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Following a tactical first 1000m, Oli Chignell won a thrilling 1500m in a senior interclub programme held in association with New Zealand Masters Games track and field competition at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday.
A leading group of five including Chignell and Hill City clubmates Jared Monk, Sam Bremer and Kirk Madgwick, along with Nathan Hill (Leith), set the early but tactical pace.
Bremer upped the ante at the 1000m mark and made a bid to break up the group. However, he was only successful in leading the bunch through to the turn into the home straight, sparking a 100m sprint to the line.
Bremer Madgwick and Hill were the first to falter as the tempo increased, leaving Monk and Chignell going stride for stride down the straight.
Chignell prevailed in the final steps to claim victory in 4min 2.12sec, with Monk a breath away in second, clocking 4min 2.44sec. Bremer finished third in 4min 5.98sec.
Chignell has a personal best over the distance of 4min flat, and Saturday's race proved a good hit-out for him.
He hopes to break through the 4min barrier at the national championships in Dunedin early next month.
The high jump competition attracted a large field, with Paralympic hopeful Jonathon Brownjohn (Taieri) clearing 1.60m, way off his best. Brownjohn needs to clear 1.85m to meet the New Zealand qualifying standard for Rio.
National junior heptathlon champion Danica Davies jumped a personal best of 1.60m to win the junior women's competition.
But one to watch in future years is Sarah Lansberry, who at just 12 years old made clearing 1.48m appear effortless.
Other senior highlights
● Matthew Ogle (Hill City-University) overcoming a strong challenge from William Mohammed (Canterbury University) to win the 400m in 52.64sec.
● Zharna Beattie (Taieri) winning the junior girls' discus with 31.33m; Mayce Ballantyne won the senior competition with 42.55m.
● Todd Bates (Taieri) recovered from a bad start to win the senior men's hammer throw with 51.84m in the fifth round.
● Tori Peeters (Taieri) won the competitive senior women's javelin with 48.26m.