Young athletes impress

Winners . . . Some of the Dunedin contingent of athletes who competed in the South Island Colgate Games in Christchurch at the weekend show off their winners' medals and ribbons. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Dunedin athletes picked up a haul of accolades at the South Island Colgate Games.

Athletes from Taieri, Hill City and Ariki athletics clubs competed in the games, held in Christchurch at the weekend.

Hill City athlete Manaia Lesa picked up four gold medals hurdles and long jump grade 12.

“It was a bit of a surprise at the end,” Manaia said.

“I just came away feeling ecstatic.”

Before the games, his goal was to place in the 100m and 200m events.

He liked that the games allowed him to get to know and compete against athletes from other South Island clubs.

“You get a broader image of where you’re placed, more than just Otago.

“It’s good to see boys that you know from previous years.”

Manaia has been competing for three years.

Clubmate Alex Walker (10) won a gold medal in the grade 10 shot put and a bronze in the grade 10 race walk.

He also set four personal bests.

Taieri athlete O’hara Couch (12) won gold in the grade 12 relay with clubmates Georgia McHutchon, Jorja Gibbons and Neve Beattie, and bronze in the grade 12 high jump.

O’hara said she enjoyed meeting new people and having fun.

A highlight was getting to stand on the podium after winning her event.

“It was cool to see new people who are really good.”

Shyah Beattie, of Taieri, was awarded one of the four Nick Willis scholarships for outstanding performances and sportsmanship at the games.