Rhythm and Jumps Competition
MEDIA RELEASE – RHYTHM & JUMPS LAUNCHES ATHLETES DOMESTIC SEASON HIGHER, FURTHER
25 November 2021
For immediate release
New Zealand’s best jumpers spring into action in Christchurch at the annual Rhythm & Jumps competition on Friday night with our country’s rising stars invited to compete in the elite High Jump and Long Jump competition held at Christchurch Boys High School “Tucker Track” on Straven Road.
Limited to 100 spectators, via a donation at the controlled gate. It is a rare opportunity for the public to be up close to the athletics action and appreciate the impressive heights and distances, as NZ’s best athletes open their season with several athletes targeting Commonwealth Games selection standards in 2022. The High Jump starts at 5.15pm with Long Jump from 6.45pm.
Athletes jump to their choice of music, putting extra rhythm in their jumps at the highly anticipated season opener in a relaxed, fun but ultra-competitive environment delivered by National Jumps coach Terry Lomax. Lomax, a former NZ Record Holder, oversees current NZ Record Holder and Tokyo Olympian Hamish Kerr among many others in his promising squad.
Kerr, the Rhythm & Jumps, Men’s High Jump Meet Record holder is currently on a competition break before a busy schedule of Commonwealth Games and World Champs. Hamish will be on hand supporting his training mates after delivering a coaching and development clinic for aspiring 10 – 12-year-old Cantabrians who successfully gained selection to this clinic.
Attention will be on the women’s High Jump where a very talented field will square off. Josephine Reeves headlines the field having had a strangle hold on the national title as the champion in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Expertly developed by renowned jumps coach Mike Ritchie in Wellington, Reeves holds the NZ U19 NZ Record and has a current PB of 1.86m. Having recently moved to Christchurch to join the impressive jumps squad Reeves will compete in Christchurch for the first time as a resident.
Reeves won’t have it all her own way though. Canterbury High Jump record holder Keeley O’Hagan, PB 1.85m, will be determined to take out the fifth Rhythm & Jumps title. O’Hagan owns the Meet Record, has two NZ senior High Jump titles to her name and has been competing internationally since representing NZ at the World Junior Championships in Canada in 2010.
In form 21-year-old Imogen Skelton, Wellington, has put the field on notice firing an early warning shot last weekend jumping a PB 1.81m in Palmerston North. That performance propels Skelton to the top of the group based on Season’s Best performances. Skelton is the reigning Rhythm & Jumps Champion edging out Reeves in 2020 and will be looking to repeat that result. Skelton won the Bronze Medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau in the Bahamas in 2017.
The Men’s High Jump will be exciting with five athletes boasting PB’s between 1.93m and 2.11m. Local CBHS athlete Eli Leifi, PB 1.96m, has finished with a pair of third placings at the 2020 and 2019 Rhythm & Jumps so will be one to watch. Also competing for the podium, Cantabrian and 2020 NZ silver medallist Marcus Wolton, and Quinn Hartley of Southland, NZ’s youngest ever jumper to clear the 2m barrier. Hartley will start as favourite with his PB of 2.08m and recent form. Wolton though will be looking to add to his 2019 Rhythm & Jumps title in the absence of Kerr.
The Women’s Long Jump features Cantabrians, Kelsey Berryman, PB 6.29m, the two-time Rhythm & Jumps Champion (2017, 2018) and Meet Record Holder, along with the NZ Masters record holder Helena Dinnissen, PB 5.85m. Dinnissen claimed the 2019 Rhythm & Jumps title, while Christina Ryan, PB 5.62m is the defending 2020 Rhythm & Jumps Champion. Tegan Duffy, PB 5.89m and Ashleigh Bennett, PB 5.90m will also be in strong contention.
The Men’s Long Jump is expected to be decided between Shay Veitch, Otago, PB 7.78m the Meet Record Holder and Felix McDonald, Otago, PB 7.64m. McDonald has finished runner up three times over the previous four Rhythm and Jumps and will be looking to go one better over the current National Champion Veitch on Friday night. Quinn Hartley will also contest the Long Jump in a busy night, the Southlander has two NZ Secondary Schools Long Jump titles to his name, with a PB 7.30m will be a threat for this title too.
Event director Terry Lomax said today “We are proud to once again have many of the country’s top High and Long jumpers here at Christchurch Boys High. It is our wish that the growing success of this event will encourage more athletes as we continue to see the depth and standard of NZ jumping rise.”
For additional comment or information, contact:
021 719 900