Golden boy claims three national titles


Personal bests, gold medals, national titles, Tasman records. You name it, Chris Brake has got it.
The 18 year old Tapawera Area School student became just the second person in Nelson Athletics history to hold eight medals from the New Zealand Secondary School Athletics Championship, adding three golds to his collection on the weekend.
The Year 13 student went to Hamilton with the goal of winning one gold medal in his final high school competition and at the very least, a personal best in either high jump, long jump or triple jump. He arrived back with much more than that, and labelled his performance at Porrit Stadium as “perfect”, equalling the Tasman senior record with his 2.03m first placing in high jump, and smashing his own personal best in triple jump to win with 14.18m – a staggering 66cm ahead of the silver medalist, and 18cm further than the current Athletics Nelson record.
His long jump, of 6.88m, another personal best, capped off a weekend Athletics Nelson head coach Greg Lautenslager described as “one of the most dominating performances by a Nelson-area schoolboy.”
Chris says “it’s amazing”. “Cracking the two metre mark [in high jump] just before nationals was a big thing for me because there was about five kids that had cleared the two metre mark.”
Chris was the only person to clear 2.03m however and he says it was a “real surprise”.
Out of the three medals, Chris says the high jump was “definitely” more significant. “Mainly because I’ve finally got over the two metre mark and it was such an intense competition. There were so many good jumpers that I thought there was a real chance I wouldn’t even get a medal.”
Chris will now turn his attention to the New Zealand Track and Field Championship in Wellington in March. He was undecided whether he would enter all three jumps at the event.