Bolter’s win adds to impressive family record

First Otago athlete home, William Bolter, and first runner across the line, Jorgia Tucker, with...
First Otago athlete home, William Bolter, and first runner across the line, Jorgia Tucker, with the Ness Cup after their deeds at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The age-old sporting rivalry between Otago and Southland was to the fore in the historic Ness Cup mile race on Saturday.

Southland runner Jorgia Tucker (15) put the hammer down over the final 300m to take the lead turning into the home straight, while hot on her heels were St Paul’s clubmate Max Wiegersma (13) and Dunedin’s William Bolter (13).

While Tucker, a year 10 pupil at Southland Girls’ High School, was first across the line, the rules state the cup is awarded to the first Otago-registered athlete, which was third-placed Bolter, registered with Hill City-University.

For all but the final 100m, renowned Otago masters athlete Myrtle Rough (Hill City-University) led from the front mark only for Tucker, from a handicap of 3min 50sec, Wiegersma (4min 10sec) and Bolter (3min 30sec) to power past on entering the home straight.

The victory for Bolter added to an impressive family record in middle-distance running in Otago.

His grandfather, Chris, and father Tim were both tough nuts to crack, while William’s older brother, Matthew, became the first to have the Bolter name engraved on the Ness Cup when he won the race in 2019.

‘‘It’s pretty awesome, really,’’ Tim said after son William’s victory at the Caledonian on Saturday.

"There’s a lot of history on that trophy. I came close a couple of times myself but never got there."

Tim said his two sons eclipsed many of the times he put up himself, while getting ever so close to some of their grandfather’s best efforts.

As for William’s run on Saturday, what was most apparent was the maturity he displayed in his approach and running.

William said he found the pace a little slow over the first 800m and he decided to ride it out before putting on the pace, and overtaking front markers in the last lap helped lift his tempo.

He is fine-tuning his 800m efforts but has enjoyed competing over the 5000m, and last weekend finished his first 10km race when 10th in the 10-15 year-old category in the 10km section of the Queenstown Marathon, clocking 48min 3sec.

"I was sick, though, so I did pretty well."

His best time for the 5000m is the 23min he clocked in one of the Dunedin park runs.


Other highlights from the Ness Cup meeting on Saturday were.—

—  Otago masters records went to Noeline Burden in the women’s 70-year high jump (1m), Simon Walker in the men’s 50 high jump (1.50m) and Fiona Harvey in the women’s 60 javelin (21.79m).

—  Southland athletes dominated at the jumping pits. Riley Wilson (Gore) won the men’s under-16 long jump (5.40m) and triple jump (11.05m), Ollie Davis (Invercargill) dominated the under-18 grade with 6.81m in the long jump and 12.85m in the triple jump, and Sara Aynsley (Gore) won the women’s under-16 triple jump with a leap of 10.08m.

—  On the track, Schuyler Orr (North Otago) won the senior men’s 100m in 11.10sec, and Jorja Gibbons (Taieri) impressed in the women’s under-18 100m, clocking 12.15sec. Gibbons also won the women’s long jump with 5.26m.

—  Cameron Moffitt (Hill City-University) made short work of the open men’s 400m, stopping the clock at 49.51sec.

—  Bryan Staunton (Leith) dominated the senior men’s 5000m in 19min 5.84sec.