Otago cohort heads north for contest

Runner and long jumper Jorja Gibbons (left) and thrower Alexa Duff are among Otago’s medal hopes...
Runner and long jumper Jorja Gibbons (left) and thrower Alexa Duff are among Otago’s medal hopes at the national secondary school championships. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Jorja Gibbons and Alexa Duff have a busy weekend ahead.

The duo are part of a large Otago team heading to the 50th national secondary schools championships in Christchurch starting tomorrow.

The 48th road race championships will run alongside the event.

Gibbons, 17, and Duff, 16, will be aiming for medals on the track and in the field.

Gibbons (Queen’s High School) will compete in the senior 100m, in which she won bronze last year, and will be aiming to better her fourth in the senior long jump.

Duff (Columba College) will be aiming to continue her success with the javelin, having won gold (under-18) and silver (under-20) at the national championships earlier this year.

She will compete in the senior javelin, shot put and discus at the secondary school championships.

Among the other athletes tipped to do well on the track is Otago Girls’ High School long-distance runner Catherine Lund.

Lund is back to defend her 4000m road race title from last year and will want to better her silver in the 3000m race and 2000m steeplechase.

She will also compete in the 1500m.

Lund will come up against fellow Dunedin runner Zara Geddes (St Hilda’s Collegiate), who is entered in the senior 1500m and 3000m events, and the 4000m road race.

Geddes won silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 3000m last year.

John McGlashan College runner Seb Ferro looks strong in the senior 100m and 200m, as does Mt Aspiring College runner Phoebe Laker in the junior 400m, where she secured bronze last year.

In the field, Sarah Evans (Taieri College) will compete in the junior javelin, in which she won silver in the under-16 event at this year’s national championships.

Otago Girls’ high jumper Emelia Adamson is searching for another gold in the junior high jump after winning the under-16 event at the national championships.

Mac Denniston (Dunstan High School) will also be busy, competing in the senior para discus, javelin and shot put.