Running in windy conditions, Andrew Baddeley and Aoife Byrne claimed their respective races at the Mayoral Mile will at Cooks Gardens on Saturday (17).
Baddeley too powerful - men's race
Scott Ferguson towed the field through the opening 880 yards in a respectable 1:58. Baddeley then moved into the lead with David Campbell, Youcef Abdi, and Gareth Hyett tucked in behind, with Baddeley taking the bell in 2.59. A pack including Abdi, Hyett, and Mitch Kealey loomed up to challenge Baddeley with 200 to go. Coming off the final bend Baddeley threw in a surge which propelled him ahead of Hyett who had almost drawn level. There was desperation in the final straight behind Baddeley, who recorded an excellent 3:58.81 for the 49th sub-4-minute mile at Wanganui. Hyett lunged for second to record his third career sub-4 (3:59.90) and Wanganui’s 50th, while Mitch Kealey missed breaking the barrier by ust 0.08 seconds.
Irish victory on St. Patricks Day - women's race
Irish Visitor Aoife Byrne lead from gun to tape in the Combined Womens/Junior Mile. National Senior 1500m Champion Kellie Palmer and Lucy Oliver kept within touch for the first half, but then Byrne extended her lead to win comfortably in 4:49.33. Palmer finished second, whilst Oliver faded in the final stages, with Lucy Van Dalen (Oceania 1500m Champion) picking up third. World Youth Qualifier Camille Buscomb was off the pace but showed excellent determination in the straight.
Matthews upsets teammate Bowden in men's junior race
Julian Matthews produced a strong finish over the closing stages of the Wanganui Collegiate sponsored Junior Mile to defeat his close friend and teammate Dallas Bowden. Ben Osborne paced the field through the first 880 yards in 2.02.9, slightly slower than expected. Dallas Bowden, the pre-race favourite, took over his quest to become the first New Zealand schoolboy to break 4 minutes for the mile, but the windy conditions were always going to make that tough. He was tracked by Matthews until the final 200m when the older Matthews used his superior strength to defeat Bowden. Ex-Wanganui Collegiate Star Hugo Beamish (now at Canterbury University) held of Daniel Wallis for the third podium position.
Murray Taylor for the IAAF
1. Andrew Baddeley 3:58.81
2. Gareth Hyett 3:59.90
3. Mitch Kealey 4:00.08
1. Aoife Byrne 4:49.33
2. Kellie Palmer 4:51.64
3. Lucy Van Dalen 4:52.11
Junior MEN -
1. Julian Matthews 4:09.65
2. Dallas Bowden 4:11.21
3. Hugo Beamish 4:13.12