Larissa Dyke (Taieri) is a
super woman. She sprints down the front straight at the
Caledonian Ground with jet-propelled speed and holds down a
Dyke (27) is one of the best female sprinters in the country
and is a member of the Athletics New Zealand Rio de Janeiro
Olympics development relay squad.
She also has a fulltime job as marketing and commercial
manager at the Fortune Theatre and owns a modelling agency.
It is difficult to fit in her training around her heavy work
''It's really tricky and it's something I need to sit down
and have a good think about and assess where I want to be in
the next two years,'' Dyke said after dominating the sprints
at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday.
''You're only young once and I have a good opportunity in
athletics and I really need to grasp it.''
Dyke is highly organised and manages to juggle her work and
athletics training into a weekly schedule.
''I set high goals for myself and try my best at everything I
do,'' she said.
''I try to push the bar up and like challenging myself.''
Dyke's athletic talent was recognised when she spent six
months on an athletics scholarship in the United States.
''I came back inspired, a bit more focused and a bit more
She has big possibilities in the sport. This year it is the
World University Games and the world track and field
championships in Russia. Next year, it is the Commonwealth
But the big carrot is the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in
''I think I've got another seven or eight years of top
sprinting left in me,'' Dyke said.
To get to the two major meetings in Russia next year Dyke
must reach the 100m qualifying standard of 11.80sec. Her best
time is 12.06sec.
Her attack on the qualifying standard begins with the
Lovelock Classic in Timaru on January 5, followed by the
Porritt Classic in Hamilton on February 9.
She then travels to Australia for the Sydney Classic and
competes in the New Zealand championships in Auckland in
March and the Australian championships in Sydney in April.
During the winter, Dyke will race in Japan with the New
Zealand relay team and compete in the Oceania championships
in Tahiti in late May.
Dyke proved her mettle at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday
when she beat everyone else in the short sprints. This
included the male athletes.
She won the 60m in 7.70sec and flashed past Oli Chignall
(Hill City), who had a 10m handicap, in the last 15m.
She was untouchable in the 100m, winning in 12.15sec from
Felix McDonald (Taieri) in 12.52sec and Zoey Flockton
(Taieri) in 13.17sec.
It was a lesson in precise sprinting for her opponents.
''I do like to run against the guys because they give me
someone to chase,'' she said.
''It felt good to beat them today. It means I'm getting on
track for the Lovelock Classic.''
Dyke will have a break from work, but not from training, when
she spends the Christmas-New Year break with her family in
Ben Anderson (Caversham) broke away from Daniel Balchin
(Christchurch) with 300m left and comfortably won the men's
800m in 1min 56.08 sec. Balchin was timed at 1min 57.70sec.
Joe Beamish (Hill City-University) was third in a
personal-best 2min 04.35secNew Zealand junior representative
Rebekah Greene (Hill City-University) ran with the men and
passed through 400m in 60sec and 600m in 1min 33sec. She ran
out of steam down the front straight but still finished in a
creditable time of 2min 11.44sec.
Flockton won the women's long jump with 5.26m and Hamish
Finnie (Hill City-University) the men's hammer throw with