Gore triple jumper Andrew Allan finds listening to classic rock music helps pass the time when travelling to and from training in Invercargill.
Allan trains at Surrey Park three afternoons a week but on Mondays he makes two trips to Invercargill, with the first being for a gym session between 7am and 8am.
“I know the road pretty well but it can be quite boring … the music helps,” Allan, 18, said.
His commitment to training has led to him being the New Zealand secondary schools’ No 1 senior boys’ triple jumper for the second consecutive year. He overcame mild shin splints to win the title in Dunedin at the weekend with a personal best of 14.24 metres.
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“[The splints were caused by] a lot of force put through the shins and legs during jumps,” Allan said.
His shins will get a good rest now as he is taking a break from training until late January. Allan’s next goal is the national track and field championships in Christchurch in March. At the corresponding event last year he won a silver medal in the under 20 triple jump.
His four years in athletics have been under the guidance of Invercargill coach Lance Smith.
“I wouldn’t be here [in athletics] without him … he’s indispensable,” Allan said.
“Not every training session is fun but I enjoy most of them.”
Smith has coached a lot of Southland’s top junior athletes, including triple jumpers Atipa Mabonga and Greer Alsop who are now in the United States competing.
Allan’s interest in athletics was kindled at primary and intermediate school sports days.
“I did quite well and decided to take it a bit further [from the age of 14].”
Allan, who is a member of Academy Southland, has received an Elite Sports Scholarship to attend Lincoln University next year. This year was his last at Gore High School.