There was much for Whanganui athletes to celebrate at the recent North Island Championships over and above the 16 podium places reported on last week (four titles, four seconds and eight third places)
In giving details of Whanganui podium places from the Whanganui Team at the North Island Schools. I must apologise to young Cody Campbell who I missed last week following his excellent third in the Junior Javelin with a personal best 33.21 metre throw.
The young Whanganui High School thrower also gave a solid effort in Shot and Discus in support of his promising Javelin.
Campbell's javelin was one of almost 30 personal bests set by athletes and although some, such as Charlotte Baker, Louise Brabyn, Daniel Sinclair and Teresa Rennie set more than one personal best, almost half the team returned from the Waikato with the lift such a performance brings.
Also encouraging was the performance of younger athletes who are setting the foundation for future success with Campbell and Samuel Hermann third in the 300 metres at their first major event as Year 9 athletes.
Although Louise Brabyn did not get a podium place, she set two personal bests - in the 3000 metres where she battled to keep with the leading group holding on for sixth place with a three second best.
Twenty hours later Brabyn took nine seconds off her 1500 metre best to record 4:47.82 to finish fourth. This performance elevates 15-year-old Brabyn to fourth in the Collegiate all-time girls 1500m list.
Brabyn still has another year in the intermediates as has Teresa Rennie, who set a personal best to qualify for the Intermediate Girls 80 metre hurdles to finish seventh, a placing repeated by her twin sister Carrie in the Long Jump.
On a weekend that was successful for hurdlers including filling the first four places in the 300 metre hurdles as reported on last week. Coby Pye was fifth in the Intermediate Boys 100 metre Hurdles (personal best) and his High School teammate Cade Knight was sixth in the under 16 300 metre hurdles, also with a personal best performance.
Paris Munro was fifth in the Senior Girls 100 metres Hurdles, won by Maggie Jones, and Kate MacPherson on debut was sixth in the 70 metre Junior Girls (personal best).
Daniel Sinclair, who as reported on last week for his third in the Intermediate Boys 3000 metres, took a full three seconds off his 1500 metres but had to settle for sixth (4:07.39) in a race that saw all first three runners go under the old record. Sinclair should be encouraged by his performance on weekend that his oldest brother William won in the US over the same distance with a big personal best and on which William's former training partner Liam Back ran 4 :03 for a mile Stateside. Daniel in Hamilton ran faster than they had at the same age.
Cullinane's sole representative in the Whanganui team, Dorian Todd, was a very credible sixth in the Intermediate Boys High Jump with a 1.70 metre jump. He only narrowly missed 1.75 metres - a jump that would have put him in contention for a top three finish. He impressed and clearly has the potential to do well next season.
Charlotte Baker gained her first individual place as reported last week in the 300 metre Hurdles, was sixth in the Senior Girls 400 metres (personal best) and was in the all Whanganui High School 4x100 team that finished third in the Senior Girls and joined with teammates Casie Glentworth and Maggie Jones along with Paige Cromarty (Girls College) to finish third in the Senior Girls 4x400.
The Whanganui Intermediate Girls 4x100 metre team was only just shy of the podium with Teresa Rennie, Edie Franks, Georgiana Absolom and Bella Willis gaining valuable relay experience with their fourth place.
The Junior Boys 4x100 team (Israel Calkin, Samuel Hermann, Filipe Bayley and Dominic Bingle - all Whanganui Collegiate - improving by nearly two seconds since Whanganui Schools to finish fourth, just short of third place.
Bella Willis, although clearly unwell, set a personal best in the Intermediate Girls 400 metres to finish fourth in 57.98 in what was a very strong field. Willis once again demonstrated that she is an athlete with an exciting future. Although in Year 11 she is young enough still to be in the Junior Grade for New Zealand Schools as she does not turn 16 until next year.
Other athletes to finish in the top six were Jacky Dai (fourth senior Boys Long Jump) Emma Bedford (sixth Senior Girls High Jump), Jonty Tripe (sixth Senior Boys Triple Jump) to round off a successful weekend.