James Preston and Maia Ramsden take top honours at Athletics Wellington Awards

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Athletics Wellington Awards Evening for 2023 

The annual Athletics Wellington Awards evening for the Year of 2023  was held at the Movenpick Hotel on Wednesday with James Preston and Maia Ramsden claiming top honours as overall Men and Women Athletes of the Year respectively. 

Maia Ramsden built on her promising performances of 2022 where she had 5th placed in the NCAA Indoors Mile and 8th in the 3000m.

Her stellar 2023 year began with a personal best [PB] over 1000m in January running a 2.43.02 and she finished the year with a PB over 3000m of 8.46.42 in December in the Indoors placing her 4th on New Zealand women’s All time list. During the year she ran a personal best Mile of 4.30.19 indoors in February, followed by a personal best 5000 metres in May with 15.40.05 which carved a huge chunk off her personal best and moved her to 12th NZ all-time. 

Her standout year highlights were when she ran a series of personal best 1500m races culminating in  an extraordinary performance to win the NCAA 1500m title in a time of 4.08.6 after running a 4.09.81 in the heats,  lowering her previous best from 2022 by over 4 secs. She joins Kim Smith, Nick Willis and Geordie Beamish as an achiever of claiming NCAA track title in recent years. 

James Preston  similarly built on his outstanding 2022 800m performance of 1.45.30 when going 3rd all-time in New Zealand behind Peter Smell and John Walker at the time to really cement his place as New Zealand’s premier two lapper in 2023. 

James started his 2023 year unbeaten on both sides of the Tasman over 800 metres  winning the Potts Classic in Hastings, the ITM in Christchurch, the Maurie Plant in Melbourne then his  3rd National senior title to go along with his 4 silvers. He finished the domestic season with n excellent  win in the Brisbane Track Classic.

He later went to to Europe  in preparation for his debut at his first Senior World Championship in Budapest. In Europe he clocked sub 1.47.0 a further 5 times  before placing 6th  in his 800m heat at the World Champs running 1.46.84 

James’ other highlight of 2023 was clocking a milestone first sub four minute mile at the iconic Cooks Gardens running 3.59.44 in January. 

James and Maia have both set themselves up to be a strong prospects to make an Olympic Games team later this year. 

Athletics Wellington recognised the large range of Athletics disciplines  and key supporters of the sport at the event on Wednesday evening. 

A full list of Awardees is available HERE