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Shore athletes enjoy success at major summer meets

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Eyes on the prize… Westlake Girls student Kate Borton powers ahead of rivals at the Colgate Games in January winning two golds

Two national records were set by local senior competitors at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships, with a junior athlete snaring an impressive track double at another big meeting.

Westlake Girls High School graduate and 2020 Senior Sportswoman of the Year Kaia Tupu South, set a senior shot put record of 17.54m at the championships in Tauranga in December.

Westlake Girls High School graduate, Kaia Tupu South

Rosmini College student Jayden Williamson’s personal best high jump of 2.11m matched a national secondary record that has stood since 1993.

Kaia has since gone on to finish third behind Olympic champion Dame Valerie Adams at a meeting in Christchurch.

At the secondary champs she won on her fifth attempt with a 3kg shot put, breaking the previous record of 17.02. Kaia also won the discuss, throwing 48.46m.

The 2020 Westlake head prefect was also named Female Senior Athlete of the championships. “It was a really great start of the season for me, she said. “I’m really happy and excited. I was nervous at first but I knew I could throw that far.”

Kaia is set to compete in the national track and field championships on 5 March. This will be her last New Zealand com- petition before she leaves to study on an athletics scholarship to the University of Washington in Seattle.

She told the Observer she would miss her coach, Walter Gill, at the Takapuna Athletics Club.

Kate Borton, a 14-year-old who attends Westlake Girls High School, won gold in the 400m and 800m races in the North Island Colgate Games in Inglewood last month.

The North Harbour Bays club member won the 800m race in a time of 2 minutes and 23 seconds and the 400m in just under 58s.

“I really enjoy running and I would love to represent New Zealand one day,” Kate said.

She began competing at the age of nine and attended her first Colgate Games at 10. Borton said she preferred 400m and 800m, “but I also want to compete in the 200m and 1500m races next time.”

This article originally appeared in the 5 March 2021 edition of the Rangitoto Observer.

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