Caversham runner Robert Brown wins the open men's 800m from
Daniel Balchin at Memorial Park on Saturday. Photo by Peter
The Caversham Club continued its resurgence in middle
distance when it dominated the interclub track and field
meeting in Mosgiel on Saturday.
The results the club has achieved on the track in recent
weeks suggest it is set to challenge the supremacy enjoyed by
Hill City, Leith and Ariki, since it was last to the
forefront of local and national middle-distance in the early
Caversham filled the first four places in the open men's
3000m and the first three in the open men's 800m.
Both races were compelling to watch.
The 3000m saw Caversham quartet of Daniel Balchin, Lyndon
Brown, Tony Payne and Ben Anderson dominate from the outset.
The four spread the field with national junior 10,000m track
champion Payne setting the early pace.
Payne applied extra pressure at the midway stage only to be
challenged and overtaken by Balchin, who then displayed a
classy turn of speed 600m out that Payne could not master.
Balchin powered to the finish in 8min 57.20sec, with Payne
second in 9min 7.60sec and Brown third in 9min 13.70sec.
An hour later Balchin and Brown fronted up for the 800m along
with Brown's younger brother, Robert.
Balchin appeared in control until Robert Brown displayed a
telling turn of speed 300m out and held his pace on the run
down the home straight to deny Balchin the double.
Robert Brown won in 2min 5sec, with Balchin (2min 6.50sec)
and Lyndon Brown (2min 13.10sec).
The past year has marked a remarkable turn of fortune for
Balchin (18), who began his athletic career with Civil
Service as a 13-year-old after realising he was too small for
He became one of only a handful of Otago athletes to medal in
national secondary school championships when he won bronze in
the 3000m to go with his silver in the 2km steeplechase in
He is ranked No 1 in New Zealand in the 2km steeplechase for
men 19-and-over and will contest the junior men's 19 grade in
the national 3000m championships in Christchurch on March 13.
Then, in Wellington two weeks later, he will run in the 5000m
and 3km steeplechase in the national track and field
Adding to Saturday's track success for Caversham were: Geoff
Anderson, second in the masters men's 3000m; Maria Sleeman,
who won the masters women's 3000m in 12min 17.10sec; and
Olivia Robb, who won the women's 17-19 grade of the 800m in
In field events, Claire Giles won both javelin and shot put
competitions for masters women and Nicole Bradley the junior
women's shot put.
The junior women's 3000m highlighted the emerging talent of
Anna-Lisa Uttley (Ariki), who recorded a personal best of
10min 22.70sec to take the middle-distance spotlight away
from open women's winner Kirsty Morris (Leith), who recorded
A member of the Jim Baird stable, Uttley (15), has impressed
and improved with every race.
Other Baird athletes to feature in the programme, with
Pacific Games champion Rebekah Greene (Hill City) winning the
women's 15-16 800m in an impressive 2min 17.20sec, and
Colgate race walk champion Caitlin O'Brien (Ariki) winning
the women's under-14 800m in 2min 27.80sec.