Chris Richards (Hill City-University) unsuccessfully
attempts a 3m pole vault on his way to becoming the Otago
senior men's decathlon champion at the Caledonian Ground in
Dunedin yesterday. Photos by Jane Dawber.
Chris Richards (Hill City-University) is the Otago senior
men's decathlon champion after conquering the wild weather that
hit Dunedin at the weekend.
Richards (36), a science teacher at Otago Girls' High School,
was the only competitor in the event and won with a score of
3151 points in his first decathlon at the Caledonian Ground.
It was not a hollow win because he had to compete against the
elements. Rain made the run-up in the high jump and in the
throwing circle difficult. The gusty wind made the pole vault
tricky and he was hit by the head wind in the back straight
of the 1500m.
Ian Craven (Hill City-University) throws the javelin 26.43m
during the successful defence of his Otago masters over-35
The decathlon is the toughest event in athletics and
requires athletes to master 10 disciplines.
Richards' individual scores were: 100m, 12.71sec (518
points), long jump, 4.93m (369), shot put, 7.87m (359), high
jump, 1.40m (317), 400m, 63.70sec (296), 110m hurdles,
23.24sec (139), discus, 20.41m (280), pole vault, 2.90m
(333), javelin, 26.22m (246), 1500m, 5min 52.86sec (294).
He had the satisfaction of gaining personal best performances
in five events: long jump, shot put, 400m, 110m hurdles and
1500m. He equalled his personal best in the pole vault.
Richards came into the sport three years ago and is coached
by Jarrod Adams.
He was a gymnast while at school and had reached level 9 when
he retired from that sport at the age of 18. He was runner-up
in the New Zealand gymnastics championships in level 9.
"Gymnastics has been good for the pole vault. It has given me
balance and a head for heights," Richards said.
Ian Craven (Hill City-University) won his third successive
Otago masters over-35 title with a score of 4572 points.
Craven (55), a special education adviser for the Ministry of
Education, gained personal best performances in the shot put
His individual performances were: 100m, 14.40sec (549
points), long jump, 3.93m (411), shot put, 7.23m (437), high
jump, 1.40m (552), 400m, 68.15sec (498), 110m hurdles,
21.96sec (328),discus, 24.89m (418), pole vault, 2.20m (333),
javelin, 26.43m (375), 1500m, 5min 37.61sec (671).
The highlight of other events came from Stephen Isaac (Hill
City-University), who finished with a strong burst down the
straight to win the men's 400m in a personal best time of
Isaac, who is coached by Brent Ward, was runner-up in the
junior men's 400m hurdles at last season's New Zealand
championships in Auckland.
His goal is to qualify in the hurdles for the World
University Games in Russia next year. The qualifying standard
is 50.80sec and his best time is 54.20sec.
The women's 400m was won by Megan McPhail (Hill
City-University) in 58.11sec from clubmate Fiona Hely
Meg McKay (Hill City-University) ran strongly round the top
bend and sprinted down the straight to win the girls aged 16
and 17 400m in a personal-best 62.40sec from Anna Cross
Liz Wilson (Hill City-University) won the masters women's
400m in an Otago aged 50 to 54 record of 65.32sec. The old
record was 72.92sec.
Julie Edmunds (Caversham) broke the record in the masters
women's aged 40 to 44 age group in the 3km walk in 16min
50.52sec. The old record of 16min 54.30sec was walked by
Raelene Stephenson in 1995.
Joe Beamish (Hill City-University) ran the last 400m in 66
seconds to win the men's 5000m in 16min 12.79sec. It was a
personal best time by 1min 18sec.
Jacob Matson (South Canterbury) ran the second fastest 200m
of the day when he won the boys aged 15 race in 23sec.
International Daniel O'Shea (Hill City-University) ran the
fastest time of 22.16sec in the senior men's event.