• Bay athlete captures gold in Auckland colours

Bay athlete captures gold in Auckland colours

Hawke's Bay's Briana Stephenson was full of mixed emotions after today's first day of the national track and field championships in Hastings.

While thrilled to help her Auckland senior women's 4 x 100m relay team capture gold with a spectacular final leg, Stephenson, 21, was disappointed she didn't retain her senior women's long jump title despite returning to competition three months ago after recovering from an Achilles injury on her left foot.

Her Auckland relay team, which also included Amy Robertson, Symone Tafuna'i and Livvy Wilson, a daughter of former All Black winger and captain Stu Wilson, stopped the clock at 45.71s. A Canterbury quartet were second in 47s and Tasman third in 47.82s.

"I thought I might have got it ... I felt like I had more in me," Stephenson (pictured above, photos John Faulkner) lamented as she reflected on her silver medal-winning effort in the long jump.

A Napier Girls' High School old girl and girlfriend of Hawke's Bay's No 1 men's tennis player Rob Reynolds, Stephenson, had a leap of 5.98m. Waikato-Bay of Plenty's Mariah Ririnui won the title with a 6.01m jump and Canterbury's Tegan Duffy claimed bronze with a 5.92m leap.

Stephenson, who is studying physiology in Auckland, will aim for a personal best sub-24s time in what will be her one and only 200m outing on the second day of the Jennian Homes-sponsored nationals tomorrow.

Hawke's Bay's Eric Speakman blamed a conservative start on his inability to capture gold in the men's 5000m final. Taradale High School product Speakman, 30, stopped the clock at 13m58.78s in the final race of the day which Waikato Bay of Plenty's Hayden Wilde won in 13:43.53.


"I needed to commit earlier and stay with Hayden. I needed to be quicker," Speakman (pictured above) lamented.

"I knew Hayden had it in him. I didn't have it in me to pick myself up. The body felt decent and while it wasn't horrible things didn't click perfectly," Speakman explained.

He pointed out the gusty winds made it hard to stay consistent.

"I don't feel to beat up and I will try and get on the podium again in tomorrow's 1500," Speakman added.

Oli Chignell from the Hill City University club claimed bronze with a time of 14:05:05.

As expected Hawke's Bay's former national under-20 shot put champion Nick Palmer (pictured below) finished second to Olympian Tom Walsh in their senior men's final. The 20-year-old Karamu High School product had an 18.36m effort, just five centimetres short of his personal best.


Walsh had a 21.79m effort, just over a metre less than his than his national record of 22.90m set in 2019.

Hawke's Bay's Georgia Hulls achieved her goal of a top-two finish in the senior women's 100m final. The 21-year-old Havelock North High School old girl sliced 0.06s from her lifetime best with a time of 11.58s.

Aucklander Zoe Hobbs won the title by equalling the national record with a scintillating time of 11.32s. It was a record-equalling fifth consecutive 100m title for Hobbs who matched Kim Robertson's feats recorded from 1976 to 1980.

Another Aucklander, Tafuna'i captured bronze with a personal best time of 11.71s. All three medallists (pictured below) are coached by James Mortimer and Hulls is the favourite for the 200m title tomorrow.



Shay Veitch completed the senior men’s 100m and long jump double during the most momentous hour or so of his upwardly mobile career.

The versatile 20-year-old athlete, who last year claimed a 400m silver and long jump bronze medal, produced an outstanding performance in the latter event producing the longest leap to take out the title for 30 years with a mighty 7.78m (+2.4m/s) effort to bank gold.

The Dunedin-based biomed student athlete dominated the competition producing an ultra-consistent series with his first four jumps all at 7.70m or beyond. He also earned the bonus that his legal best jump of the day - a 7.71m (+2.0m/s) effort -earned him a 5cm PB ahead of the minor medallists; Felix McDonald 7.38m – the 2020 champion and Max Attwell (7.02m).

He then returned less than an hour after completing his long jump win to claim an emphatic win in the senior men’s 100m final – stopping the clock in 10.38 – albeit aided by a hefty 3.8m/s tailwind.

Making a slick start out of the blocks, Veitch quickly established control of the race and claimed gold by 0.08 margin from silver medallist Cody Wilson (Wellington).

Elliott Nye (Canterbury) filled the final podium position in 10.76.

“I came in wanting the long jump title and the 100m was a little bit of a bonus,” explains Veitch. “I was a bit scared coming into the race because I yanked my groin in the warm-up but I got a great start and I managed to put together my best race this season.

“Obviously, some of the best runners in the country aren’t here so it was a good year to take the title.

“The goal in the long jump was to get past 7.70m which I did, hopefully that will set me up for jumping towards eight metres next season,” adds Shay.

“Last winter I got stuck into training like never before. I was injured for six weeks (hamstring) from December, so the three-week postponement was quite handy for me.”

Also benefiting from the extra three weeks training following the postponement of the nationals, Katherine Camp showed signs of returning to her best to secure a hat-trick of national women’s 800m title with an emphatic display.

Camille Buscomb, attempting the ambitious 800m, 1500m and 5000m treble here in Hastings, took the field through the bell in around 63 seconds but down the back stretch Camp made her winning move by surging to the front.

As Buscomb (WBoP) started to fade, Rebekah Greene (Otago) moved into second but Camp was unstoppable and extended her lead to stop the clock in a season’s best and fastest time by a New Zealander this year of 2:06.50. Greene secured silver some 1.10 secs further back while Buscomb earned the reward of a bronze medal in 2:08.33.

Camp, the defending champion, had only returned to training in mid-December following a stress fracture but was elated with the win.

“I’m very happy,” said Camp. “I was pretty nervous coming into it because I’ve had an inconsistent season. I just had to go and try and enjoy it as much as I could and trust my speed and the extra three weeks did help.

“At the start of the season I was lacking confidence but that was only because I hadn’t done the work. I’m just glad it has worked out today.”

James Preston added his name to the roll call of former national men’s 800m champions such as Sir Peter Snell and Sir John Walker with a beautifully controlled front-running performance.

The 23-year-old Wellington athlete took the led from the outset and hit the bell in a swift 52 seconds tracked by the chasing Dominic Devlin.

With 200m remaining the tenacious Aucklander was still within striking distance only for the long-legged Preston to slowly extend his lead and pull out the race winner in a time of 1:48.49.

Devlin upgraded on his bronze medal from the 2020 nationals to take silver in 1:49.47. Daniel Roswell (Canterbury) 1:53.63 snatched bronze.

“I have mixed emotions (on winning the title having raced Brad (Mathas, the multiple winning New Zealand champion who set a personal best of 1:46.01 in Australia earlier this month) over the last few years and I wanted to race him again because he’s been the top guy for so long.

“I just tried to go and run a quick time. I put a big kick down to win my first national senior title.”

Elsewhere, Imogen Ayris retained her national women’s pole vault title with a best of 4.15m with her fellow Aucklander Aria Rhodes taking silver with 3.15m.

Earlier, Courtney Ruske secured her third women’s 3000m race walk title with a rock solid performance in 14:28.74. The 26-year-old Cantabrian, who last won this title six years ago, finished comfortably clear of Wellington’s Danielle McLean in silver (18:01.38). The podium was rounded out by Sarah-Amy Rhind (Auckland) 19:33.05.

In the U20 action, Tayla Brunger mounted a successful defence of her women’s 100m title, flashing across the line in 11.78 (+3.4m/s).

Meanwhile, in the men’s U20 equivalent Tommy Te Puni also secured back-to-back 100m titles, repelling a strong challenge from his fellow Aucklander Dominic Overend to win in 10.70

Quinn Hartley (Southland) capped a memorable few weeks by adding the New Zealand U20 men’s long jump title with a best of 6.74m to the national U17 record he set earlier this month.

Will Anthony (Wellington) produced a masterful front-running display to destroy the opposition and take out the men’s U20 5000m title in a swift 14:40.76.

Meanwhile, Hannah Gapes (WBoP) executed a similarly impressive performance from the front to take victory in the women’s U20 5000m final by obliterating her previous personal best by more than half-a-minute to stop the clock in 16:47.56.

In the women’s U20 discus Kaia Tupu-South (Auckland) unleashed a season’s best 52.50m to strike gold and the classy James Harding (Auckland) added the men’s U20 title in 1:51.63 to the U18 title he snared at last year’s nationals.

Gifted 16-year-old Nikau Peipi produced an unforgettable morning to take out national F46 records in both the javelin and long jump. The Tasman teenager opened his account by smashing the javelin mark, hurling the 800g implement to a distance of 36.64m to bank U17, U18, U19, U20 and senior New Zealand records. Later in the para long jump, he sailed out to 5.33m to secure the same combination of records.

Also in record-breaking form in the para javelin was Ben Baines (Otago) who extended the men’s F37 national record to 33.44m.

World 2019 World Para Athletics T36 200m silver medallist Danielle Aitchison showed her quality to sprint to a blistering 100m time of 13.76. The mark was 0.09 quicker than her national record mark but the wind at +2.2m.s was just over the allowable limit for record purposes.

Sarah James was also in record-breaking mood, taking more than 15 seconds from her T53 800m previous best – with a time of 2:57.34.

Jennian Homes New Zealand Track and Field Championships Day One Results:


100m: Shay Veitch (Otago) 10.34s 1, Cody Wilson (Wgtn) 10.42s 2, Elliot Nye (Cant) 10.76s 3.
800m: James Preston (Wgtn) 1m 48.49s 1, Dominic Devlin (Akld) 1m 49.47s 2, Daniel Roswell (Cant) 1m 53.63s 3.
5000m: Hayden Wilde (WaikBoP) 13m 43.53s 1, Eric Speakman (HBG) 13m 58.78s 2, Oli Chignell (Otago) 14m 5.05s 3.
400m hurdles: Cameron French (WaikBoP) 51.39s 1, Louis Andrews (Cant) 56.20s 2, Jonathan Maples (Manawatu/Whanganui) 56.25s 3.
Shot put: Tom Walsh (Cant) 21.79m 1, Nick Palmer (HBG) 18.36m 2, Liam Ngchok-wulf (Akld) 15.35m 3.
Hammer throw: Anthony Nobilo (Akld) 63.80m 1, Anthony Barmes (Akld) 56.12m 2, Todd Bates (Otago) 54.72m 3.
Long jump: Veitch 7.78m 1, Felix McDonald (Otago) 7.38m 2, Max Attwell (Cant) 7.02m 3.
High jump: Hamish Kerr (Cant) 2.24m 1, Jayden Williamson (Akld) 2.02m 2, Marcus Wolton (Cant) 2.02m 3.
4 x 100m relay: Auckland (George Kozlov, Hamish Gill, Tommy Te Puni, Matthew Wyatt) 41.86s 1, Otago 42.32s 2, Wellington 42.61s 3.

100m: Zoe Hobbs (Akld) 11.32s (equals New Zealand national record, resident record)1, Georgia Hulls (HBG) 11.58s 2, Symone Tafunai (Akld) 11.71s 3.
800m: Katherine Camp (Cant) 2m 6.50s 1, Rebekah Greene (Otago) 2m 7.60s 2, Camille Buscomb (WaikBoP) 2m 8.33s 3.
5000m: Buscomb 16m 17.30s 1, Maiya Christini (Akld) 16m 52.52s 2, Laura Nagel (Akld) 16m 54.34s 3.
3000m race walk: Courtney Ruske (Cant) 14m 28.74s 1, Danielle McLean (Wgtn) 18m 1.38s 2, Sarah-Amy Rhind (RWAkld) 19m 33.05s 3.
400m hurdles: Portia Bing (Akld) 57.57s 1, Alessandra Macdonald (WaikBoP) 1m 1.44s 2, Maddy Spence (Cant) 1m 2.58s 3.
Shot put: Dame Valerie Adams (Akld) 18.43m 1, Maddison-Lee Wesche (Akld) 17.38m 2.
Hammer throw: Julia Ratcliffe (WaikBoP) 73.55m (New Zealand allcomers, resident and national and Oceania record) 1, Lauren Bruce (Cant) 72.76m 2, Lexi Maples (Cant) 51.76m 3.
Long jump: Mariah Ririnui (WaikBoP) 6.01m 1, Briana Stephenson (Akld) 5.98m 2, Tegan Duffy (Cant) 5.92m 3.
Pole vault: Imogen Ayris (Akld) 4.15m 1, Aria Rhodes (Akld) 3.15m 2.
4 x 100m relay: Auckland (Amy Robertson, Symone Tafunai, Livvy Wilson, Briana Stephenson) 45.71s 1, Canterbury 47.00s 2, Tasman 47.82s 3.




100m: Tommy Te Puni (Akld) 10.70s 1, Dominic Overend (Akld) 10.82s 2, Ethan Wallace (WaikBoP) 11.06s 3.

800m: James Harding (Akld) 1m 51.63s 1, Luke Hitchcock (Akld) 1m 53.09s2, Ethan Smolej (Cant) 1m 55.29s 3.

5000m: Will Anthony (Wgtn) 14m 40.76s 1, Cameron Clark (Cant) 15m 14.66s 2, Max Yanzick (Cant) 15m 18.14s 3.

400m hurdles: Cameron Moffitt (Otago) 56.74s 1, Flynn Johnston (Manawatu/Whanganui) 58.93s 2.

Discus throw: Max Abbot (Wgtn) 49.32m 1, Blessing Sefo (Akld) 48.01m 2, Quinn Motley (Cant) 42.70m 3.

Javelin throw: Ethan Walker (Otago) 58.12m 1, Bradley Bidois (WaikBoP) 52.34m 2, Campbell Robb (WaikBoP) 50.64m 3.

Long jump: Quinn Hartley 6.74m 1, Mathew Bealing (Wgtn) 6.58m 2, Moffitt 6.45m 3.

Pole vault: Joshua Bull (Cant) 4.32m 1, Charlie Cameron (Cant) 4.03m 2, Ruben Vogel (Akld) 3.88m 3.

4 x 100m relay: Auckland (Troy Middleton, Dominic Overend, Stephen Thorpe, Abhijeet Parmar) 43.78s 1.



100m: Tayla Brunger (WaikBoP) 11.78s 1, Hinewai Knowles (WaikBoP) 12.00s 2, Maia Broughton (Cant) 12.02s 3.

800m: Rosa Twyford (Cant) 2m 15.40s 1, Krystie Solomon (WaikBoP) 2m 16.58s 2, Brianna Lee (HBG) 2m 17.11s 3.

5000m: Hannah Gapes (WaikBoP) 16m 47.56s 1, Chloe Browne (Akld) 17m 13.39s 2, Bella Browne (Akld) 17m 23.03s 3.Maddie Wilson (Cant) 1.69m 3.

400m hurdles: Ruby Brett (HBG) 1m 7.11s 1, Katie Corbett (WaikBoP) 1m 12.65s 2.

Shot put: Kaia Tupu-South (Akld) 15.53m 1, Natalia Rankin-Chi Tar (Akld) 13.50m 2, Maddie Wilson (Cant) 11.19m 3.

Discus throw: Tupu-South 52.50m 1, Rankin-Chi Tar 47.59m 2, Suzannah Kennelly (Akld) 47.29m 3.

Javelin throw: Brianna Tirado (Akld) 41.67m 1, Wilson 36.55m 2, Sam Mackinder (Manawatu/Whanganui) 35.02m 3.

Triple jump: Lara Hockly (Taranaki) 11.64m 1, Michelle Farmer (Taranaki) 11.02m 2, Stella Anderson (Akld) 10.55m 3.

High jump: Josie Taylor (WaikBoP) 1.73m 1, Alice Taylor (WaikBoP) 1.73m 2, Wilson 1.69m 3.

4 x 100m relay: Waikato Bay of Plenty (Krystie Solomon, Hinewai Knowles, Annalies Kalma, Tayla Brunger) 47.92s 1, Auckland 49.38s 2, Canterbury 49.66s 3.



Senior Men
100m: Nikau Peipi (Tasman) 12.10s 1, Joe Smith (Akld) 12.13s 2, Zachary Orbell (Akld) 15.01s 3.
200m: Mitch Joynt (Akld) 23.87s 1, Smith 25.52s 2, Zachary Orbell (Akld) 32.38s 3.
800m: Jasper Moss (Cant) 2m 36.07s 1, Guy Harrison (HBG) 2m 43.58s 2.
Long jump: William Stedman (Cant) 5.52m 1, Peipi 5.33m 2, Joshua Taylor (Wgtn) 4.11m 3.
Discus throw: Daniel Meyer (Nthld) 32.28m 1, Peipi 29.41m 2.
Javelin throw: Nikau 36.64m 1, Benjamin Baines (Otago) 33.44m 2.
Wheelchair 100m: Jaden Movold (Akld) 18.84s 1.
Wheelchair 200m: Movold 36.88s 1.
Wheelchair 800m: Movold 2m 27.02s 1.

Senior Women
100m: Danielle Aitchison (WaikBoP) 13.76s 1, Anna Steven (Akld) 13.83s 2.
800m: Sarah James (Cant) 2m 57.34s 1, Montana Brown (Cant) 3m 11.49s 2.
Discus throw: Sionann Murphy (Akld) 19.72m 1.
Javelin throw: Holly Robinson (Otago) 42.15m 1.
Wheelchair 100m: Gabrielle Wright (Akld) 22.42s 1, Sarah James (Cant) 22.94s 2, Montana Brown (Cant) 24.52s 2.
Wheelchair 200m: James 42.46s 1, Brown 46.09s 2.
Wheelchair 800m: James 2m 57.34s 1, Brown 3m 11.49s 2.