4:02.39. Whanganui athlete Liam Back injected real pace with 300 metres to go opening up a sizeable break but had to be contend with 4th place losing out to Nick Matthews (Nelson) on the line by .02 second. Jack Hammond (Hutt Valley) was second in the large field of 24 athletes. Back who is at the start of a build up for the World Schools Cross Country in Paris in April should be delighted with his time of 4:03.92.
Former Collegiate athlete Josh Ledger (Upper Hutt) returned to Cooks Gardens to set a personal best 400 metres 48.25 but lost out on handicap to Jacob Matson (Wellington) who was second across the line in 48.33. The other winner-take-all handicap event was the shot with Nicole Bennett ( Hawera) taking the prize with Lower Hutt athlete Nathaniel Sulupo putting furthest with an excellent 16.07 metre effort.
Hamish Kerr (Palmerston North) was a clear winner in the men's high jump Games trial, clearing 2.14m on his first attempt and following it with three good attempts at 2.18m.
Kelsey Berryman (Christchurch) was the victor in the women's long jump Games trial. The national champion getting out to 6.08m ahead of Ashleigh Bennett (Hawera) on 5.71m.
The women's javelin Games trial was won by Tori Peeters (Taieri) with 53.44m ahead of North Harbour's Stephanie Wrathall's 51.24m.
Ben Langton-Burnell (Palmerston North) took out the men's javelin Games trial, throwing 77.20m ahead of a surprised Brent Newdick (Auckland), getting his javelin out to 63.80, his second best ever distance. Newdick, bidding for a fourth Commonwealth Games decathlon spot earlier won the 110m hurdles in 15.09.
The Classic series and Commonwealth Games trials head to Hastings on Saturday for the Potts Classic.
The team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be announced on Friday 2 February.