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McCartney, Crouser best at Track Challenge

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/02/2017 Angelo Risso

Kiwi golden girl Eliza McCartney has knocked over her own New Zealand women's pole vault record at the Auckland Track Challenge.

The 20-year-old Olympic bronze-medallist vaulted a national and Oceanian record of 4.82m on Sunday, despite using a short 12-stride run-up.

Cruising through 4.40m, 4.55m and 4.70m, the Aucklander cleared 4.82m on the second time of asking, clasping her face in surprise.

The vault beats her previous personal best of 4.80m, which she equalled in Rio, as well as Australian Alana Boyd's continental record of 4.81m.

"I felt really good today, from the second I started warming up my run-up moved back heaps, which means my speed was really good," McCartney said.

"I was really fast today which is awesome (and) got on to really big poles, which helps."

McCartney's feat was the highlight of the day's action at the AUT Millennium track, edging out the sheer brute force of American shot putter Ryan Crouser.

The 24-year-old Olympic gold-medallist blitzed his own New Zealand all-comers record with two throws of 22.15m on Sunday, despite being at the start of his season.

Kiwi shot putter Tom Walsh, a friend of Crouser's outside the circle, thrice broke the New Zealand residents record, finishing second on 21.80m.

But he couldn't come close to Crouser, who anticipated that Randy Barnes' world record of 23.12m would be broken sooner rather than later.

"This is probably my most consistent meet outside of the Olympics, and it's still really early for me so I'm really happy with where I'm at," Crouser said.

"Yeah, 23m is definitely possible this year and before 2020 I'm sure the record will fall."

Aucklander Jacko Gill also finished third, throwing a near-personal best of 20.92m.

In other results, Kiwi men's pole-vaulting champion Nick Southgate coasted to the Track Challenge crown with a vault of 5.20m.

Kiwi sprinter Zoe Hobbs picked up the women's 100m gong with a time of 11.94, while Joseph Millar won the men's 200m sprint.

Kiwi compatriots Cameron French and Georgia Hulls won the men's and women's 400m respectively, while Josh Ralph and Katherine Marshall won the 800m events.

Matt Manning picked up the one-mile victory with a time of 4:16.92, before Brett Robinson won the last race of the day with a time of 13:22.93 in the men's 5000m.

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