Last week Insight focused on our middle distance runners highlighting our successful males.
There was, however, a real gender reversal in sprints with impressive performances from Whanganui's talented young female sprinters.
I reflected how well Whanganui middle distance runners for many decades had performed on the national stage. Listing such athletes is always dangerous as leading runners get missed.
Among those I missed were Brad Mathas (winner of nine consecutive 800m titles), Robert Conder, who had an illustrious career as an athlete and now plays a key role with the Wanganui Harrier Club as both a coach and administrator.
Conder's sister Catherine was in the same Whanganui Schools team to Adelaide in 1989 and followed in the footsteps of other Whanganui athletes with USA Scholarships.
Conder's son Christian, who captained the New Zealand Schools team to Hungary, is presently on a scholarship in Florida following his national success in both cross country and on the track.
I will try to avoid such errors with the sprinters and have stuck to sprinters who competed at World Youth, World Juniors or World University championships.
As with the middle-distance having a vibrant and active club based at Cooks Gardens has also helped our sprinters.
Michael Mcleay, Kelly Miller, Sarah Johnson, Daniel Natusch, Andy Aldworth, Anna Spriggens and Phillipa Symes all competed at those major championships.
Whanganui's outstanding group of young female sprinters won four medals at New Zealand Schools (two golds and two silvers). Three months later at the Athletics New Zealand Championships in Christchurch there were a further three individual medals (two golds and a silver).
Sophie Williams returning from a long injury layoff took silver running for Auckland. In addition, there were three fourth places in Christchurch and one at New Zealand Schools.
With such success individually it is hardly surprising there were four relay medals won at New Zealand Schools and three at the New Zealand Championships.
At the schools meet the Whanganui Collegiate senior girls won a gold and silver medal in the respective 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 events. Whanganui High School took silver in both the junior girls 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 events.
At the National Championships, the combination of Tayla Brunger, Emma Osborne, Aria Carroll and Genna Maples won the under-20 4 x 100 with a collegiate record.
The MWA also gained a silver in the under-18 4 x 400 (Ana Brabyn, Maggie Jones, Mackenzie Morgan and Genna Maples) with the under-20 team winning bronze in the 4 x 400 with three Whanganui runners (Tayla Brunger, Emma Osborne and Sophie Redmayne). Whanganui relay combinations continue to flourish.
I have no hesitation in naming Tayla Brunger as Whanganui's top sprinter. At the New Zealand Championships, she took gold in both the 100m and 200m and a silver in the 400m in the under-20 grade.
Brunger tops the New Zealand under-20 100m rankings and is second in the 200m. Brunger ran a sensational 24.17 seconds at the NZ 200m championships with a wind just over the allowable limit.
Had this wind been 0.2 metres/second less she would have topped the 200m rankings by nearly a second and would have set a world junior qualifying performance. Brunger also went to the top of the 400m rankings running 54.63 in Palmerston North.
The World Juniors have been postponed and if moved to next year Brunger will be a strong candidate for individual and relay events.
Sophie Williams, who moved to Auckland, won the New Zealand Schools junior sprint double in December. The 100m was especially impressive breaking the oldest record in the books running 11.86 eclipsing the record set in 1973.
Genna Maples took silver in both the senior girls 100m and 200m at New Zealand Schools and finished with two fourths at the New Zealand Championships only losing a medal in the 100m by a couple of thousands of a second.
Maples retained her long jump titles at both championships and once again showed her best sprinting in relays.
Our male sprinters were not as strong with Jonathan Maples topping the 100m and 200m. Club captain Travis Bayler, who has been concentrating on the 800m, topped our 400m rankings and was second in the shorter sprints.
Maples, who has been on basic training with the Air Force in Blenheim, has been unable to compete this calendar year having been on the cusp of a national breakthrough.