Chance to improve for young hurdler

Up and over . . . Tara McNally will compete in the 100m and 300m hurdles at the New Zealand secondary school athletics championships later this month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The New Zealand Secondary School Athletics Association Track and Field Championships will be held in Dunedin on November. In the lead up, The Star is profiling Dunedin athletes entered in the competition.

Improving speed and technique will be a Dunedin hurdler’s goals when she competes in a national event this month.

Tara McNally (17) will compete in the 100m and 300m hurdles at the New Zealand Secondary School Athletics Association track and field championships at the Caledonian, which starts later this month.

As well as improving, she wants to learn more about her hurdling events.

Her biggest competition is Olivia Burnham, of Christchurch, in the long hurdle event and Kayla Goodwin, of Hamilton, for the short event.

“They are both lovely athletes who are good and healthy competition to be competing against.”

To prepare for a competition, she liked to eat pasta the night before and listen to music.

She is coached by Brent Ward and admired his “approachable nature, his determination and also his perseverance to help all . . . athletes in his squad to improve in an encouraging environment”.

Tara credited her parents for supporting her and passing their wisdom on to her.

“My mum and dad have influenced me the most, as they both have encouraged me to try new things such as hurdles which I am so thankful for.”

She recommended anyone thinking of getting involved in track and field to “give it a shot”.

“This sport is great as there are so many different events to try in athletics which are very rewarding. and it is great as you can meet lots of new people.”