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Competing in blustery conditions at the Nga Puna Wai track, Grimaldi (24) lit up the women’s long jump as she added 6cm on to her T47 record with a first-round effort of 5.78m, aided by a slight following wind.
The 24-year-old is in the form of her life after posting her previous New Zealand record in Dunedin in October.
On Saturday night, she created a slice of history to claim fourth overall in the open competition.
“I’m very happy. You can’t ask to open a comp with more than that,” she said.
“I was really stoked. It felt nice and floaty off the board. I knew it was pretty good.
‘‘When I saw the tape, I was really excited. It is my first big competition of the year and I’m excited to open it with a national record.”
There was an upset in the women’s 200m, as national bronze medallist Georgia Hulls claimed the scalp of national champion Zoe Hobbs to win in 24.44sec.
Hobbs has been in scintillating form this season but had earlier withdrawn from the women’s 4x100m relay nursing a minor niggle.
Hulls seized control in the final quarter of the race to claim top spot. National 200m silver medallist Rosie Elliott, of Hill City, was rewarded with second in 24.85sec.
Patience and strength were rewarded in a thrilling women’s 800m as Camille Buscomb, of Waikato, overhauled Dunedin’s Rebekah Greene in the latter stages to claim an eye-catching victory in 2min 8.45sec.
Paced through 400m by former World University Games champion Angie Petty in a rapid 60sec, Greene held a 10m advantage from Kara Macdermid at the bell with Buscomb a further 10m adrift.
However, the swift early pace coupled with the blustery conditions took their toll on Greene, the New Zealand 800m No1 this season, in the latter stages and Buscomb timed her challenge to perfection to come within 0.24sec of her lifetime best for the distance.
Greene was rewarded with 2min 9.21sec in second.
In the shot put, Jacko Gill set a lifetime best to secure a third successive men’s victory over rival Tom Walsh.
Competing in Walsh’s backyard, Gill produced a masterclass of throwing by adding 5cm to his personal best, hurling the 7.26kg orb out to a mighty 21.52m in round one.
Walsh responded with a season’s best of 21.43m in the opening round before bettering that distance by a further 3cm in round three but Gill, who unleashed his second-best effort of the night in round six with 21.44m, would not be denied.