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At the College Sport Wellington region athletics 47th NSZZA Track and Field Championships Emma Douglass (Year 13, 2020) led the Senior Girls 800m field on the inside lane throughout the middle stages of her race, dropping back to third on the back straight of the second lap – before her and Timaru Girls’ High School’s Tillie Holyer launched a two-way battle around the final bend and up the home straight.  Tillie led Emma up the home straight, but Emma found another gear to overtake her and romp home ahead of second placed Brianna Lee of Napier Girls’ High School who also overtook third placed Tillie.

“Winning was a massive shock, I was not expecting that at all,” said Emma afterwards. “Not having done much 800m training this was kind of a one-off thing, so I am incredibly happy with that.”

Emma also said the wind on the back straight and coming around the third bend was tough – but it was her extra speed from her favoured 400m that got her home. “Being able to sprint like a 400m runner really comes into play in longer races that unfold like these and in these conditions.  I entered the 400m this weekend but just decided to focus on the 800m, so that decision has paid off. I was eighth in the 400m final last year in my first year as a senior.”

This was year 12 Emma’s first major track title.  Three Wellington athletes have been selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics team following good performances at the NZ Nationals – Emma Douglass (Wellington Girls), Elizabeth Hewitt (Chilton St James) & Max Abbot (Wellington College) will head to Sydney, Australia for the Australian Track & Field Championships in March 21-24. Good luck and congratulations.