Overend powers to sprint gold double

Auckland Grammar School’s Dominic Overend (second from right) comes from behind to win the senior...
Auckland Grammar School’s Dominic Overend (second from right) comes from behind to win the senior boys 100m final from (from left) Jacob Stockwell, Alex Dawson and Mogammad Smith at the national secondary school track and field championships at the Caledonian Ground yesterday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Dominic Overend’s class won out — but he had to work to claim the double.

The 16-year-old Youth Olympian entered the national secondary school athletics championships as the hot favourite in both the senior boys 100m and 200m.

He barely broke a sweat as he cruised through the preliminary stages in both events at the Caledonian Ground.

However, the Auckland Grammar School runner found himself chasing King’s College’s Mogammad Smith in the final of the 100m yesterday.

A slow start had Overend behind, and it took him to the 80m mark to reel in the impressive Smith.He crossed the line in a time of 10.90sec, slightly below what he is capable of, although still a handy time into a stiff headwind.

Smith crossed in 11.00sec.

"I came out of my drive phase and saw he was quite a bit ahead," Overend said.

"So I really had to push and fight to take over — it was a rewarding win.

"Through the rounds and with everyone that’s supported me, I was real happy and in a good head space — so I knew I could do it."

Two hours later he had no such problems in the 200m.

He showed all his power as he rounded the bend and opened a convincing gap from the rest of the field.

His time of 22.16sec was again a way off his 21.44sec personal best.

However, it was well in front of second-placed Matteus Pius — who ran 22.78sec — and a pleasing performance given the conditions.

He said the time was "very good" into the wind and he was "really happy" with his results.

Another couple of hours later he claimed a third gold medal, helping Auckland Grammar to a win in the 4×100m senior boys relay.

At just 16 years old, Overend looks to be a sprinter of considerable potential.

He is second in senior men’s national rankings in both the 100m and 200m — behind national champion Joseph Millar.

He hopes to qualify for the 2020 world junior championships, while also looking to defend his schools titles next year.

Maia Anderson-Broughton also claimed the 100-200m double in the senior girls.

Also 16 years old, the St Andrew’s College runner held off two almighty challenges to claim both golds.

In the 100m her time of 12.39sec was enough to edgeTe Awamutu College’s Leah Belfield, who finished in 12.41sec.

They were followed by Dunstan High School’s Sam Nicholls, who claimed bronze in 12.80sec — edging Garin College’s Celia Ward by 0.01sec.

It was the same two front-runners at it again in the 200m.Anderson-Broughton fought hard to pull away from Belfield once again and cross in a time of 25.19sec.

In the junior grades Wanganui Collegiate’s Genna Maples claimed the girls double, while Napier Boys’ High School’s Josh Adegoke won both finals in the boys.

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