Southland's Steph McKenzie followed the lead set by fellow sprinter Natasha Hansen in the Elite Championships by lowering her U19 National Sprint Record in qualifying this morning on the opening day of the RaboDirect Age Group Track Nationals.
McKenzie shaved a massive 3 tenths of a second off the mark she set at the ILT Festival of Speed in December last year with a blistering 11.464 over 200 metres. She will face Auckland's Paige Paterson in tonight's Sprint Final while Kate Dunlevey and Olivia Wieblitz will ride off for bronze.
In the Under 19 Mens sprint, Canterbury's Dylan Kennett was almost as dominant winning through to the final where he will face Matt Noble (WCNI).
Other features included a Southland 1-2 in the Open Men's Team Pursuit Qualifying. Southland's U19 combination of Tom Beadle, Marcel Baird, Jamie Culling and Matt Zenoviuch set 4'24.336 over the 4 kilometre journey which was only bettered by the SOuthland #1 combination of Tom Scully, Cam Karwowski, Pieter Bulling and Hamish Tomlinson who stopped the clock with 4'17.535. Auckland will face West Coast North Island in the ride-off for bronze.
In the Women's Pursuit Southland #1 also qualified fastest with Sequoia Cooper, Dale Tye and Kylie Young completing 3000 metres in 3'38.017 ahead of Auckland's 3'39.209. The Under 19 Auckland combination of Raquel Sheath, Georgia Williams and Georgina Wilson lowered the U19 National Record by a whopping 9 seconds in their qualifying ride.
Otago and Southland's U19 trio of Sophie Williamson, Sarah Tomlinson and Kelsey Timpany will ride off for bronze tonight.
Qualifiers for the U17 Boys Points Heats included Southland's Josh Haggerty (who won his heat), Michael Culling and Nick Kergozou while Southland's Laura Heywood, Jen Muhl and Brooke Brazier all qualified for tonight's Under 17 Girls Scratch Final.
Racing tonight starts at 6.30 and as well as the above events finals will also feature the Under 17 Girls and Under 15 boys 500m Time Trial finals and along with the Masters 1, 2 and 3 Mens Scratch Race Finals.