Shaka was in a league of his own while competing at secondary school level. He had major success in the Shot Put and Discus from regional to national level, coming either first or second every year from 94-97 at secondary school nationals. In 1997 he won bronze for Discus at the Oceania Games in Townsville Australia. When Shaka left school he went on to represent Samoa at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and the Olympic Games in 2004 (Athens). His personal bests are 58.87m for Discus and 18.12m for Shot Put (These are also above the current Wellington Records and are the Central Region records also). Shaka now turns his focus to coaching and owns and operates 'Sola Power Throwing Academy' in Lower Hutt. He is also a throwing coach at Rongotai College.
Philip Starr (1988 - 1992)
Philip Starr was a talent from year 9 to 13 at Rongotai College. Records show that he dominated the 3000m events on and off the track. Even in his junior years the times posted were faster than that being achieved by his fellow senior runners. Arguably one of the best middle distance runners of his time Starr was the NZ Secondary Schools 3000m Senior Boys Champion; held the U20 NZ Cross Country Title; U20 Australian Title and all Wellington U20 Cross Country Titles. His time for the 3000m at the NZ Secondary Schools Athletic Competition is still unbeaten at 8min 18.53sec. At only 17 Starr competed at the 1992 World Cross Country Championships in Boston, U.S.A. and came an outstanding 15th place.
1992 Cross County Team
Phil Starr was still only part of an exceptional team at Rongotai College. The Senior Cross County team of; Phil Starr, Michael Tannock, Hayden Florance, Kent Lawton, Terry Harlen, Emerson Willard and Francis Willard were undefeated in 1992 in all secondary school competitions including; NZSSCC Competition, Mt Albert Relays, Wellington SSCC Champs, and Wanganui Lakes Relay. Each member of the team was exceptional in their own right and would have made any school team in the country. It was the depth and commitment of the team as a whole which has earned them the right of being Rongotai Colleges most successful team (1992 junior and senior cross country squad pictured).
Michael Tannock (1988 - 1992)
Michael Tannock could have been overshadowed by Starrs’ success, but has enjoyed incredible results that would make him a legend at any school. Michael came 4th at NZSS 3000m Senior Boys; 6th at the U20 NZCC Nationals, and 7th at the U20 Australian CC Nationals. This success in his last year at Rongotai capped off a tremendous 5 years of achievement and records. Michael has left his mark by still holding the most athletic records at Rongotai College; Under 14 800m; Under 15,16 and Open 1500m and Junior 3000m.
Andrew Collins (1978 - 1982)
Coaches, athletes and programmes all combined to form an era that can only be described as the 'hay days' of Rongotai sport. In the 1980's Rongotai dominated local athletics which included the largest ever winning margin at McEvedy. Andrew was not only a part of this successful era, but he dominated the track at local, regional and national events. Andrew was quick and this is reinforced in the records he still holds; Under 16, 100m and 200m; Over 16, 200m and 400m; and was a member of the record breaking 4x400m relay team. The Open 100m record has only recently been broken by Saravee Sos and as a result has proven what a motivator genuine pace can be for a school team. We can only imagine the atmosphere that existed when Andrew was lighting up the track.
Chris Wells (1981 - 1993)
There have been several outstanding coaches at Rongotai College over the years, but there is only one who has experienced more success at the top level than anyone else. Despite being a Wellington College Old Boy Chris Wells guided Rongotai to 3 McEvedy Shield victories in 1980, 81 and 89. The final victory was by a record margin. It is evident from the testimonials from more recent Old Boys that Chris believed in Rongotai, its students and what was needed to win. Some have said that the success Chris had was a result of some exceptional athletics of the time, although, since leaving Rongotai Chris took his skills back to his home school and as a result won McEvedy 6 times since 2000. Winning the Shield 9 times makes him arguably the most successful athletics coach in the history of McEvedy.
Derek Froude (1973 - 1977)
The name Derek Froude does not appear on the Rongotai Athletics records page but his achievements should not be understated. Predominantly a cross country runner, Derek regularly won or placed at Rongotai, Wellington and National events throughout his College years and continued to get better with age. Derek continued with his passion and proudly represented New Zealand at the 1984 and 1992 Summer Olympics in the marathon, attaining respective placings of 34th and 35th. During his peak, Derek ran a 2:11 marathon and in 1990 became the first person to break 60 minutes in the Mount Washington Road Race. It is without question that Derek Froude is one of the premier athletes of Rongotai College and New Zealand Athletics.