Jess and Jared post top finishes

Athletics Nelson runners Jessica Martin and Jared Lautenslager came through with top six performances at last night’s New Zealand Junior 3,000m Championships in Wanganui.

Martin was no match for Canterbury’s Gabrielle Gray, who took the lead from the outset and pulled away from New Zealand Secondary Schools champion Hannah English to post a winning time of 9min46.09sec in the women’s race.  English held on for second, 15 seconds behind Gray.

Martin ran in the trailing pack of 12 runners and closed hard for fifth place in 10min18.77sec. Bridie Edwards finished close to her personal best for 10th place in 10min30.85sec. Beth Versey completed her first 3,000m race in 10min34.69sec for 11th place. Sami Jordan ran a personal best 10min45.44sec for 14th place.

Geordie Beamish treated his home crowd at Cook’s Gardens with a victory in the men’s junior 3,000m championships in 8min 34sec.  Lautenslager ran a massive 23-second personal best in finishing sixth and just ahead of last season’s New Zealand Youth 3,000m champion Sean Eustace in 8min46sec.  Angus Wemyss placed 21st, and Kalani Sheridan was 22nd.

In the Cook’s Classic, held in conjunction with the New Zealand Junior 3,000m champs, Amanda Fitisemanu finished second in the women’s 400m in 59.38sec.  Josh Barry ran a personal best 51.63secs to finish sixth in the men’s 400m.