Secondary Schools Athletic Championships
Edward Osei-Nketia and Connor Bell Headline Secondary Schools Athletic Championships
New Zealand’s latest sprinting sensation Edward Osei-Nketia will be one to watch at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletic Championships in Wellington this weekend.
The 18-year-old from Scots College Wellington, given favourable conditions at Newtown Park, should rewrite the senior boys sprint records. With times of 10.19 for 100m and 20.76 for 200m to his credit he should erase the records of 10.60 set by Ben Potter in 1997 and Kodi Harman’s 2011 200m record of 21.39. Mogammad Smith (Kings College), second in the 100m last year, and Jacob Stockwell (New Plymouth Boys High School), third, have returned.
Competition in the 200m will come from Tyron Hilton (Hamilton Boys High School), Ethan Wallace (Matamata College) and third last year Isaac Oliver (St Patrick’s College – Kilbirnie).
In the field 2018 Youth Olympic Games Gold Medallist Connor Bell (Westlake Boys High School) will be one to watch in the 1.5kg discus throw. Last year the 18-year-old won with 65.36m and at the Schools championships in 2017 in Hastings he set the NZSS senior record of 65.63m, which also gave him a New Zealand under 17 and under 18 records.
Also on the track, 16 year old Daniel du Toit (Te Aho O Te Kura Pounamu) should win the 3000m race walk. Daniel is the current New Zealand under 18 3000m race walk record holder and also won the under 18 Oceania Area 5000m race walk title in June this year.
Kayla Goodwin (Sacred Heart Girls College - Hamilton) should highlight the senior girls field events. At last season’s New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Christchurch, Goodwin won both the senior and under 20 long and triple jump titles as well as the under 20 100m hurdles. In the process she set a national under 18 and under 19 triple jump record of 12.74m. Goodwin will be defending the long and triple jump titles and she has also entered in the javelin throw.
Josie Taylor (Cambridge High School) who set a national under 17 high jump record of 1.83m last month along with Maddie Wilson (Gisborne Girls High School) will provide interest in the high jump where the senior girls record is 1.84m, set by Carmell Corbett in 1990.
Other Athletes to Watch
Travis Bayler (Whanganui High School) and Sam Potter (Albany Senior High School) who went first and second last year in the 400m are back again to battle out the lap of the track.
Joseph Sinclair (Whanganui Collegiate) will be aiming to go one better than last year in the 800m, however, Liam Back (Whanganui Collegiate) has his sights set on the middle distance double having entered in the 800m and 1500m. Benjamin Wall (Palmerston North Boys High School) will be hard to peg back in the 1500m, but Back, Fletcher Pickworth (Motueka High School), runner up and Ben Bidois (Cambridge High School) third last year have the speed in any sprint to the finish.
Josh Inger (Rangitoto College) will be defending the high jump title against the in-form Jayden Williamson (Rosmini College) who cleared 2.06m last month.
While Bell will dominate the discus throw, Nikolas Kini (Shirley Boys High School) should take out the shot put and hammer throw titles.
The leading competitor in the long jump Genna Maples (Whanganui Collegiate) also heads the 100m with 12.19 and the 200m with 24.63. However, the fastest action in the 100m will be in the junior girls with Sophie Williams (Whanganui Collegiate) at 11.86 and Nadia Evans (Long Bay College) at 12.06. Maia Anderson-Broughton (St Andrew’s College) will be defending the senior 200m title as well as competing in the 400m.
Aimee Ferguson (Rototuna High School), third in the 1500m and second in the 3000m last year, is back for the 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase. National under 18 cross country champion Martina Conner (Cashmere High School) will compete in the 1500m, 3000m and 4km road race.
Hinewai Knowles (Cambridge High School) will be defending the 100m hurdles title. National under 18 champion Paige Bell (Rosehill College) and Samadiana Fariz (Macleans College), the junior champion last year, will contest the 300m hurdles.
Kaia Tupu-South (Westlake Girls High School) should win the shot put and discus double. Tapenisa Havea (St Andrew’s College) has entered in both and Jaidyn Busch (Christchurch Girls High School) will be defending the shot put title.
Ben Baines (Taieri College) who set records in the three junior throwing events last year will compete in the Para Athlete senior shot put, discus and javelin throws. Sionann Murphy (Carmel College) who set four junior Para records last year returns. Alyssa Baxter (Onehunga High School) will compete in the Para junior 100m, 200m and long jump.