College star AJ Madondo leaps to a national title

15 Dec 2023

AJ Madondo, 17, has won the national senior triple jump title, set a personal-best (PB) 10.64sec in the 100m quarter-final, and finished 3rd in the 100m final at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships and Road Race at Ngā Puna Wai.

Despite an injury ruling the outstanding College athlete out of the 200m final and hampering his 100m final run, AJ has still made his mark at the championships, being named in the New Zealand representative team. He has also been awarded a travel grant to attend a major Athletics New Zealand event this summer.

In securing the triple jump title, AJ has jumped well ahead of his rivals, only needing two jumps to record 14.17m. Coach Matt Thatcher has guided both AJ and fellow College athlete Aston Nijjar to impressive performances in the event, with Aston finishing 4th (12.80m).

At the 50th championships, College athletes have also featured in the top three in an array of field events. Coached by Yo-Ahn Lin, Year 10 athlete Lui Tupuola has finished 2nd in the junior hammer, throwing a 43.68m PB. Year 9 student Jake Boyd has also claimed 3rd spot in the junior javelin with a 38.28m PB. Meanwhile, Year 10 pole vaulter Otto Church – coached by Tom Turner – has finished 3rd in the junior event with a 2.70m PB.

MiC Graeme Christey points out that College athletes have recorded “many personal best performances over the weekend” and impressed with all their efforts.

“To achieve a personal best is a significant achievement at any time, but to peak and achieve one in a championship event is very well done,” he says. “For a few athletes, this was their first competition at this level, and all did very well to cope with the pressure and come away with at least a personal best and/or a finals spot.”


AJ Madondo (Year 13)
1st – Senior Triple Jump – 14.17m
3rd – 100m – 10.87sec
200m (withdrew from final)

Lui Tupuola (Year 10)
2nd – Junior Hammer – 43.68m (PB)

Jake Boyd (Year 9)
3rd – Junior Javelin – 38.28m (PB)
4th – Junior Discus – 44.21m (PB)
13th – Junior Shot Put – 10.54m

Otto Church (Year 10)
3rd – Junior Pole Vault – 2.70m (PB)
6th Junior 2000m Steeplechase – 7min 06sec (PB)
13th – Junior 3000m – 9min 54sec (PB)

Aston Nijjar (Year 12)
4th – Senior Triple Jump – 12.80m

Armani Lemalu (Year 12)
7th – Senior Discus – 40.36m
9th – Senior Shot Put – 12.28m

Harrison Laing (Year 11)
7th – Senior 400m – 51.34 (PB)

Jack McKeown (Year 13)
4th – Senior Pole Vault – 2.85m (PB)
Prelim – Senior 400m – 58.22sec

Dylan Jackson (Year 10)
9th – Junior 100m Hurdles – 15.11sec (PB)
9th – Junior 300m Hurdles – 45.37sec

Felix Bowden (Year 12)
14th – Senior Discus – 29.26m (PB)
15th – Senior Shot – 11.06m

Tomas Coberger (Year 11)
13th – Senior Javelin – 40.13m (PB)
Prelim – Senior 100m – 12.12sec (PB)

Henry Hiatt (Year 11)
30th Senior 6km Road Race – 20min 01sec (PB)

Louis Hiatt (Year 9)
20th – Year 9 3km Road Race – 10min 25sec (PB)

Bertie Botha (Year 10)
Prelim – Junior 100m – 12.58sec (PB)