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Fast times have been recorded on the Southland holiday sports circuit in 1934 and it seemed that some of the athletes had been holding back for the more important dates. The quantity and quality of the athletes this season have ensured that spectators have kept a great interest in these meets. A pleasing interest is that the prize money has been evenly distributed which means that nothing is more disappointing than a competitive paying expenses to get to these meets and not even meeting their costs. The Wairio sports meet was disappointed as they made a loss on the day and it may be because New Years day is not a suitable day and along with the prolonged coal strike
Geddes won the 100 yrds in 13..25 sec and then went on to win the 440 which roused the crowd who cheered and yelled and everyone loves a plucky fight and W. Tither of the Pioneer Club who had a 13 yd lead for the best part of the race and with Geddes gain fast having started on scratch. The Rugby Park man challenged resolutely in the straight and although Tither exerted himself to the upmost Geddes just seemed to go a little better and pipped him at the post. The time was 51.35.5. Geddes was also in the 220 and coming third in his heat of scratch, but failed to get among the placed men in the final.
What has impressed the onlookers is the way Geddes modesty and the way he quietly makes his way back to the starting line to retrieve his clothes. There is none of this standing around glaring at the officials truculently as much to say "If I am not placed you had better look out for trouble".
Another great performance was that of R. W. Pickering of the Rugby Park Club who won the 75 yrds and 220 yrds on open handicap.
In the former event he was off 5.5 yrds and won his heat in a close finish of 8sec. The same time was returned in the semi-final which he won more comfortable and in a close finish in the final he won in 7.54sec. He had a handicap of 9yrds in the 220 and did not over exert himself in the heat and in the final moved a lot more speedily and to win in 23 sec.
G.G .Cochrane of Lillburn is far from being a spent force and was obvious in the splendid manner he won the 880. On this occasion in his reappearance he was handicapped 28 yrds and with a strong finishing effort in the straight he won by two yards. With this strong performance it is hoping that we see more of him in long distant events.
Popular Jack Skerrett donned running shoes at Tuatapere and although his only placing was a third in the 75 yrds it was not through want of trying. As a matter of fact the Rugby Park athlete was fighting fit on the day and at one stage it seemed that he was going to achieve higher honours. Off 3.5 yrds in the 75 yrds he won his heat and semi final in 8 sec but could secure only a third place in the final.
In the 100 he dead heated for first off 6 yrds at a time of 10 sec but missed in the final.
The winner of the mile at Tuatapere was H. Denny the Bluff runner who ran a strong race to win. He was off 20 yrds and exercised good judgement in keeping a reserve stock in which he was able to starve off a determined challenge by E. Souness of Winton. He won in 4.30
W. Archer of Invercargill was third in the mile and seems to be off the pace at the moment and was on the same handicap as Denny but was a long way behind him at the finish.
R. G. Webb the Rugby Park running had rather a lean time with the 100 being his only success. N. A. Garden of Orepuki in his first appearance of the season contested the middle events without success.
W. Mair carried the colours of the Pioneer Club with honour where he won the 220 and 880 easy enough.
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