Speedy student hits the ground running


Nayland College Athletics just got a whole lot more competitive with star sprinter, 13 year old Micayla Whiti, joining Nayland as a Year 9 student.

Micayla has had an extremely successful summer competing at both the North Island and South Island Colgate games, where she distinguished herself as one of the best young athletes in the country.

In her age group, Micayla won silver in the 100m and gold in the 200m at the North Island games. At the South Island games, she won gold in the 100m (beating the person who raced her to gold in the North Island games) and also won gold in the 200 metres.

With these titles under her belt, the 13 year old is now ranked as the 12th fastest U18 girl in New Zealand for the 100 metre sprints. She is also ranked as the 13th fastest U18 girl for the 200 metre sprints.

Micayla, who has been training for athletics since she was five, said she both enjoyed and dreaded the excitement of the big athletics meets. “I enjoy the nerves. They are quite good. Then after the race, you’re like thankful that it’s over,” she said.

Micayla’s success has come from a lot of hard work and a strict training regime. “I train three or four days a week. Training sessions last for an hour and a half,” she said. She also plays netball, tough and ripper rugby.

Her coach, Nayland College teacher Dennis Kale, believes that due to a methodical approach to her initial training, Micayla now has a very bright future in front of her. “At 8 years old, we spent two years on teaching technique, even before she joined the competitive squad. She runs beautifully and she is only going to get stronger and fitter,” he said.

For now, Micayla has her sights set on reaching the peak of her chosen sport. “Hopefully, I make it into the Olympics!” she said. 

By Duncan McKinlay