A total of 595 athletes have entered the competition this year, including Rio Olympians Eliza McCartney, Valerie Adams and Canterbury’s Tom Walsh.
Top Canterbury hurdler Anna Percy said the Canterbury team was the strongest it had been in years.
Some of Canterbury's favourites are Olympian Tom Walsh competing in the senior men's shot put, Rosa Flanagan competing in senior woman's 5000m, 1500m and the 3000m steeplechase.
Nick Moulai, the under-17 secondary schools 3000m record breaker, will be competing in the under-18 1500m.
The competition is set to get under way at Hamilton’s Porritt Stadium today.