By Gary Caffell
It was nothing new for Wairarapa College student Mikael Starzynski when he won the junior boys 400m title at the New Zealand secondary schools track and field championships at Waitakere over the weekend.
Starzynski went into the event as defending champion and after impressive wins in the heats and semi-finals started a warm favourite for a repeat success in the final, which he duly managed in 51.01secs, well inside the 51.91secs he had recorded in his 2015 triumph.
Second to Starzynski on this occasion was Ryan Sutherland (Burnside) in 51.67secs with Brian Lealiifano (Sacred Heart) third in 51.71secs.
Starzynski and Sutherland were also the main two protagonists for the junior 800m title and here Sutherland reversed the tables, winning the final in 1min 57.89secs with Starzynski second in 1min 58.90secs. Westlake’s
Jade Darby was third in 2min 01.65secs.
Also starring on the track for Wairarapa were middle distance runner Max Spencer (Rathkeale) and disabled athlete Josh Taylor (Wairarapa College).
Spencer made it through to the final of a very competitive senior boys 800m and placed third in 1min 56.08secs.
Tom Moulai (St Bedes) won in 1min 54.43secs with Joshua Nairne (St Patricks) runnerup in 1 min 55.38secs.
Competing in the Ambulatory Junior A section, Taylor had first placings over 200m (29.58secs) and 400m (69.96secs), was second in the shot put (6.23m) and third in the discus (11.35m).
Rathkeale College’s Joseph Quinn was fifth in the junior boys hammer throw with a best effort of 41.05m and Nathan Whiteman, also of Rathkeale, was sixth in the senior boys hammer throw with a best effort of 51m.