A visit to the family home early this month by former
Olympian Barry Magee inspired the Smith brothers to excel at
Jonah Smith (18) won the New Zealand junior men's 10,000m
title in Timaru three weeks ago, and Magee presented him with
his gold medal.
Andrew Smith (14) led home the 34-strong field in the
prestigious Ness Cup handicap mile at the Caledonian Ground
The Ness Cup has been held annually since 1934. The first
winner was New Zealand senior men's cross-country champion
Bill Pullar (Anglican). John Walker's future coach, Arch
Jelley (Mornington), won in 1946.
The Smiths, another brother Zinzan (16) and father Mike are
members of the Grace Bible Church band. Mike and Zinzan play
the guitar, Jonah sings and Andrew plays the drums.
Mike Smith spoke at Magee's church in Auckland a few years
ago and when the 1960 Olympic marathon bronze medallist
visited the Dunedin church, he was invited to the Smiths'
home for lunch.
Magee told the Smith brothers what it was like training with
Arthur Lydiard during the great era of New Zealand athletics.
Andrew Smith was running off a 45sec handicap and quickly
moved through the field on Saturday.
After a lap, he was just 23sec behind the leaders and, after
two laps, he had a 33sec lead on the field. Phil Napper
(Ariki), off the same handicap, closed the gap to 21sec at
the bell and the back-markers narrowed the margin in the
Andrew Smith completed the last 400m in 1min 20sec and won by
12sec from Neale McLanachan (Leith), who was off a handicap
of 1min 25sec. Last year's winner, Ben Wardhaugh (Hill
City-University), was third. Jonah Smith was sixth and Zinzan
The fastest time was run by Alex Gorrie (University of
Canterbury) in 4min 34.76sec. Joe Beamish (Hill
City-University) ran 4min 43.62sec and Ben Anderson
(Caversham) 4min 37.32sec.
The fastest woman was Sian English (Ariki) in 5min 17.10sec.
Shauna Pali (Hill City-University) clocked 5min 22.95sec and
Hanna English (Ariki) 5min 25.23sec.
New Zealand secondary schools 80m hurdles champion Christina
Ashton (Taieri) won the women's 100m hurdles battle from
Maddy Spence (Hill City-University), who won a bronze medal
in the same event last month.
Ashton (15) had the better start and held a 50cm gap at
halfway. She held on over the final hurdles to win in
15.72sec from a fast-finishing Spence, who clocked 15.81sec.
Two Ariki athletes, who had spent the past year overseas,
returned home in style. Catherine O'Sullivan won the senior
women's long jump with 4.36m, and Todd Johnston the men's
100m in 11.29sec.
New Zealand Olympic athletics team manager Raylene Bates
(Taieri) was in record-breaking form in the masters women's
aged 45 to 49 grade.
She broke Winifred Harding's 2005 Otago record in the hammer
throw by 8.50m with her throw of 37.08m, and her shot put
effort of 10.78m was 96cm better than Harding's old mark.