There were three Commonwealth Games B qualifying standards and two personal bests by New Zealand middle distance athletes at the Occidental USATF High Performance meeting on a sultry evening in Los Angeles last night.
Double Delhi Commonwealth Games silver medallist Nikki Hamblin was first up and had her best performance since 2011, grabbing second place in a tight finish in the 1500 A race, recording 4:07.07. The Cambridge athlete was comfortably under the Glasgow Games B standard of 4:09. London Olympian Lucy Van Dalen finished fourth in the B race in 4:12.48.
The men's 1500 B race saw long-time rivals Hamish Carson and Julian Matthews battle it out yet again seeking one of the 1500 spots in Glasgow alongside Nick Willis.
Carson started strongly, but couldn't maintain the pace over the final 600m, with Matthews coming through over the last 200m to take third place in a personal best 3:38.20, his second Commonwealth Games B standard performance, putting him in the box seat for selection. Carson's time was 3:39.63, still a little shy of the 3:38.60 standard.
In the final race of the night, Willis, racing over the unfamiliar distance of 5000, took a big chunk off his personal best recording 13:20.33, seven seconds faster than his previous fastest, set in 2005. He finished behind the top Australian Collis Birminghan and the best US runner over the distance in recent years, Galen Rupp.
Willis'time was also comfortably under the 13:25 B standard for Glasgow, opening up potential doubling options for the Michigan based athlete. The other New Zealander in the race Malcolm Hicks finished in 14:15.08.
The next Kiwi in action in major meets will be African based Zane Robertson, contesting the Shanghi Diamond League 5000 early on Monday morning.