A rainbow arcing outside the Saxton Field AthleticsTrack served a perfect backdrop to Brendon Barnett’s national long jump record at yesterday’s Athletics Nelson Twilight Series Meet. Barnett’s pot of gold at end of his 7.32m leap was the New Zealand age 17 record.
Barnett’s effort on his first jump of the competition broke the record set by Otago’s Tom Davie in Inglewood on December 8, 2002 by two centimetres and his own personal best set in Evry, France in July by one centimetre in setting the New Zealand M16 record.
No record seemed possible when Barnett walked through the gate an hour before the start of the meet. Cool winds swirled and gusted up the home-straight. Streaks of rain pelted the track and runways. The long jump wasn’t even on the schedule, and Barnett talked the meet director into adding it to the programme.
The atmosphere was nothing compared to France, where spectators lined the long jump runway and pumped up the competitors.
“I was in the moment, and the (French fans) really psyched me up,’’ Barnett said. “Here it was more relaxed.”
Barnett’s main concern was getting a legal wind of 2m per second or less. He waited for the wind to calm down before charging down the runway.
“I hit the board spot on,” Barnett said. “I landed well. But I feel I can go farther.”
Then he checked the wind gauge operator and meet referee Barry Hunt, who confirmed the wind at +1.1m per second and the record.
Barnett followed with a wind-aided jump of 7.14m and legal jumps of 7.00m and 6.96m. Chris Brake finished second in a huge personal best of 6.59m and also cleared 1.79m to win the high jump and won the triple jump with 12.62m.
The wind ruined any chance of a repeat performance of last week from Alex Jordan. Still, he managed 11.2sec in the 100m and 22.5 into stiff headwinds in easily winning both races.
Claire Erasmus opened her track season, winning the 400m in 66.9sec and followed with a win in the 200m, only a few minutes later, in 29.5sec.
The 3,000m races featured three runners under nine minutes in the men’s race and three under 11 minutes in the women’s race. Tom Stringer took the lead from Mike Lowe with 600m to go, but was passed by Craig Lautenslager as they entered the final turn. Stringer fought back to pass Lautenslager in the final 50m and finished in 8min51.13sec. Lautenslager ran 8min52.62sec and Lowe 8min58.49sec.
Stringer covered his second 1,500 in 4min17sec, his final 400m in 60sec, and his final 200m in 27.8sec.
Jess Martin, running her first-ever 3,000, led the women’s race until she was passed by Brittany Stewart on the final lap. Stewart finished in 10min39.01sec, Pip Dalley in 10min52.95sec, and Martin in 10min54.82sec.
The Twilight Series returns on November 18 at 6pm. The meet will be a build-up for the Harold Nelson Classic on Nov. 26.
100m – Men: (fast section) Alex Jordan, 11.2sec, 1; Brodie Hewlett, 11.9, 2; Alistair Adams, 12.3sec,3. (slow section) Brad Tunnicliffe, 12.87sec, 1; Robert McIntosh, 13.02sec, 2.Women: (fast section) Morgan Clark, 14.08sec, 1; Hannah Shepard, 14.27sec, 2; Chloe Hall, 15.27sec, 3. (slow section) Livia Strub, 14.5sec, 1; Ayla Walker, 14.6sec, 2; Irene Post, 14.7sec, 3.
200m – Men: Alex Jordan, 22.5sec, 1; Mitchell Chandler, 26.0sec, 2; Phillip Rollo, 26.2sec, 3. Women: Claire Erasmus, 29.60sec, 1; Hannah Shephard, 30.55sec, 2; Irene Post, 30.62sec, 3.
400m – Men: Steve Lowe, 62.9sec, 1; Don Clementson, 77.9sec, 2. Women: Claire Erasmus, 66.9sec, 1.
800m – Men: (fast section) Cameron Murdoch, 2min3.8sec,1; Hugo Lawrence, 2min12.8sec,2; Ed Palmer, 2min20.8sec, 3. (slow section) Connor Johnston, 2min22.3sec, 1; Luke Kelly, 2min31.7sec, 2; Hayden Squance, 2min32.4sec, 3. Women: Sammy Jordan, 2min48.7sec, 3.
3,000m – Men: Tom Stringer, 8min51.13sec,1; Craig Lautenslager, 8min52.62sec, 2; Mike Lowe, 8min58.69sec. Women: Brittany Stewart, 10min39.01sec,1; Pip Dalley, 10min52.62sec, 2; Jess Martin, 10min54.82sec,3.
80m Hurdles – Women: Livia Strub, 15.0sec,1; Ayla Walker, 15.7sec, 2.
Long Jump – Brendon Barnett, 7.32m (New Zealand Age 17 record), 1; Chris Brake, 6.59m,2; Brad Tunnicliffe, 4.90m, 3. Women: Chloe Hall, 4.22m, 1; Hannah Shepard,4.17m, 2.
Triple Jump – Men: Chris Brake, 12.62m, 1. Women: Chloe Hall, 9.36m, 1.
High Jump – Men: Chris Brake, 1.79m, 1; Women: Hannah Shepard, 1.35m, 2.
Shot Put – Men: Dale Pritchard, 12.96m, 1; Tony Anderson, 9.07m,2.
Discus – Men: Dale Pritchard, 43.83m, 1; Tony Anderson, 28.11m, 2.