Hi Runnerstribe! My name is Andrea Koenen and I am a 20 year old New Zealand sprinter. I compete in both the 100 and 200m and my PB’s are 11.71 and 23.46.

A little bit of background – I’ve been involved in athletics since the age of 7, and at age 13 started getting a bit more serious. I have been with my sprint coach for 7 years now and originally started out doing high jump as well. I jumped 1.73 when I was 17 but then decided to steer away from high jump because of injuries and focus on my sprinting. It was a good decision and I’ve loved every single season.

Season after season brings new opportunities and experiences and it’s great to keep improving personal bests. I am the NZ W19 200m record holder and the current Senior Women 200m Champion. A highlight of the last season included placing 3rd at the Australian Champs in Perth with a PB of 23.67. Another important note was the 3 NZ sprinters in the Women 100m final, a great effort (and a little scare to the Aussies!) We have a very talented set of sprinters that are potentially going to create a speedy relay team, we just need to be injury free at the same time and in the same country!

Just a week ago I returned home from the Gold Coast, where I competed in the All Comers Meets in Brisbane and the Down-under Meet. It was a great trip with great weather and I managed to come home with a new PB of 23.46 and Gold in the Open 200m. New Zealand doesn’t offer anything like these Winter Meets so it’s great that Australia offers athletes the chance to continue training into winter, catering for those who are just outside qualifying standards or who need competition experience before heading overseas. This is the second year I have competed in the Winter Meets, last year using them as a buildup to the World University Games in Serbia.

Returning home from the Gold Coast marks the start of a short but very much needed break before the real winter training begins. Not achieving Commonwealth Games selection means I am looking forward to the World University Games in China and the World Champs in Korea next year. So come join me as I take the exciting journey that is the 2010-2011 athletics season, sure to be filled with both highs and lows but most importantly a lot of success and fun!