Christ’s College on fast track to top athletics titles

06 Apr 2023

Christ’s College athletes have claimed a stunning 10 titles at the South Island Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships in Invercargill, including one won by an athlete very new to the field.

AJ Madondo, 17, and Jake Boyd, 12, have led the title race, winning the U19 triple jump (13.57m) and U19 200m (21.93), and the U14 discus (44.19m) and U14 javelin (35.95m) events, respectively. AJ has also finished 2nd in the U19 100m (11.19).

Six other boys have also powered into the individual winner’s circle, including Lui Tupuola – U15 hammer (36.79m); Josh Ratulomai – U19 hammer (43.75m); George Matthews – U16 pole vault (2.75m); Otto Church – U14 3000m (10:12.81); Felix Bowden – U16 shot put (11.56m); and Harrison Laing – U16 400m (53.17).

Master-in-Charge of Athletics Graeme Christey says the boys have impressed at the championships, including Josh, Felix, and Alex De Luca.

“Our individual winners – including AJ and Jake – have really stood out,” he says. “Then there is Josh, who has only just picked up the hammer event and has been training for about six weeks, and Felix, who has been racing between cricket games and track and field, while Alex has also just started in the sport.

“Our success captures the value of being able to deliver a full training programme and the move to ensuring that each College House has representatives in every College Athletics Day event. Josh has only just started out and Alex is also juggling volleyball.

“Jake continues to impress and he has had a tremendous run as a young athlete, while AJ remains very committed to his athletics career.

“All our coaches, including Yo-An Lin (throwing) and Matt Thatcher (jumping), have had a significant impact, encouraging the boys to go further and aim high. Overall, it has been one of our best recent results at the tournament and underlines the success of our approach.”

Meanwhile, many more College athletes have picked up placings in an array of track and field events, and stepped onto the podium following 100m and 400m relays, along with setting multiple personal-best times and marks.


Lui Tupuola – U15 hammer 36.79m
Josh Ratulomai – U19 hammer 43.75m
George Matthews – U16 pole vault 2.75m
Jake Boyd – U14 discus 44.19m, U14 javelin 35.95m
AJ Madondo – U19 triple jump 13.57m, U19 200m 21.93
Otto Church – U14 3000m 10:12.81
Felix Bowden – U16 shot put 11.56m
Harrison Laing – U16 400m 53.17

Alex De Luca – U19 hammer 26.76m
Riley Diver – U19 pole vault 2.60m
Felix Bowden – U16 discus 33.59m
Aston Nijjar – U19 triple jump 12.61m
Joesph Nash – U19 200m 22.20
Armani Lemalu – U19 discus 40.30m
AJ Madondo – U19 100m 11.19
Otto Church – U14 1500m 4:44.71
Christ's College – U16 4x100m (Tomas Coberger, William Gifford, Benson Geng-Wang, Harrison Laing)Christ's College – U16 4x400m (William Gifford, Otto Church, Dylan Jackson, Jake Boyd)
Christ's College – U19 4x400m (Joseph Nash, Riley Diver, Harrison Laing, AJ Madondo)

Tom Matthews – U14 high jump – 1.50m
Armani Lemalu – U19 shot put 13.16m
Jake Boyd – U14 shot put 11.37m
Dylan Jackson – U16 300m hurdles 45.49
Sam O’Connell – U15 javelin 30.43m
Alex Lascelles – U14 triple jump 10.09m
Joseph Nash – U19 100m 11.30
Christ's College – U19 4x100m (Aston Nijjar, Joseph Nash, Riley Diver, AJ Madondo)

Top-eight finals
Lui Tupuola – U15 discus 34.05m 4th
Alex Aitken – U15 javelin 27.04m 4th
Christ's College – U15 4x100 Alex Aitken, Sam O'Connell, Lui Tupuola, Dylan Jackson 4th
Josh Ratulomai – U19 shot put 12.05m 5th
Dylan Jackson – U15 triple jump 10.15m 5th
Josh Ratulomai – U15 discus 33.45m 5th
George Matthews – U16 100m 12.05 5th
Sam O’Connell – U15 triple jump 9.76 6th
Jai Ferguson – U14 3000m 10:53.78 6th
Dylan Jackson – U15 80m Hurdles 14.03 7th
Lui Tupuola – U15 shot put 9.85m 7th
Alex Lascelles – U14 400m 64.22 7th
William Gifford – U16 400m 56.98 7th
Sam O’Connell – U15 long jump 4.80m 8th
Riley Diver – U19 800m 2:07.47 8th