Otago girl takes trophy

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For the first time, the trophy for the best performance by a grade 13 girl at a national interprovincial meeting has been won by an Otago athlete.

Sarah Langsbury (13) was part of the 44-member Otago team that competed at the New Zealand Children’s Athletics Association Grade 12 and 13 Teams Event earlier in the month.

Each athlete competed in four events, which were chosen based on their performance throughout the club season, and scored points which went towards their team’s total.

Sarah, an Ariki Athletic and Harrier Club member, won the trophy based on the points she accumulated in each of her events – 80m hurdles, long jump, high jump and 200m sprint – during which she broke two Otago records and achieved three personal bests.

She won the grade 13 girls’ 80m hurdles with a personal best time of 12.25sec, which was 0.43sec faster than the previous record set by Christina Ashton in 2011.

She finished second in the long jump and broke a 30-year-old Otago record with her personal best jump of 5.14m, 4mmthan the previous record held by Jacqui Tizard.

Her other personal best was her 27.35sec run in the 200m sprint.

Sarah competed in the championship last year and finished second overall in the grade 12 girls’ section.

The St Hilda’s Collegiate School pupil has been involved in athletics since she was about 9 years old.

She said she enjoyed the social, but competitive element of athletics and had made many friends since she took it up.

Her favourite event was hurdles and she hoped to compete at the Olympics, she said.

Sarah will spend the winter months playing netball and rugby sevens while also training for athletics with the Otago Development Squad.