Otago relay teams excel at nationals

Becky Aitkenhead (4min 11.65sec) crosses the finish line ahead of Laura Nagel (4min 11.95sec) to...
Becky Aitkenhead (4min 11.65sec) crosses the finish line ahead of Laura Nagel (4min 11.95sec) to win the women’s senior 1500m title at the national track and field championships yesterday. PHOTO: PABLO REY
John Gerber took off flying.

He had been set up perfectly by team-mates Felix McLeay, Cameron Moffitt and Felix McDonald for a powerful finish.

Gerber never let up, putting his foot down and storming home to help Otago win the national senior men’s 4x400m relay title in 3min 13.10sec.

It was an impressive feat holding out Auckland (3min 16.02sec) and a great way to round out an excellent national track and field championships in Wellington at the weekend.

Otago showed real strength in the relays — including having two senior men’s 100m and 400m teams — to pick up several medals.

Otago senior men’s 4x100m relay teams showed their speed to bank gold and bronze.

McLeay, McDonald and Gerber and Hayato Yoneto won gold in the men’s senior 4x100m final, leading the field in 40.63sec.

Moffitt, Schuyler Orr, Shay Veitch and Hadlee Edmunds came third in 42.79sec.

The men’s under-20 4x100m team (Millar McElrea, Cody Armstrong, Luke Moffitt and Seb Ferro) also won silver in 44.04sec and Moffitt, McElrea and Armstrong teamed up with Nicolas Alvarez Rey-Virag to win bronze in the men’s under-20 4x400m in 3min 27.14sec.

Phoebe Laker, Annabelle Batchelor, Jorja Gibbons and Niamh Townsend won silver in the women’s under-20 4x100m relay in 49.87sec. Laker also pushed all the way to win gold in the women’s under-16 400m with a personal best of 57.29sec.

Becky Aitkenhead won her first women’s senior 1500m national title in 4min 11.65sec and Paralympian Anna Grimaldi set a national T47 record in the women’s 200m heat with her time of 25.95sec.

Alex Brown won silver in the men’s senior 10,000m race walk, finishing in 52min 38.69sec.

In the field, Paralympian Holly Robinson (F46) continued to impress in the women’s para shot put, flinging her gold medal winning throw 11.65m (93.42%).

Fellow thrower Kieran Fowler won silver in the men’s senior discus with a throw of 49.64m and Sarah Evans took silver in the women’s under-18 javelin with a throw of 36.34m.

Luke Moffitt continued his fantastic form at the nationals.

He won the men’s under-20 long jump with a personal best of 6.85m and silver in the men’s under-20 pole vault with another personal best of 3.91m.

Mac Denniston won three silver medals in the men’s under-20 para discus (18.17m), shot put (7.09m) and javelin (14.58m).

Lisa Lokman won bronze in the women’s under-18 high jump with a personal best of 1.65m.