Tasman wins eight medals at NZ Track and Field Champs

Manawatu’s Genna Maples heard footsteps as she rounded the final bend on the anchor leg of the women’s under 20  4 x 400 metres relay at Sunday’s New Zealand Track and Field Championships in Christchurch.
She did not know the footsteps belonged to the daughter of the New Zealand women’s 800m record holder.
Camryn Smart’s mother, Toni Hodgkinson, competed in two Olympic Games and her father, Alistair Smart, was a New Zealand decathlete who ran 48.8 for 400m. The perfect pedigree and a feisty determination propelled Camryn past Maples in the homestretch to give Tasman the gold medal in a time of 3:58.59
Former Garin College student Celia Ward started Tasman off with a 61.2 opening leg. She was followed by an identical time by Waimea College student Hayley Bond.  Hayley’s schoolmate Samantha Hardie’s 58.8-second penultimate leg brought Tasman from fifth to second place. Smart chased Maples down the backstretch before unleashing her final sprint for a 57.4 closing leg.
The meet capped an eight-medal performance for Tasman over the three days of competition at the new Nga Puna Wai track facility. On Saturday, silver medals and personal bests were achieved by Smart in the W20 400m in 57.56 and Emily Bryan in the U18 javelin with 37.62m.
On Sunday, bronze medals went to Waimea College student Adam Stack in the M18 long jump with 6.50m and to Fletcher Pickworth in the M20 1,500m in 4:04.08.
Former Waimea College student Bailey Cotton finished  sixth in the senior men’s 200m (22.52), seventh in the 400m (51.40), and anchored the 4 x 100m relay to fourth place (44.95).