Senior and U20 titles in field events for Wellington athletes in final day of Nationals
By Dave Crampton
Wellington athletes managed national titles on the last day of the Jennian Homes National Track and Field championships at Hamilton’s Porritt Stadium, with two sets of siblings medalling – the Robinson boys in the javelin and the Thomsons in the triple jump.
The day started early with the U18 men’s shot put, with Zion Trigger-Faitele throwing 16.36m for second, and getting his first medal at a national track and field champs prior to his first big meet in Australia next week. He’s not a morning person.
“My body started to wake up after the fourth throw,” he said. “My last throw was the best one,“ he said.
That was followed by the U20 high jump title to Imogen Skelton, jumping higher than her second place in the senior women’s competition the previous day, clearing a season best of 1.74m.
There was a fascinating open men’s high jump with William Crayford jumping 2.06m for second. Crayford and winner Hamish Kerr were the sole athletes to clear two metres, but 2.06m was Kerr’s starting jump. He cleared it first up, and that was the title in the bag: one jump was all that did it, as Crayford cleared it on his second attempt.
Kerr didn’t miss a jump until 2.21m – his pb was 2.17m - but cleared that for another pb and the second -best height at a national competition, behind the national record of 2.30m held by Glenn Howard.
He was unable to clear 2.25m, and is still third on the all-time list behind former Wellingtonian Roger Te Puni, who cleared 2.24m in 1990 (and 2.15m as a teenager) and was watching Kerr jump this year. Crayford is 5th equal, on 2.15m, cleared in 2011.
Cam Robinson followed on from his U20 title – and U18 title last year - with a third place in the senior men’s javelin, throwing a personal best of 65.12m on his first throw -further than the 63.42m he threw to win the U20 title. Second -placed Stuart Farquhar, twice Robinson’s age, and winner Ben Langton-Burnell are both multiple NZ representatives, with Langton-Burnell off to the Commonwealth Ganes, but this is Robinson’s second nationals and first senior competition. At 18, he was the youngest in the field.
So, three divisions back to back and three medals for Robinson at nationals. Younger brother Tim – also the youngest in the field - got a silver in the U18 javelin with 51.58m, and will be young enough to have a crack at the title next year.
Anna and Scott Thomson placed the same as in previous years in the triple jump – with Scott Thomson getting a season best of 14.83m for second, and Anna Thomson winning her event in 12.69m - short of her aim. However, she’s targeting a jumping meet in Palmerston North in a couple of weeks.
“This was meant to be the big one - but it’s all about the process,” she said.
Nathaniel Sulupo managed a personal best in the senior men’s shotput, throwing 15.67m for fourth. It was a better result than last year, when he fouled out, but he`ll return next year to do even better as he targets that 16m mark . Winner Tom Walsh threw 21.58m. While below the 22.31m he threw in Birmingham a week ago, it still would have won him the World Indoor title and it was further than any of his previous eight national champs victories.
“I`m pretty stoked – I was hoping to get 16m, but I`ll be back next year and I’ve got a new training technique,” Sulupo said of his effort. “Watch this space.”