Where I come from on the west of Scotland Tuesday would have been described as "dreich" (dreary and grey with drizzle and wind), all of which was hardly conducive to good performance on Tuesday' Athletics Club Night at Cooks Gardens.
As the rain eased to drizzly showers and the wind eased the temperature dropped. At least for once the 100 metre runners had a tailwind. Aria Carroll took advantage of this to add the 100m title to the 200m won last week. The Christchurch Whanganui Collegiate Year 13 student who ran in a crop top (they are tough in the Mainland) should be pleased with her 12.83 on her first outing over 100m.
Year 9 athlete Edie Franks impressed with a personal best 13.66 for second. Heat 2 was won by New Zealand hurdle medal winner Maggie Jones in 13.12. It was probably unfortunate that Jones and Carroll were not in the same heat. Jones ran in a high school heat designed to help select relay teams for forthcoming events.
There was little separating Renee Teers, Cassie Glentworth, and Paris Munro with only 0.3 separating the trio which bodes well for Whanganui High School teams. Carroll added the 400m later in the evening stopping the clock at 1:04.66 ahead of Paige Cromarty.
Jakob Morehouse, who won the 200m last week, took the 100m this week in 11.77 from Coby Rye with recently named New Zealand Schools Rugby representative Harry Godfrey third with all three under 12 seconds in chilly conditions.
Morehouse later in the evening ran second to club captain Travis Bayler over 300m. Bayler should be pleased with his early season 37.68 (Morehouse 38.94) while Maggie Jones was the leading female in 46.43.
The smallest field of the day produced one of the closest races with Ben Conder and Daniel Taylor providing an epic battle. Conder, who opted for the shorter distance rather than run in the 1500m, in preparation for Saturday's Regional League in Hastings at the weekend took an early lead with Taylor chasing. They were locked together up the home straight with Taylor only breaking the shackles over the closing metres to win in a personal best 54.43 (Conder 55.07).
The 1500m produced some excellent races and performances in the inclement weather.
Morgan Mackenzie battling calf tightness added the 1500m title to the 800m won a week earlier. Mackenzie should be reasonably pleased with her solo win in 5:00.15.
Louise Brabyn with a great finishing sprint that swept past the more experienced Josephine Perkins, was second in a personal best 5:08.96 to Perkins' 5:09.94 which is another step on the recovery road for Perkins following a football injury. Theodora Gempton finishing in 5:10.10 took almost 20 seconds off her previous best.
Lucas Martin walked the distance in the female race and reached his target with a handy 6:30.29.
George Lambert went out too hard over the first lap in his 1500m and paid the penalty over the next laps. He was a clear winner stopping the clock in 4:16.74, just two seconds shy of his personal best. He ran the first lap on just on 60 seconds almost certainly costing a best for the promising middle distance runner.
Young Daniel Sinclair (15), who won the Teams Cross Country Challenge in September, was less than a second shy of his personal best, running a pleasing 4:23.82 which he is certain to improve on in Hastings at the first regional meet at the weekend.
In the field Keela Casmore (4.45m) and Jacky Dai were the respective girl and boy long jump winners while in the shot Konradd Newlands was the leading male with a 12.08 effort closely followed by George Nillsson 12.03, with the experienced Sophie Andrews the female winner with a 10.91 metre put.
The opening Regional League in Hastings is the league's most distant venue for travelling clubs from the lower North Island and as the first and still in October fields tend to be small. But it is nevertheless an important first major meet only six weeks before New Zealand Schools which adds importance for younger athletes.
The second in the series is in Whanganui which as one of our most central venues should see large fields gather on November 14 at the iconic Cooks Gardens.