Athletics New Zealand:
Youth Olympic Games-bound Dominic Overend is creating waves as one of New Zealand’s finest teenage sprinters. Steve Landells chats to the 16-year-old Aucklander to discover his elixir for success.
If you want a measure of the sprinting talent of Dominic Overend, the bald statistics say everything. Ranked the 2018 joint number two in the country for 100m and outright number two for the 200m (behind Joseph Millar in both events) if that is not sufficiently eye-catching how many 16-year-old’s do you know who have covered 100m in 10.5?
Impressed? You should be, yet perhaps his propensity to run swiftly is not so much of a mystery when we consider his gene pool.
His grandfather, Wayne Overend, secured the 1967 New Zealand 100yd and 220yd titles, while his father, David, was a handy club level sprinter and long jumper. Just for good measure mum, Maria, competed as a school high jumper.
Dominic’s athletics journey began early. Aged two he joined the Ellerslie Athletics Club and by the time he was seven he was breaking Auckland sprint records competing for Riverhead Athletics Club.
However, just as his burgeoning athletics career was starting to flourish, from the age of eight to 11 the Coatsville-raised youngster was forced to take a long break from sport after it was found a bent lumber was leading to a succession of injuries.