Above: Jono Jackson in action, winning the NZ cross country championships in Auckland.
Jono Jackson and Laura Nagel will both be aiming for the winter national championships double at the New Zealand Road Championships this weekend in Masterton.
Jono Jackson is breaking new ground in 2016. He was not up to Olympic Games standard, but he is certainly having a dream run back home this winter.
The 25 year old has swept all aside in the North Island and won the coveted national cross country crown in early August. On Saturday in Masterton Jackson will be all out to add the New Zealand road running title over 10km to his 2016 successes.
He will be again up against Daniel Balchin who ran him right to the wire at the cross country championships, with Jackson winning by just seven seconds.
Both runners have featured in previous road championships, Jackson winning the 2009 junior title and a second in the 2011 senior championship. He has finished fifth in 2013 and last year. Balchin was third in 2013 and second in 2014.
Staking a claim for a podium placing will be Tim Hodge, second in 2012, Hirotaka Tanimoto the Wellington champion in 31:58, Rowan Hooper, Alex Parlane, third in 2010 and 2011, Michael Banks, Caden Shields and David Lovelock, sixth last year. Jackson will join Malcolm Hicks and Callan Moody in recent years if he completes the double in the same year.
Laura Nagel and Lydia O’Donnell should battle it out for the senior women’s title. Nagel was impressive at the North Island cross country championships and again in winning the New Zealand title on the Auckland Domain. She has since won the Hawke’s Bay Gisborne road title by five minutes in 35:04.
O’Donnell won the national 10,000m track title in January in 34:32.80 and was third in the national half marathon championship in June. Sally Gibbs has entered the masters women 5km as well as the senior 10km. Also entered are Esther Keown Auckland champion in 36:29, Sarah Drought the 2012 champion, Olivia Ritchie and Ariana Harper.
Gibbs should win the master women outright from Victoria Humphries, Renae Creser, Andrea Harris, Paula Conder and Shannon-Leigh Litt.
Last year Steve Rees-Jones blitzed the master men’s field and should lead the way again in the 10km race. Expected to be in the hunt for a placing in their age group will be Mathew Rogers, Andrew Wharton, Tony Broadhead, Chris Mardon, Jason Cameron, Grant McLean, Todd Stevens, Paul Hewitson, James Turner and Peter Stevens.
Hannah O’Connor and Tessa Webb are the leading two in the youth women’s 5km while Kelsey Forman 2015 youth cross country champion is the sole entrant in the junior women’s championship.
Isaiah Priddey should add the youth 6km road title to the cross country won last month. Last year in Tauranga Priddey was third in the youth men. Back for another tilt at the title is last year’s runner up James Uhlenberg. Also in the hunt for a medal will be Bradley Christison, Seamus Kane, William Sinclair and Christopher Dryden. Michael Voss will be defending his junior title over 8km. Last year’s youth champion Angus White, Sean Eustace, Christian Conder, and Stefan Przychodzko are also in the field.
Finlay Seeds and Charli Miller should follow up their cross country victories with wins on the road in the under 15 3km. Ollie Marshall and Briana Irving will be challenging all the way. A total of 17 have entered in the combined boys and girls under 13 2km.
Jonathon Lord and Laura Langley should win their division of the 10km race walk.
The championships start at 9.00am with the race walks and the senior 10km is the last event at 2.00pm.
Athletics New Zealand Correspondent