HOW good is Quinn Hartley?
The best for his age in Southland? Definitely.
The best in New Zealand? Yes.
One of the best in the world? Possibly.
Quinn recently broke the New Zealand M17 long jump record with a leap of 7.30 metres. This is within spitting distance of S Rayness’ Southland senior record of 7.39m, set in 1991. The 7.30m however, exceeds all other marks from M20 down and is one of the top distances for a 16-year-old in the world.
But that’s not all, last December the lanky athlete high jumped 2.08m to establish a senior high jump mark breaking Gideon Barnard’s mark of 2.07m. This made him one of the youngest athletes to achieve a Southland senior record, joining Atipa Mabonga (long jump) and Christina Taylor (steeplechase) who hold Southland senior records set while aged 16.
Quinn showed his promise earlier in the season when he became the youngest New Zealand athlete to jump more than 7m in the long jump and exceed 2m in the high jump.
He confirmed his ability with two wins and two records at Saturday’s Southland Secondary School Championships. His 6.96m leap annihilated the previous record of 6.80m set back in 1988 while his 2m high jump added 2cm to a record that dates back to 1996.
His next challenge is the New Zealand Championships on March 27 and 28 in Hastings, followed by the South Island Secondary Schools Championships on April 9 and 10 in Christchurch.
Instrumental in his success has been the patient input of coach Chris Knight. Too many athletes look at the short term, Chris and Quinn have a long-term view with training not rushed or too intensive.
So expect to see more national and world class performances in the future.