Caden Shields (Otago) used his United States experience
to win the New Zealand 10,000m title in Timaru on Saturday.
Shields (24), a Dunedin physiotherapy student, conquered the
sweltering heat - 32 degC - to win in 31min 32.85sec.
Tim Hodge (Wellington) was second in 31min 45.15sec and
Dunedin medical student Peter Meffan (Tasman) was third in
A fast time was not expected in the conditions. It was just a
matter of conserving energy before making a late bid for home
in the 25-lap race.
Shields spent three years studying at Purdue University in
the US and his tactical nous was honed in the tough
He used that experience to sense when his opponents were
weakening and applied pressure in the last three laps to win
Before he left for the US, Shields won the New Zealand junior
10,000m in 2007 and 2008. This was his first senior track
When he returned to New Zealand in 2011, Shields was
recovering from a stress fracture and it took time for him to
get used to the miles-based training of his New Zealand
coach, Prof Richard Barker.
He has raced only sparingly since his return but this
performance will restore his confidence.
Meffan continued the rapid improvement he has made over the
past 12 months to take the bronze medal.
The junior men's 10,000m title was won by Jonah Smith (Otago)
in 36min 54.21sec, and former Otago runner Kellie Hurring
(Canterbury) won the senior women's title in 38min 23.20sec.
The championship events were run during the Lovelock Classic
Former University of Otago student Matt Lambert (Tasman) won
the Lovelock mile in 4min 16.48sec from former Otago athletes
Daniel Balchin (4min 16.54sec) and Callan Moody (4min
Dunedin's Rebekah Greene won the women's mile in 4min
Otago athletes also performed well in the sprints. Daniel
O'Shea won the senior men's 100m in 11.18sec and the 400m in
48sec. Fiona Hely won the women's 200m in 25.82sec and the
400m in 58.18sec.
Rozie Robinson (Otago) won the women's 3km track walk in
Marshall Hall (Otago) was second in the men's discus with
51.72m, his best throw of the season. Dale Stevenson
(Australia) won the event with 51.95m.