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The year is 1983 and everyone knew that Patrick O'Brien had set a new record for high jump, even before he landed as his excitement was heard all over Winton.
What was interesting about this year was the meet was held on grass at Winton, instead of the all weather track in Invercargill.
Paddy O'Brien managed a brillant jump of 2.05m, 2 cm better than the clearance which earned him a gold medal at the World Police Games at Texas the previous year.
The jump of 2.05m broke the New Zealand record of 2.04m held by Terry Lomax of Canterbury.
Another interesting fact was Paddy at 17 years of age broke a long standing record set by Jack Borland in 1952, when he jumped 1.85m in a A Grade event at Surrey Park.
Another athlete to perform that day was Zane Butson (Invercargill) who managed to head home Neil Familton (St Pauls) in a fast 400m hurdles.
Butson was chosen as athlete of the meet after winning the 800m, 200m, javelin, triple jump and relay.
One of the best fought finishes of that day was in the 3000m race where Tracey Kennedy came home like lightening to just beat Angela Vergeer (Winton).
Other competitiors were:
M. Gold, C. James, B. Guise, G. Clark, T. Copland, A. Campbell, B. Senior, S. Bewley, G. James, A. Bunce, S. Swale, B. Gentle, D. Reeve, J. Te Pana, A. Campbell, K. McCulloch, B. Cockeram, B. Jenkins, A. Gray, I. M. Johnson, S. Craig, C. Goodwill, G. Clark, K. Broad, M. Dempster, B. Smith, B. Guise, A. Wilson, P. Dawson, M. Gray, R. Parcell, R. Van Den Bergh, Andrew Moreton, E. Jones, B. Broad, G. Sargeant, G. Patton, D. Cowie, B. Patton, Adrian Morton.
D. Askin, G. Turner, S. Voss, D. Turnbull, W. McConechy, R. Todd, J. O'Connor, M. Strang, A. Boyer, R. Boyle, P. McMaster, S. Feller,
D. Shearer, B. Rait, M. Flaus,
S. Lawry, R. Heyrick, J. O'Shannessy, J. Barnett, S. Bennetts, J. Roe, D. Cole, K. Barnett, S. Rodan, D. Branks, T. Paterson, T. Chittock, A. Somerville, T. Cunningham, W. Ballinger, S. Lockett, J. Apiata, J. Fahey, M. Hill, L. Goodwin, S. Carnahan, M. Menlove, J. Glover, S. Bruce S. Lockett, R. Bye, R. Black, G. Jones.
C. Cruickshank, M Ross, K. Black, R. Bye, K. McLauchlan, W. Williams, C. Cruickshank, N. Ballinger.
References: O'Brien Sets New High Jump Record. The Southland Times November 1983.
Howitt, Bob. Paddy O'Brien - Whistle While You Work. Hodder, Moa, Beckett Publishers, Auckland New Zealand.
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