Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 35 Number 6. April 11, 1972
University Athletes ended an era in true champagne style at the N.Z.U. Easter Tournament as they provided effervescent competition in the last official meeting on the much maligned Evans Bay track.
Otago, once again, proved too strong overall. However, their dominance was not as marked as in previous years, with Massey and Victoria, in particular, fielding strong teams.
In typical university style there was a flamboyant mixture of good and sometimes extremely fine performances which belied the rather casual atmosphere and defeated the blustery winds and sadly crumbling track at Evans Bay.
Individually, the outstanding competitors were Gail Wooton (Waikato) and Phil Kear (Vic). Gail won a total of five events; the 100,200. 400 metres track events; the 100 metres hurdles and the long Jump. She is currently National champion over 200 metres. Phil (national 400 metres champion) won the 400 metres in an outstanding 48.1 sac. He also ran a close second to national 3rd placed 200 metre runner Terry Morrison in the 200 metres, and anchored the Victoria team to a good win in the 4 × 400 metre relay.
The most exciting race was probably the 800 metres final. An electrifying finish left spectators and the three runners concerned in a state of sheer exhaustion. The race appeared to be a mere formality when Bruce Hill (Massey) built up a seemingly unassailable lead of some 40 metres. However, his early blistering pace left him "climbing stairs" in the finishing straight. Bruce Batten (Victoria) and Steve Patchett (Otago) both flung themselves after him. In a punishing finish, first Batten thrust himself ahead, then Patchett drove past them both right on the tape. All recorded the same time, an excellent 1m. 52.1
Victoria runners fared the best for several years. Alison Wright completed a good double by winning the 800 metres and 1500 metres, women's events. Rod Petley lapped most of the runners in dominating the 10,000. metres. His time of 32m. 6.8 sec. was creditable considering the conditions Ian Hunt was 3rd in the same race.
'Vic' 400 metre runners, Tony Wright and Rob Taylor, recorded good times in backing up Phil Kear for 3rd and 4th. In the hurdle events A. Robson won the 110 metre hurdles and B. O'Donnell won the 400 metre hurdles.
Socially, the Tournament saw some fine athletic feats. The dinner was a "chundering" success. Some prodiguous mastication was apparent, no doubt helped down by the copious quantities of liquid provided. Some (mainly Otago) even managed to get their food going two ways — a highly uncivilised lot from the deep South. By some considerable foresight the dinner was held in the same environs as the ball. For those with a "social" consience non-returnable cans were emptied with true religious fervour at '254'. We believe 200 have made it to Hastings already. Certainly a highly successful tournament.