Athletics showcase at weekend
The circus tent has been lowered at Saxton Field. But another show that involves great feats of jumping, soaring, throwing from three rings, and top performers travelling at great speeds is on this weekend at the Saxton Field athletics track.
The inaugural Harold Nelson Classic, which honours the late Olympic and Empire Games champion, will come out firing at 5.30pm on Saturday with national record-holder Brendon Barnett launching himself into the long jump pit.
Alex Jordan, the New Zealand teen sprint phenomenon, will fly down the home stretch in the 100m and 200m. Jordan will race New Zealand national 400m hurdles junior record-holder Michael Cochrane, of Tauranga, and then combine with Cochrane in a special 2x100m race in the meet’s final event at 8.30pm.
The meet also will feature national women’s sprint champion Hazel Bowering-scott, Tasman Centre recordholder throwers Dale Pritchard and Courtney Clarke, and a host of middledistance runners. Entered in the men’s 3000m is Canterbury’s Matt Harris and possibly 30-time national champion Phil Costley.
The men’s 1500m field is loaded with top Nelson juniors Tom Stringer, Craig Lautenslager, Mike Lowe, Peter Meffan, and Canterbury’s Brett Clifford proclaiming the race a ‘‘sub-four or bust’’.
There are also a couple of specialty races – the children’s 100m and the masters mile. The children’s race is for intermediate or primary school boys and girls, with only eight spots available for boys and girls on a first-come, firstserved basis. The masters’ mile has no limit for men and women aged 35 and over.
Entry information and programme are available at nzrunningacademy.co.nz. The entry fee is $5, the deadline now extended to tomorrow. Thereafter, the late fee is $10.
Admission is free to all.