Above: Eliza McCartney set a new national, resident, allcomers and Oceania records at the 2017 Auckland Track Challenge. Photo by Michael Dawson / Temposhot.
Eliza McCartney soared to new heights in front of an enthusiastic crowd pole vaulting over the bar at 4.82m, two centimetres above her historic bronze medal achievement at the Rio Olympic Games and the national title in Dunedin last March. McCartney also established a fresh Oceania, Commonwealth, New Zealand allcomers, resident and national records all in one go in the Harcourts Cooper & Co women’s pole vault at the Auckland Track Challenge on Sunday.
McCartney said that she felt really good going into the event.
“From the second I started warming up, my run up moved back heaps which meant my speed was really good. We moved back a lot today, more than it’s ever moved before so it was really fast today,” she said.
The 20 year old entered the competition at 4.40m, took two attempts to clear 4.55m, was over at 4.70m first up and achieved 4.82m on her second attempt. The bar was then raised to 4.90m but with the euphoria of the previous clearance, scaling the next challenge was that more difficult.
“I would have given 4.90m a much better crack if I hadn’t had all of that emotion and competition before hand, my legs were quite jelly and shaky by the end of it so it becomes much harder to control the run up and take off.”
The Oceania record was 4.81m set by Alana Boyd of Australia in July 2016. Hence the attempt at 4.82m.
“We had been thinking about the heights a couple of days ago and 4.90m would be the next big one to go for after 4.82m, so we didn’t muck around we went straight to it.
“I’d love to get some more attempts at 4.90m in the season but If I don’t get it now I’m not too worried as I’ll be off to Europe in our winter so that would be a good chance to give it a good crack over there,” she said.
The atmosphere was ideal for the competition and the crowd a big help.
“Having the crowd so close to the track is so cool and they were really getting into it and the MC’s were doing a great job helping the crowd out,” said McCartney.
Alysha Newman of Canada was second with 4.50m and Morgann Leleux of USA third 4.40m. Olivia McTaggart cleared 4.30m, Imogen Ayris 3.70m and Alana Doust of Australia 3.40m.
Nicholas Southgate won the earlier men’s pole vault with 5.20m, from James Steyn 4.80m and Vincent Hobbie of Germany also over at 4.80m.
Records were also the order of the day in the men’s shot put with Rio Olympic champion Ryan Crouser following up his victory in Christchurch with a 10cm improvement on his New Zealand allcomers record with 22.15m. His best three throws came in the remaining rounds of the competition with 22.08m, 22.15m and he finished off with another 22.15m for good measure.
Not to be outdone in the record department Tom Walsh bettered his New Zealand resident record of 21.46m in Christchurch with all four of his legal throws over this mark. His best was 21.80m in round four. Trying to eclipse Crouser, Walsh sent out two large bombs in the final rounds only to over balance on release. These were both in the vicinity of the 22 metre mark.
Jacko Gill who has a best of 21.01m recently in Lower Hutt was third with 20.92m. Damien Birkinhead of Australia was fourth with 20.54m, Ryan Whiting secured one legal throw of 19.93m and Ryan Ballantyne had the senior shot out to a PB 16.37m.
Crouser said he is in pretty good shape.
“I kind of surprised myself a little bit last week in Christchurch (22.05m) and we were just trying to match that here and I managed to be really consistent at over what I had thrown. So this is my most consistent meet outside of the Olympics and It’s still really early for me, so I’m really happy for where I’m at,” he said.
He said he loved coming to New Zealand and enjoyed the layout for the shot put.
“This was as good as any meet I’ve ever done, the crowd really got into it and to have everyone lining the sectors like that and have the crowd right on top it makes it a lot of fun.”
Crouser believes a throw of over 23 metres from either him or Tom is possible this year.
“I don’t know if anyone in the past has opened the way that the two of us has opened this year so when you have a kind of competition like that and just not one guy trying to move that mark out there it definitely makes it competitive so I think 23 is definitely possible this year and before 2020 I’m sure the record will fall.”
Walsh also said the current world record (23.12m Randy Barnes 1990) days are numbered.
“It’s going this year or the year after, it’s a matter of time until either he (Ryan) or me or maybe Joe (Kovacs) catch on to one,” said Walsh.
The Rio bronze medallist said that he is pleased with his form to date.
“To throw 21.80m already this year and I’ve got one more comp in the summer to go is pretty good.I love comps like this the crowd being so close, getting the clap going and getting us all pumped up and throwing far is just amazing to have maybe a thousand people around the shot area and watching us throw bombs, said Walsh.
His next competition is the nationals and then it’s over to the States for the Diamond League Prefontaine meeting in Eugene Oregon on 27 May.
He was later asked to comment on Ryan Crouser and Walsh responded – ‘have you seen the size of the man’.
“He’s six foot seven and 20kg’s heavier, but he throws his way which is a little bit more like a glider kind of thing and I throw more my way which is a bit more speed related.”
Joseph Millar had an impressive win, in relation to his PB of 20.77, in the 200m clocking 21.17 into a head wind of 2.5mps. Will Smart was second in 22.02 and Zac Topping third in 22.05.
The women’s 100m went to Zoe Hobbs in 11.94 (+1.6) and Georgia Hulls speed to a PB 400m of 55.25. Anita McLaren was second in 56.33 and Megan Kikuchi third 56.90.
Cameron French was fully extended in the 400m winning in 47.94 from Quin Hartley and Michael Gutry. Australia dominated the 800m and 5000m, taking the first four placings in both races.
Josh Ralph won the 800m in 1:47.75 and Brett Robinson came agonisingly close to the Australian qualifying time of 13:22.60 for the London world championships in August in winning the 5000m in 13:22.93.
“I just missed it which is annoying, but I ran well,” said Robinson.
Sam Petty ran 1:50.88, Sam Bremer a PB of 1:51.46 and Tom Moulai a PB of 1:52.93 in the 800m.
In the 5000m Eric Speakman sliced 33 seconds off his PB heading the New Zealanders in the field into fifth place in 13:55.38. Daniel Balchin was also under his previous best with 13:56.49 and Peter Wheeler ran a PB of 14:48.97. Hamish Carson was eighth in 14:26.96.
Katherine Camp scored her second win over Angie Petty this season in the Sileni Estates 800m. After Portia Bing had set the pace for the first 400m, Petty was in the lead getting the bell. Down the back straight Camp moved into a position ready to pounce on the bend and into the straight her strength prevailed to win in 2:02.90, just outside her personal best. Petty finished in 2:03.05 and Heidi See of Australia was third in 2:03.51. Katrina Anderson was fourth in 2:06.05, Australian based Ellen Schaef sixth in 2:06.23 and Esther Keown was seventh in a PB 2:06.63.
Matthew Manning ran a well-judged race to win the annual Sir John Walker junior mile in a PB 4:16.92 beating James Uhlenberg also a PB of 4:17.43 and last year’s winner in 4:13.59 Isaiah Priddey won ran 4:17.86. Personal bests were posted by the next to finish Nick Moulai 4:18.32, Theo Quax 4:18.43, Angus White 4:20.23 and Christian Conder 4:22.88.
In the People’s Mile Sasha Daniels was the fastest from the three races in 4:48.55.
200m: Joseph Millar (NZL) 21.17s 1, Will Smart (NZL) 22.02s 2, Zac Topping (NZL) 22.05s 3.
400m: Cameron French (NZL) 47.94s 1, Quin Hartley (NZL) 48.73s 2, Michael Gutry (NZL) 49.22s 3.
Sileni Estates 800m: Josh Ralph (AUS) 1m 47.75s 1, Luke Matthews (AUS) 1m 48.46s 2, Jordan Williamsz (AUS) 1m 48.56s 3.
John Walker junior mile: Matt Manning (Akld) 4m 16.92s 1, James Uhlenberg (Akld) 4m 17.43s 2, Isaiah Priddey (WaikBoP) 4m 17.86s 3.
5000m: Brett Robinson (AUS) 13m 22.93s 1, Dave McNeill (AUS) 13m 29.11s 2, Stewart McSweyn (AUS) 13m 34.46s 3, Sam McEntee (AUS) 13m 51.04s 4, Eric Speakman (NZL) 13m 55.38s 5.
Shot put: Ryan Crouser (USA) 22.15m (NZ allcomers record) 1, Tom Walsh (NZL) 21.80m (NZ resident record) 2, Jacko Gill (NZL) 20.92m 3, Damien Birkinhead (AUS) 20.54m 4, Ryan Whiting (USA) 19.93m 5, Ryan Ballantyne (NZL) 16.37m 6.
Pole vault: Nicholas Southgate (NZL) 5.20m 1, James Steyn (NZL) 4.80m 2, Vincent Hobbie (GER) 4.80m 3, Ben Kennedy (NZL) 4.40m 4.
100m: Zoe Hobbs (NZL) 11.94s 1, Portia Bing (NZL) 12.18s 2, Abby Goldie (NZL) 12.27s 3.
400m: Georgia Hulls (NZL) 55.25s 1, Anita McLaren (NZL) 56.33s 2, Megan Kikuchi (NZL) 56.90s 3.
Sileni Estates 800m: Katherine Marshall (NZL) 2m 2.90s 1, Angie Petty (NZL) 2m 3.05s 2, Heidi See (AUS) 2m 3.51s 3.
Harcourts Cooper & Co Pole vault: Eliza McCartney (NZL) 4.82m (Oceania and NZ allcomers, resident and national record) 1, Alysha Newman (CAN) 4.50m 2, Morgann Leleux (USA) 4.40m 3, Olivia McTaggart (NZL) 4.30m 4, Imogen Ayris (NZL) 3.70m 5, Alana Doust (AUS) 3.40m 6.