South Island Combined Events review - 14th and 15th November
South Island Combined Events
New Caledonian, Logan Park Dunedin 14th and 15th November 2020.
The South Island Combined Events were held in almost perfect conditions in Dunedin over Show Weekend.
Although fields were small all competition was very competitive. The meet doubled as the Canterbury Combined Events Championships, and as a result, there were some double winners.
The Dephof Shield will have a new named adorned on it, after Jared Neighbours (COBU) second place in the SM’s Decathlon. His score of 5782 pts was commendable given his limited build up to the competition. This was illustrated by his tally of 10 Season Best performances, one of which; 1.82m High Jump, was an equal personal best. The Canterbury Champion, Max Atwell (COBU) was unable to defend either title due to an achilles injury. The winning score of 6540 pts by NZSS 400m titleholder, Shay Veitch (Taeri), was also a personal best score.
Although competing in different grades, the battle between National Senior Champion Christina Ryan (SCAN) and NZ W18 Record-holder Maddie Wilson (COBU) maintained its intrigue right through to the last event. It was eventually a win to the younger Heptathlete but was only secured with a determined effort in the 800m. The final gap was only 27 pts after the athletes stood on the final start line 112 pts apart.
Ryan, who like Neighbours in the Men’s, had limited competition preparation for this Championships. It was no surprise that she had 7 season’s best performances during the SW contest. Wilson was not quite able to match this effort but still left with 6 season’s bests including PB’s in the Shot Put and Javelin.
Southern athletes also won the M18 Decathlon – Cameron Moffitt (OTA), 6492pts; M16 Heptathlon – Rico Fisher (STH), 3690pts; Hexathlon – Jorja Gibbons (OTA), 2958pts.
These athletes will now look ahead to the National Combined Events Championships. in Christchurch over Waitangi Weekend, in what promises to be an enthralling two days of ‘struggles’ over 7 & 10 disciplines.
A small number of Canterbury athletes took the opportunity of an away fixture with good reward for their decisions.
Max Attwell undertook some throwing events and secured a PB in the Shot Put of 12.71m.
Anna Percy was confident that her 11.95sec 100m would be a new PB but was deprived by a fickle tail wind being 0.04m/s over the limit, the only illegal wind of the weekend. She did get near a PB on Sunday in the hurdles, running a very fast 14.29 into a 0.9m/s head wind.
Training partners Hamish Kerr and Marcus Wolton opened their seasons on Sunday. Kerr’s 2.16m jump at the end of a heavy week of training brought reserved satisfaction. Wolton, having cleared 2.07m, had three good attempts at a new PB of 2.12m. They are now the number 1 & 2 in the country ahead of Alfie Baker.
Another athlete who justified his decision to run down south was Dylan Forde. His 800m time of 1:56.30 was his best run for 3 years and hopefully signals that his disrupted time since arriving in Canterbury is behind him and that he can get back to the form which won him a NZSS title.