Bold Run Produces New National Record
Canterbury athlete Hannah Newbould reaped the rewards of a positive race plan to smash her own personal best and claim a new New Zealand W19 record at the Victoria International Classic meeting In Victoria, British Columbia.
Running at the venue used for the 1994 Commonwealth Games, Newbould took five seconds off her previous best in the 1500m to claim the record at 4m 14.53s. Rebecca Forlong set the previous record of 4m 16.20s in Dublin in 2005.
Newbould showed very sound tactics, positioning herself directly behind the pace making race leader, and finished strongly. This performance puts her firmly in place to challenge for a medal at the upcoming World Junior Championships. It may also cause coach, Maria Hassan to review her charges immediate goals.
Rebekah Greene (Dunedin) mixed it with her older and more experienced opponents for three laps, but finally found the pace too hot. Her seventh placing and solid time of 4m 23.88s an ideal start to her campaign. Laura Nagel (Napier) was also just outside her personal best recording 4m 27.91s in tenth.
Another Hassan trained athlete, Angie Smit, ran agonizingly close to breaking Lorraine Moller’s long standing national W19 800m set at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games. Her fourth paced finish in 2m 3.87s was within 0.2s. of breaking the current record. This race augers well for Smit at the World Junior Championships and her ongoing future. Her task still remains a tough one, especially given the interest shown by controversial South African athlete Castor Semenya in making her return to racing at the Moncton World Championship meeting.
Other top performances in this second preparation meet for the NZ team included Tom Walsh (Timaru), this time throwing the heavier 7.26kg shot, 16.96m. It was his second best throw ever with the senior grade shot and was more laudable given that he had competed with the lighter 6kg implement on the previous night.
Alex Jordan (Nelson) was pipped for the first time by a fellow Kiwi over 400m when Scott Burch (Palmerston North) ran a solid 48.45s to Jordan’s 48.49s. Both athletes suffered from a first 200m that was too fast. Despite this, they were both pleased at their first tour outing over one lap. The B race over 400m was won by Frazer Wickes (Auckland) in 48.63s with Glen Ballam (Invercargill) fourth in 49.54s
Anna Roche (Wellington) impressed with a strong finish in her 800m race to record 2m 08.55s.one of her fastest times. Her end pace proved too much for her rivals in the B race. Given the young Wellington athlete is coached by former Olympic 1500m finalist, Tony Rogers, it is easy to see where her competitive steel is being drawn from.
Steeplechaser Caroline Mellsop (Wanganui) achieved a personal best in her 1500m race with 4.33.44 while Joseph Millar (Tauranga) equaled his 100m personal best of 10.74s to qualify for the International 100m final where he placed a creditable sixth in 10.85s. Miller went on to place second in the 200m in 21.63 from Tama Toki (Auckland) in 21.96s.
Kristie Baillie (Morrinsville) finished third in her 400m event, recording 56.47s.
The next stop for the New Zealand Team on this World Junior Championships tour will be on 9 July at the Kajaks Invitational. This meet completes the Pacific Series of events in British Columbia.
Thames athlete Aaron Pulford will be looking to create a new personal best over 5000m as he looks to prepare for the grueling 10,000m at the World Junior Meet which starts in twelve days.