Athletics: Scholten recovers after shaky start

Michael Scholten
Michael Scholten
Michael Scholten (Taieri) overcame a shaky start in the hammer throw to set an Otago men's 35-39 points record in weight pentathlon.

Scholten established a tally of 2514 in the grade, surpassing Scott McQueen's 2009 mark of 1809.

By his own admission, he had a shocker in the hammer throw that opened the competition, throwing 33.07m, scoring 416pts.

But from then on Scholten (35), a Dunedin mechanic, was more than happy when form and consistency returned. He put the shot out to 11.58m to score a handy 607pts, threw the discus 32.30m for 510pts, javelin 40.70m for 460pts and heavy weight 10.85m for 512pts.

The pentathlon proved a competitive affair. David Barton (Leith) established a masters 40-44 record with 1879pts and finished second overall behind Scholten and in each of the five disciplines.

While Winifred Harding (Taieri) proved unstoppable on the way winning the overall women's competition, with 2613pts, third-placed Claire Giles (Caversham) was the big improver, establishing personal bests in both hammer (23.12m) and shot put (8.24m).

While also taking part in long jump competition between disciplines in the pentathlon, she narrowly missed Noeline Burden's 2007 record of 3.92m for women 55-59, breaking the sand just a millimetre short, at 3.91m.

The stars of the long jump competition were the Palmer sisters, who clinched the first three places in the junior girl's competition.

Identical twins Leonie and Joccoaa (13), outclassed their older sister Melina (14) to clinch first and second place. Leonie jumped 4.29m and Joccoaa 4.27m, while Melina claimed third with 3.94m. The twins also featured in the 300m long hurdles for women under 15, Leonie winning in 55.06sec and Joccoaa hot on her heels for second in 55.40sec.

Heat may have been a factor when Ben Anderson (Caversham) could not quite back up his 800m time from last week, but he still had enough in the tank to put in a massive kick 200m out to break the tape at 1min 58.28sec.

Anderson (21), who recorded the second fast 800m time in the country for the season last week. clocking 1min 52.01sec, admitted it was probably a combination of heat and not having training colleague Daniel Balchin to force the pace.

In the mixed grade, the crowd saw an 800m race from a possible star of the future, when year 11 Kavanagh College pupil Jessie Murphy (14) led the large field home in 2min 30.84sec.

Alex Gorrie (University of Canterbury), outgunned the field early to record a comfortable victory in the 3000m, breaking the tape in 9min 8.78sec. Neale McLanachan (Leith) was second in 9min 17.25sec and Joe Beamish (Hill City-University) third in 9min 23.36sec.

Sam Watson (Hill City-University) recorded a 100m and 200m double, winning the 100m in 11.94sec and 200m in 23.65sec. But his victory in the high jump will be remembered as an event of two halves.

After three rounds of high jump both he and Eddie Streat (North Otago) lined up for the 100m. They ran their race and returned straight back to the high jump area for their final three jumps.

Streat, a member of the Waitaki Boys' High School 4 x 100m team last year, still affected by his 100m race, which had involved a false start and a photo finish, cleared the bar at 1.55m.

Brent Cheshire (Caversham) claimed top spot in the high jump competition, with 1.85m.