Rising star Jacob Robinson headlined an outstanding effort from the North Otago squad at the Otago junior athletics championships in Dunedin at the weekend.
Robinson (10) won seven gold medals in a stunning all-round performance at the Caledonian Ground.
He dominated the boys 10 years grade with wins in the 100m, 200m, 1500m, long jump, shot put, discus and 1200m walk, adding bronze in the 800m.
The St Joseph’s pupil posted seven personal bests, including an extraordinary performance in the 1500m when he slashed 20sec off his previous best.
Molly Backhouse (girls 9 years), Stanley McClure (boys 12 years) and Toby Hunt (boys 9 years) were among the other leading North Otago performers.
Backhouse won golds in the 60m, 80m, 100m and 200m; McClure won the 100m, 200m and long jump; and Hunt won the long jump, discus and vortex.
Ezekiel Goodsir (boys 10 years) claimed gold in the 55m hurdles, while North Otago won relay golds in the boys 11 years and 12 years 4 x 100m.
Michael Woodhouse (boys 8 years) and Jack Nicol (boys 9 years) each won four silver medals, Goodsir added three silvers and a bronze, and Robinson’s younger sister, Mya (girls 7 and under) posted seven personal bests on her way to two bronze medals.
All up, the North Otago squad of 19 athletes left Dunedin with 19 gold, 16 silver and 13 bronze medals, and 12 athletes were named in Otago teams for the upcoming interprovincial competitions.
North Otago Athletic and Harrier Club president Jeff Spillane was delighted with the squad’s performance.
“It was not only exciting seeing the regulars come through and perform well again but also the new competitive athletes in their first major competition.
“Some of the biggest efforts and improvements came from some of those who struggled to make finals. These guys stay positive despite not necessarily winning or placing and keep everyone reminded of what its all about – enjoyment.”