Above: Fiona Morrison (240) and Rochelle Coster (27) racing in the 100m hurdles final at the NZ Championships in 2017. Photo by Alan McDonald / Macspeedfoto.
Fiona Morrison and Rochelle Coster battling out the 100m hurdles will again be a feature of the women’s track events at the Jennian Homes NZ Track & Field Championships in Hamilton this weekend.
Morrison has five hurdles titles to her credit including the 2017 title at Porritt Stadium while Coster has yet to claim the hurdles title.
At the 2016 championship in Dunedin they went neck and neck Morrison, winning in a national resident record of 13.21. A month later in Australia Coster equalled the New Zealand national record of 13.10.
Angie Petty has entered the 400m, 800m and 1500m. It will be Petty’s seventh straight 800m title and her fourth 1500m if she wins. Esther Keown and Lucy Jacobs are in both the 800m and 1500m and have improved throughout the season.
On form Portia Bing should win the 400m from Brooke Cull and she will give a good account of herself against Mackenzie Keenan, winner in 2015, and defending champion Anna Percy in the 400m hurdles. At the Victorian championships in Australia at the weekend, Bing set a personal best of 57.51 in the hurdles.
Zoe Hobbs will be defending her sprint titles but will be up against the in-form Australian based Olivia Eaton in both the 100m and 200m. Hobbs has a quicker 100m of 11.66 this season and Eaton recorded a personal best 200m of 23.39 at the Australian championships. Abby Goldie is in the 100m and 200m and expected to podium while Symone Tafuna’i also in both has a chance of medalling in the 100m.
Olivia Burne second in the 5000m last year should go one better and add the 5000m to the 10km road and 3000m titles. It will be a close race with half marathon champion Annika Pfitzinger, three times 3000m champion Rosa Flanagan, three times 10,000m champion Lydia O’Donnell and Jean Kozyniak, third last year all vying for the title.
Flanagan will also be defending her 3000m steeplechase title. Kelsey Forman the under 20 800m and 1500m champion last year and 2015 world youth championships representative in the 2000m steeplechase should impress in her first time over the longer distance.
Rozie Robinson, four times 3000m track walk champion, should add another title while Commonwealth Games bound Alana Barber is a cut above the rest of the field in the 20km road walk. Last month in Adelaide Barber set a New Zealand record of 1:32:19.
Lucy Sheat and Georgia Hulls will do battle again in the under 20 sprints. Sheat will be defending her titles and on current form should complete the double again. Hulls, a close second last year, returns and together with Anna Hayward and Briana Stephenson will provide plenty of competition.
Kayla Goodwin who won the New Zealand under 18 heptathlon championship with a New Zealand under 17 record has entered five events in the under 18 grade. She is down for the 100m and 300m hurdles on the track.
Maia Broughton will be defending the under 18 sprint double.
Charli Miller will face strong competition from Hannah O’Connor in her defence of the 2000m steeplechase title. Miller is also entered in the 800m and 1500m.
O’Connor should retain her 3000m the opening track event at the start of the championships on Friday.