NZ Secondary Schools Athletics – December 2022

The NZSS National Championships were held in Inglewood just outside of New Plymouth from 9th – 11th December2022. A team of 36 athletes attended the championships which was the second largest contingent of any school in attendance, and an indication of the strength and success of the current athletics programme.Athletics Squad

There were some fantastic achievements over the 3 days, notably the gold winning performances of the 4 x100m junior relay team and a national title for the 4x400m senior team. Cooper Wightmans performance in the 1500m will be one remembered as he broke the previous championship record in his second placed run. Many of the squad achieved personal bests in the events that they entered.

Special mention to Asher Pettengell-Brand and Beau Brackenridge who were selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Team at the completion of the championships.

Beau and Asher

Podium placings listed below:


4x100m Junior – Bill Quigley, Harry Williamson, Finn Hawkins, Zavier Toaolamai-Holden

Junior 4 X 400mm Relay Team

4x400m Senior – Asher Pettengell-Brand, Sacha Tahi, Ollie Singleton, Finn O’Sullivan

(See article from Mr Mike Drury below)


Senior 4x400mm Team


Senior Road Race, 6-man team – Tram O’Callaghan, Will McMeeken, Phonse Carroll, Luke Johnston, Josh Loose, Charlie Bailey
4x100m Senior – Sam Cartwright, Asher Pettengell-Brand, Beau Brackenridge, Finn O’Sullivan
4x400m Junior – Bill Quigley, Cooper Wightman, Zavier Toaolamai-Holden, Harry Williamson
Junior 1500m – Cooper Wightman

Cooper Wightman

Senior 200m –Asher Pettengell-Brand
Senior Long Jump – Asher Pettengell-Brand

Asher – Long Jump




Senior 300m Hurdles – Beau Brackenridge

Beau – Silver Medalist


Junior 100m Hurdles – Harry Williamson

Senior title caps excellent summer for Boys’ High athletics


From the start of the 2022/2023 athletics season, a key target for our senior athletes was the 4x400m event at the New Zealand Schools’ event in Inglewood. Throughout the weeks leading up to nationals, Boys’ High athletes dominated 400m events at Nga Puna Wai in both numbers and with the quality of performances.

Such was the depth that we had for this particular discipline, we were able to field three 4x400m teams at the Canterbury Secondary Schools’ champs in November, with these teams placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. From there the competition for spots only ramped up as a group of good mates brought the best out of one another.

Thinking we had finally settled on the team that would take on New Zealand’s best in the final event of the nationals, the best laid plans were thrown out the window just an hour before the race, after the talented Jordan Veitch was ruled out through injury. This injury saw the equally talented Sacha Tahi, join fellow year 11 student Ollie Singleton, our team captain Asher Pettengell-Brand and Finn O’Sullivan in what would prove an epic race.

Asher gave everything for his team in leg one, giving his team a narrow advantage, at the first baton change. Sacha Tahi took his opportunity with both hands, giving good mate Ollie Singleton a handy cushion in front for the start of leg two. One of the most improved athletes in the school, Ollie gave his all to still hold that vital advantage as he handed to our 400m specialist Finn O’Sullivan for leg four.

After a great start and with a good lead down the back straight, Finn looked to have the race in the bag. However, the big guns of Westlake and King’s College were having none of that as they staked their claims over the last 100m. Headed at the 80m and also being chased down by James Ford, the Senior 400m champion, Finn looked to have done his dash. However, in an unbelievable show of guts and determination, he rallied over the last 20m, putting in the dip of his life as the three schools went to the line almost locked together. Posting the same time of 3:23.89, the photo finish was required to separate Boys’ High and Westlake. Unbelievably, the decision went the way of our lads, posting their first ever victory in the 49 years of the National Secondary Schools’ event.

With the headmaster Mr Hill in attendance this was a very special moment for Boys’ High sport. While deserving huge kudos for this win, the four boys who won the gold medals would definitely thank their other team-mates for buying into the contest for positions over the summer and pushing them so hard. The win topped off a magnificent weeked of athletics for a very talented group of boys, many of whom will be looking forward to this year’s nationals which will be held in Christchurch.

Mike Drury (TIC)