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South Point plans special activities for annual Lydiard track meet

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

SOUTH POINT — After South Point track coach met a special man, he couldn’t help but put together a special track meet.

Famed New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard coached more than 20 Olympic runners to medals. Lydiard visited South Point in 2004 and stayed with Smith for 10 days.

Lydiard died later that year at a friend’s home at the age of 87.

Smith decided to honor Lydiard by naming the Pointers’ invitational track meet in his honor.

“I became friends with (Lydiard) many years ago and I used to visit him in New Zealand,” said Smith. “Our meet has become a huge success and this year we are expanding things with our New Zealand Night.”

The New Zealand Night will be held starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at South Point High School.

The evening will include several special guests including the Kahurangi Maori Dance Theater from Hastings, New Zealand.

Also on hand will be former 5,000-meter world record holder Anne Audain, originally from Auckland, New Zealand, who overcame many obstacles to become a champion and Terry Meikle who is traveling from the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, D.C. He is the first Secretary for Trade and Agriculture.

“It will be a fun and entertaining evening and admission is free,” said Smith.

The Arthur Lydiard Invitational will be held on Friday at the Pointers’ track.