Local sprinters on track

Remarkably, two former Wakatipu High students finished a hair’s breadth away from each other in the 100 metres and 200m finals at the recent New Zealand track and field champs in Wellington.

In the 100m, Hayato Yoneto, 22, finished 4th and Jackson Rogers, 21, was less than a 10th of a second behind in 5th.

In the 200m, Rogers was 6th and Yoneto 7th, just one-100th of a second behind.

Rogers is studying at Lincoln University, near Christchurch, and Yoneto is studying in Auckland, but both run in Otago colours.

The pair, who’ll compete at the Australian nationals in Adelaide this month, where they’ll also be in the 4x100m relay, had success at last year’s NZ nationals, too.

Yoneto, who was into football and athletics at Wakatipu High, also represented NZ at the Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands late last year.

Flying: Hayato Yoneto, centre, at last year’s Aussie track and field champs

By contrast, Rogers is just in his second year running, and the nationals were only his second competitive outing this season, due to injury.

He earlier enjoyed success as a high jumper, and sprinting was just a sideline.

However, he quit jumping after breaking two vertebrae in his upper back, and completely converted to sprints.

Meanwhile, Wakatipu High student Siena Mackley, 16, who won the U18 3000m at last year’s NZ champs, finished runner-up in both the U18 1500m and 3000m finals.

Her Queenstown Athletic Club coach Neville Britton says these were still impressive results as her focus has been cross country this year.

That’s due to her selection in the NZ U20 women’s team for the world cross country champs in Serbia last weekend.

Another Wakatipu High student, Jude Deaker, 17, made the U18 1500m boys’ finals at the NZ champs and earned an NZ ranking.

[email protected]

- Advertisement -