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Wairarapa athletes claim medals

By Jake Beleski

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Some of Wairarapa’s top athletes enjoyed successful outings at two different events last weekend.

Nine athletes competed at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships in Hamilton, picking up two silver medals and a bronze.

The silvers went to Max Spencer who finished second in the M18 800m in a time of 1min 56secs, and Gerard Hickey who claimed second in the M18 high jump with 1.87m.

The bronze was won by the Wellington 4x100m relay team that included Wairarapa athletes Mitch Cockburn, Nathan Whiteman and Mikael Starzynski.

John Quinn of Athletics Wairarapa said the results were “absolutely fantastic”.

“Certainly the national results, in which I think the worst placing we had was a ninth, were pretty good nationally.

“It would have been nice to get into the medals with the throwers but that’s probably just the stage we’re at.”

Athletics in Wairarapa was going from strength to strength, and Quinn suggested they may need to start looking for more coaches.

“Last year was a boomer membership-wise, and it’s really grown again . . . the results are really speaking a lot.

“It’s our second year of running the athlete academy at the track and numbers there are probably 25-30 per cent up on last year.”

There were still plenty of competitions for the athletes to target before the season comes to an end, he said.

“Some of them will be heading to the Wellington Regional Track and Field Championships [tomorrow], then we have the North Island Secondary Schools Championships at the beginning of April.”

Last Sunday was also day one of the Wellington Junior Track and Field Championships.

The event for competitors aged 7-15 was held at Newtown Park, and Wairarapa athletes again left their mark.

There were gold medals for Sienna Cockburn (12G 200m), Bryn Curnow (12B 100m, 400m), Joe Quinn (13B shot put), Jayden Webb-Milner (13B 100m), Andriette Erasmus (14G discus), Alwyn Curnow (14B 400m), Shea Fowler (14B 1500m), as well as the 12B 4x100m and 14B 4x100m relay teams.

Silver medals were claimed by Jack Hunter (11B 1500m), Oliver Jones (12B shot put), Jayden Webb-Milner (13B long jump), Tama Bartlett (14B shot put) and Alwyn Curnow (14B long jump).

Bronze medals were achieved by April Milne (11G high jump), Jack Hunter (11B 400m), Sienna Cockburn (12G 80m hurdles), Ben Schwass (12B 100m) and Tama Bartlett (14B long jump).

Day two of the championships will be held at Newtown Park this coming Sunday.

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