Hannah O’Connor of Egmont Athletics should comfortably retain her women’s under 20 3000m title to be run at the Cooks Classic meeting at Cook Gardens Wanganui on Tuesday evening.
O’Connor will take up her usual front running tactics and it will be just a matter of how fast she can go. At the night of 5’s meeting in Auckland just before Christmas O’Connor ran her personal best of 9:28.01, which is knocking on the door of the New Zealand under 17 record of 9:17.58 set by Kara Macdermid in Palmerston North three years ago.
The battle for the other two places on the podium will be between Phoebe McKnight, Charli Miller and Tessa Webb. McKnight was second to O’Connor in both the youth and junior championships last season and has a best of 9:39.56. Miller has a best of 9:55.60 and Webb second to O’Connor in the under 18 road championship has run 9:57.47.
James Uhlenberg will be wanting to break his string of minor placings with a gold in the men’s under 20 championship. Uhlenberg proved his class at the 2015 Oceania Youth championships winning the 800m and 1500m as well as taking the silver in the 3000m. He has a best of 8:20.01 from fourth place in the outstanding secondary schools race in early December.
Chasing Uhlenberg will be Jared Lautenslager, Christian Conder and Angus White the 2015 youth champion.