THE Edgecumbe College Athletics Academy has its first Oceania champion.
Caleb Moore won the under-18 hammer throw title at the Oceania Athletic Area Championships in Fiji two weeks ago.
He was part of the 55-athlete New Zealand team that competed at the South Pacific University in Suva.
It was Caleb’s second time competing for New Zealand at the event, after winning a bronze medal in the same age group in Cairns two years ago. Academy spokesman Rene Otto said Caleb dealt with a lot of challenges in the build up to the event.
“This year Caleb worked very hard to prepare himself for this competition.
“The Edgecumbe floods made it very difficult to train because we were not able to use our sports fields at Edgecumbe College.
“We had to train in Whakatane and we moved around to different training venues.
“Caleb had a great preparation in difficult conditions and threw two personal best distances just before he left in the last two weeks.”
Battling temperatures of more than 26 degrees, Caleb won the title with a throw of 47.40 metres.
Otto said he did have a throw over 52m, which would have been a personal best, but it landed outside the sector.
Otto said Caleb’s achievement could not be understated and put him just below the top level. His next focus is to qualify for the International Association of Athletics Federations under-20 Championships in Finland next year.
Caleb said he was thankful for all the people who helped him get to Fiji and said if he was not able to qualify for the world championships, he would return to the Oceania event to defend his title.
The academy was opened in June, 2014 and was founded by Otto with the aim of developing students to compete at national level. It didn’t take long, with Caleb claiming the academy’s first medal, a bronze, at the New Zealand Secondary
School Athletics Championships later that year. Since then the club has produced frequent top 10 results at the national champs.