When Imogen Ayris takes to the pole vault runway on Friday at the national track and field championships in Hastings, it’s inevitable thoughts of her late father and number one fan will race through her mind.

It was a year ago, at the nationals in Christchurch, that her supportive dad, Barny, watched Ayris win the pole vault title. It would be the last time he saw her compete before his untimely death in September, aged 54, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

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