400m record broken with young runner’s personal best

Phoebe Laker just keeps getting better.

The Mt Aspiring runner broke the girls under-15 400m record at the South Island secondary school athletics in Timaru at the weekend.

The rising star ran a personal best of 57.08sec to win gold and better the previous record of 57.41sec that Pieta Hansen (St Andrew’s) set in 2016.

It was another high point in an impressive season that included pushing all the way to win gold in the under-16 400m at the national track and field championships last month.

She was also part of the Mt Aspiring team, alongside Eve Pfahlert, Amaya East and Millie East, that won the girls under-19 4x400m relay in 4min 5.79sec.

Among the other leading performers at the weekend was Alexa Duff.

The Columba thrower picked up the full set of medals, winning gold in the girls under-19 shot put (12.39m), silver in the javelin (39.24m) and bronze in the discus (39.39m).

Jessie McGrouther also won silver in the shot put with a personal best of 11.50m and bronze in the hammer throw with her personal best of 41.74m.

Lisa Lokman (Otago Girls’) won gold in the girls under-19 high jump with her leap of 1.63m and silver in the triple jump with 10.09m.

Stan Parker (Mt Aspiring) won gold in the boys under-19 high jump, and Mac Denniston (Dunstan) won gold in the boys F34 senior para javelin with 13.34m and gold in the shot put with 7.21m. He won silver in the discus with 19.99m.

On the track, Ruie Hyslop (Otago Boys’) was strong over the long distances.

He won gold in the boys under-19 3000m (9min 03.49sec) and bronze in the 1500m (4min 15.46sec) in personal best times.

Jorja Gibbons (Queen’s) won the girls under-19 100m title in 12.34sec, and Blake Dalton (Taieri) won the boys title in 11.43sec.

Cody Armstrong (Mt Aspiring) won silver in the boys event and silver in the 400m event.

Otago schools were also strong across the other age groups.