A small but successful contingent represented North Otago at the Otago Athletics Championships in Dunedin last weekend.
Wearing bright new Youthtown-sponsored singlets, 18 young North Otago athletes won 25 Otago titles.
North Otago Athletics Club president Jeff Spillane said it had been one of North Otago’s most successful meetings.
“They have done very, very well,” Spillane said.
“We are more than on the map down there now. We have grown into quite a competitive wee club at that level.”
Spillane praised the the impact of Schuyler Orr, who won the senior men’s 100m.
“Ben Smith [won] the under-18 100m and 200m. That was a nice double to get; they are quite competitive races those ones,” Spillane said.
Orr has been coaching several young North Otago athletes, including Smith.
“Giving those guys someone like Schuyler to work with gives them a bigger sense of purpose,” Spillane said.
“Without him, the sprint programme [in North Otago] wouldn’t be running.”
The Otago championship was the last major meeting for the club this year.
Local secondary school athletes will compete at the Aoraki and South Island Secondary School Athletics, while the primary-aged athletes are focused on interprovincial meetings.
Other secondary school-aged and senior athletes, including Smith and Orr, will compete at the club nationals from March 8 to 9.
NORTH OTAGO’S OTAGO CHAMPIONS
- Schuyler Orr: senior men’s 100m, triple jump
- Ben Smith: under-18 men’s 200m, 100m (first equal)
- Jed Jabagat: under-18 men’s high jump
- Sebastian Spillane: 12 years (boys) 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump.
- Camden Burge: 13 years (boys)1500m, discus
- Quinn Burge, Sebastian Spillane, Michael Woodhouse, Camden Burge: boys 13 4x100m relay
- Jacinta Miller: 11 years (girls) long jump
- Michael Woodhouse: 11 years (boys) high jump
- Seddah McGregor: 10 years (girls) 800m, 1500m
- Mya Robinson: 10 years (girls) long jump
- Lauchie McLaren: 8 years (boys) 80m, 60m, 200m
- Isaac McLean: boys 8 years vortex throw (first equal)
- Finn Garret: 7 years (boys) 60m, 200m, shot put, vortex throw