Athletics: Hubber shows good form at champs

William Hubber on his way to winning the junior men's shot put at the Otago championships at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
William Hubber on his way to winning the junior men's shot put at the Otago championships at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Hannah Blair (Taieri) has made a big push this season and is the dominant female javelin thrower in the country after smashing her own Otago record earlier in the month.

Blair (22) leads the New Zealand senior women's ranking list with her Otago record throw of 50.17m.

It improved the record by a significant 2.90m.

She easily won the women's title at the Otago championships on Saturday, with a throw of 46.85m.

Her sequence of throws ran: 46.85m. 44.58m, 46.58m, 44.23m. 44.51m and foul.

Blair was a promising thrower while growing up on a farm at Warepa in South Otago, but her career has blossomed since coming under the tutelage of coach Raylene Bates.

She was third at the New Zealand championships in 2008 and won the silver medal last year.

This could be her year for a gold medal, because she has a 3m advantage on Keisha Grant (Waikato), who is second on the national ranking list.

Blair is targeting Kirsten Hellier's New Zealand senior women's record of 54.15m and Bates believes she can beat it this season.

She is one of the stars of Bates' stable of throwers who are poised to dominate their specialist events at the national championships in Christchurch.

Another thrower making a mark is Taieri hammer thrower William Hubber (18), who improved by 2m when winning the junior men's title with 50.32m.

His sequence of throws was: 48.64m, 48.22m, 46.56m, foul, 48.18m, 50.32m.

Hubber will be studying at Canterbury University this year but has chosen to be registered in Otago because of his confidence in Bates as his coach.

Hubber also won the junior men's discus (41.89m) and shot put (13.66m) at the Otago champs.

Jerram Huston (Taieri), another Bates prodigy, left it until his last put to get a legal throw to win the senior men's shot put title with 14.05m.

He is ranked fourth in the country but could have moved to second behind Damian Smuts (Auckland) if he had maintained his balance and stayed in the circle on any of his earlier throws.

Marshall Hall (Taieri), the national senior men's champion, had a consistent series of throws when winning the senior men's discus yesterday.

He threw 45.95m. 48.04m, no throw, 47.45m, 48.55m, 47.17m.

He has challenged by Smuts, who threw 49.28m in Auckland at the weekend to snatch top ranking for the season from Hall.

Dunedin Paralympic athlete Rebecca Hayman (24) beat her own New Zealand javelin record in the F 55 AWD class by 46cm with a throw of 12.59m.

She also won the shot put with a throw of 5.50m.

Roseanne Robinson (Hill City) lowered her time by 18 seconds in winning the senior women's 3000m walk in 14min 18.72sec.

Callan Moody (Ariki) won the senior men's 800m (1min 57.23sec) and 1500m (3min 57.61sec) double.

Daniel Balchin (Caversham) won the junior men's 1500m in 3min 58.42sec.

Anna Smythe (Hill City) won the women's 100m (12.04sec) and 200m, and Andrew Moore (Hill City) won the senior men's 100m (10.87sec) and 200m (22.11sec) double.

Matt Aitken (Hill City) won the AWD discus (25.50m), javelin (19.99m) and shot put (8.57m).