Kerr happy with form despite missing mark

Hamish Kerr, of Christchurch, competes in the senior men’s high jump during the Yvette Williams...
Hamish Kerr, of Christchurch, competes in the senior men’s high jump during the Yvette Williams Memorial Meeting at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin last night. Kerr won the competition but failed to achieve the Olympic qualification mark. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Olympic qualification eluded Hamish Kerr.

But the national high jump champion soared higher than anyone before him at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin last night.

The Christchurch Old Boys United athlete cleared 2.18m to deliver the standout performance at the inaugural Yvette Williams Memorial Meeting.

It broke the record of 2.16m he set in November, which he had taken from Glenn Howard, who managed 2.11m in 2003.

However, his goal for the season remains the 2.33m needed for Olympic qualification.

Kerr, who has a personal best of 2.30m, showed both class and composure.

Twice he knocked the bar off on his attempt at 2.12m and 2.18m.

Both times he responded, encouraged by a clapping crowd.

He had three attempts at 2.24m, but it proved a jump too far on the night.

Despite that it was a performance the 24-year-old was happy with.

"You can always want more, can’t you?" he said.

"Obviously 2.33m is the big one this season.

"Given I’ve just had a New Year’s break and we’ve just travelled down from Christchurch, I’m pretty stoked with the result."

The meet attracted a small crowd but he was impressed.

It was a night he thought would grow and he indicated his intention to return.

"It’s great. We love coming down to Dunedin. It’s such a good setup here.

"I think once the meet gets up and running it’ll be something that's key on the calendar for us.

"We’re keen to come back down next year. It’s a great success already."

A few lower-key weeks are now on the agenda as the season ramps up in the next month.

While there has been no competition over the past two weeks, Kerr has used that as valuable training time.

"Probably the biggest one is resting," he said of his plan.

"I’ve just come off a big strength block.

"Obviously [with] Christmas and New Year’s there’s no competitions, so my coach decided that’s when we’ll do all the hard work.

"So I'm coming into this pretty fried.

"You always want to do your best but sometimes the body says ‘not today’."

Kerr showed his versatility in running the 100m not long after the high jump.

It was another handy display, clocking 11.34sec to finish second.

Hill City-University’s Nathan MacDonnell won in 11.20sec.

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