By Athletics New Zealand @AthleticsNZ

Bays Athletics Night of 5’s, AUT Millennium Stadium – 20 December 2016

Aaron Pulford put the demons from the Zatopek 10,000m to rest as he sped to victory in the elite men’s 5000m in 14:15.84. Eric Speakman provided the perfect pace for the first 3000m leaving Pulford out on his own over the final five laps. Daniel Hoy in his first 5000m track race was second in 14:36.61 and Cameron Graves, national junior 2011 5000m silver medallist, third in a PB 14:38.73. Ben Moynihan was fourth in 14:47.40 and Peter Wheeler next in a PB 14:57.71.
Pulford said that he was in his best shape for some time going into the Zatopek 10,000m in Melbourne two weeks ago.

Pulford said that he was in his best shape for some time going into the Zatopek 10,000m in Melbourne two weeks ago.

“It’s the worst I’ve ever felt going into a race, warming up I just had really heavy legs. I’d prepared really well, but I didn’t have it in there on the day and I DNF’d about 4km as I fell off the lead group and I was going backwards,” said Pulford.

“I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for a long time going into Zatopek so it was a shame not to run well there and so today I just wanted to come along and get my confidence and have a good solid run and I’m now looking forward to the rest of the track season.”
“I’m aiming for the 5000m for the national champs and I want to win my 10k title again and hopefully make it four years in a row. I’m wanting to get my 10k time down a lot so that’s the plan this season,” he added.

Hoy said it was a bit of a step up from the 3000m that he is used to on the track.

“My first time over 5000m on the track. It is the same distance we race in tri, but a totally different ball game on the track. It was good to do my first 5 which is a bit of a step up from a 3. I’m looking to do the 3k nationals in Wellington,” said Hoy.

Olivia Burne, national half marathon champion, won the women’s 5000m in a 20 second PB of 16:36.47. Lydia O’Donnell was second in 16:43.25. Esther Keown third in 17:00.37 and Ashleigh Williams fourth in 17:06.70 both PB’s. Tina Harris was next in 17:06.83. Burne came into the race off an intense mileage schedule and was pleased with the result.

“With Barry’s training you are just doing miles and miles. Even in this race I was feeling my breathing getting laboured and because you have so much strength in you it’s really hard to get to that level, so I’m stoked about it. It’s just a good starting point for the season,” said Burne.

“Lydia set a beautiful pace for us and we were all running together for that first few laps and it just made for a lovely relaxed transition into the faster stuff, so I’m so grateful to the other girls.

“I’m ready to get back into some of that mileage, I had a bit of a taper for this race so I’m ready for some longer runs and I’m sure Barry will be all over that,” she added.
A total of nine personal best times were established in the men’s race and four in the women’s race. The first three in the B grade 5000m also set personal best times, triathlete Trent Thorpe winning in 15:46.57 from James Matthews 15:54.89 and David Cooper 15:56.14.

Personal bests were also the order of the day in the U/20 3000m, Andrew Catley winning in 8:43.81 from Daniel Hintz 8:47.18, George Cory-Wright 8:49.16 and Liam Ward 8:50.76.

Hannah O’Connor clipped three seconds off her 3000m time in winning the U/20 women’s 3000m in 9:28.01. Charli Miller was second in 10:03.64 and Grace Wood third in a PB 10:09.51.

O’Connor said it was good that the wind had dropped from earlier in the day and it was a good start to the season coming on top of taking three junior titles at the secondary schools championships three weeks ago.

Field Events at the Night of 5’s.

Matthew Wyatt LJ 7.25m (+2.3) also 7.09m (+1.1), Hamish Gill LJ 7.16m (+2.2) also 7.04m (+1.3), Lewis Arthur LJ 6.64m (+0.6). Anthony Nobilo 5kg HT 64.50m, 6kg HT 54.83m. Anthony Barmes 5kg HT 53.36m. Matthew Wilkins 800g JT 53.93m. Connor Bell 5kg SP 15.72m, 1.5kg DT 59.52m, 1.25kg DT 65.55m. Mari Klaup SP 12.50m, 600g JT 44.00m. Ella Pilkington 4kg HT 54.35m. Stephanie Wrathall 600g JT 46.85m. Maddison-Lee Wesche 3kg SP 16.82m. Mellata Tatola 3kg HT 50.73m.

Auckland City Athletics Club Night, Mt Smart Stadium – 21 December 2016

Ben Potter set a New Zealand masters M35 400m record of 50.53. This betters his time of 50.86 run four days earlier on the same track which equaled the record set by A Tucker in 1980. Jamie Sowter won the women’s 400m in 58.00.


Twilight Meeting, Tauranga Domain – 1 January 2017

Three times New Zealand sprint champion Joseph Millar kicked off the New Year with wins in four events at the traditional first meeting of the year. His victories came in the 100m 10.95 (-2.3), 200m 22.41 (+0.2), 400m 52.32 and for good measure the 800g javelin with a throw of 43.05m. He also threw the 2kg discus 28.04m and was out to 9.49m with the 7.26kg shot. Zac Topping was second in the 100m in 11.09 with Nick Smith third in 11.22. Mariah Ririnui won the women’s 100m in 12.47 (-1.7) from Mariam Cisse 12.68 and Amy Robinson 12.71, who later won the 200m in 25.93 (0.0) and was second in the LJ 5.28m (+0.1). Ririnui was second in the 200m in 26.08. Alexander Hyland won the 100m hurdles in 15.78 (-2.3) and the high jump 1.60m. Hannah O’Connor sped to a clocking of 9:36.54 over 3000m with Olivia Burne second in 9:47.10 and Sally Gibbs third in 10:17.01. Ben Ruthe was kept busy winning the 800m in 2:05.15 and the 3000m in 9:11.15. Kerry White 800m 2:22.74 mx.

New Zealand secondary schools senior girls discus champion Tatiana Kaumoana from Te Aroha won the 1kg discus throw with 43.92m, the 3kg shot put 12.44m and the 3kg hammer throw 44.42m. Savannah Scheen was second in the hammer 41.12m and was out to 33.76m with the 500g javelin and 19.41m in the discus. Anthony Nobilo won the 6kg HT 54.61m. 2015 national junior and senior high jump champion Hamish Kerr was over 2.11m in the high jump and 2015 national long jump champion Jordan Peters won the LJ 6.59m (0.0). Thomas Rawston jumped 6.39m (+0.2). 1982 national triple jump champion Tuariki Delamere in the master men 65 grade strung together a 1kg DT 35.01m, 5kg HT 28.53m and a 5kg SP 11.28m.

Mount Maunganui King and Queen of the Mount Race – 26 December 2016
Daniel Jones notched up his fifth win in the last eight years in the annual iconic 4.5km event up and down Mauao. Jones recorded 19:09 to finish 27 seconds ahead of Bobby Dean who was second for the third consecutive year. Glenn Hughes the 2009 national mountain running champion who is based In London was third in 20:08. Samuel Tanner was fourth in 20:24 followed by Ben Ruthe who was sixth last year and third in 2014, and Iain Macdonald the 2009 champion who finished sixth. Last year Jones set a race record of 18:32.

Alison Wilson was the first woman in 23:06, with Sarah McSweeney, the 2013 national steeplechase champion, second in 23:33 and Sabrina Grogan third in 23:43.

The race is organised by Tauranga Ramblers and has been a tradition of the Mount since 1945. Only in 1947 and 1982 has the event not taken place.


Yale Season Opener, Coxe Cage Yale University, New Haven Connecticut, 10 December: Arianna Lord 1000m 2:59.33 (2).


American authoritative Track & Field News has ranked four New Zealand athletes in their top 10 for 2016 in their world famous annual edition: Tom Walsh second in the shot put, Valerie Adams second in the women’s shot put, Eliza McCartney sixth in the women’s pole vault and Nick Willis seventh in the 1500m.


Shield at Aberfedie,Melbourne, 15 December: Ellen Schaef 800m 2:11.5 ht (1).

Shield at Nunawading, Melbourne, 15 December: Alana Barber 3000m RW 12:54.4 ht (1).

Steigen Spectacular, Landy Field Geelong, 17 December: Ellen Schaef 1500m 4:30.96 (3).

NSW Club Championships, SOPAC Sydney, 17 December: Warren Button HT 57.23m (1).


Dame Valerie Adams DNZM, ONZM

Valerie Adams was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year honours for services to athletics.

From humble beginnings in South Auckland the 32 year old has risen through the ranks of athletics to dominate the women’s shot put on the global stage and carve out an impressive record. She is twice Olympic Champion, four times world champion, three times world indoor champion and three times Commonwealth Champion. Adams is one of only nine athletes to win a world championship title at the youth, junior and senior level of an athletic event and was the first woman to win four consecutive individual titles at the world senior championships.

Adams said that she was very humbled and honoured to receive the award.

“To be recognised in this way is very humbling for me. I’m a very proud New Zealander and very proud to have this so bestowed. I’m delighted.”

“I have been blessed with an amazing career, with so many highlights both on and off the field. I love representing my country and I take the responsibility that comes with wearing the black singlet very seriously. I have had great opportunities to work in the community here in New Zealand and in the Pacific, sharing my stories and experiences to help provide  inspiration, motivation, and hope, where I can for our youth to pursue their goals and develop their talents in sport, in school, in life,” she said

In the States Adams was twice women’s Track & Field News athlete of the year and was voted the year’s number one women’s shot putter on nine occasions. Adams was New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year for seven consecutive years from 2006 and was the Halberg supreme award winner in 2008 and 2009. She was awarded the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Lonsdale Cup five times and was named the IAAF 2014 women’s World Athlete of the year, becoming the first thrower to win the award in ten years. She is five times IAAF Diamond League winner in the women’s shot put.

Adams thanked everyone for all the love and support on the journey.

“But we haven’t finished yet, helping people to realise their potential keeps me going,” she added.

New Zealand athletics now has three Knights and a Dame, Adams joining Knights Sir Murray Halberg, Sir Peter Snell and Sir John Walker. Adams, who was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2009 New Year honours for services to athletics, becomes the youngest New Zealander at 32 to receive a knighthood, surpassing Sir Edmund Hillary (33) and Dame Susan Devoy (34).

Other athletics identities to receive awards are athletics coach and administrator Raylene Bates who is the Athletics New Zealand High Performance Para-Athlete Manager, along with Paralympic Gold Medallists Liam Malone and Anna Grimaldi. All three were made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM). Former Para-Athlete Kate Horan was also awarded an MNZM and Rosemary McKay, the president of Levin Athletic Club and a life member of Athletics Manawatu Wanganui received a QSM.


Media Release (Published without change and with permission) from AthleticsNew Zealand