10 Years Ago: Mottram and Troop spar; McGregor is a knock-out

Len Johnson

The 2003 Zatopek men’s 10,000 metres showcased a race between Australia’s best track distance runner and Australia’s best marathoner but, if you were to believe the lead-up talk, neither of them much fancied their chances.

Craig Mottram, already a star at distances from 1500 to 5000 metres, was stressing his lack of track distance credentials.

“I like a challenge,” Mottram said pre-race, “and there are quite a few athletes in the field who have run much faster than I ever have for 10,000, so I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like t keep up with them for as long as possible.”

He did allow that running against “more experienced guys . . . can work to my advantage as well.”

That, of course, and the fact he had already won a Zatopek 10,000 two years earlier in 2001 and had come back from an injury lay-off to achieve an Olympic qualifying standard for 5000 metres, run the fastest-ever lap of Melbourne’s Tan track and win road races in Noosa, Burnie and Melbourne (the latter two at 10km).

Troop, the defending champion and the man who had broken Ron Clarke’s national record at 5000 metres a couple of years earlier, was talking up his marathon ambitions for the Athens Olympics.

“Whether I win the race, or come in fifth, I really want to have a good Zatopek,” he said, online “(but) if it doesn't happen, it doesn't change too much of where I'm going though, because the marathon is a different event again, and this isn't Athens after all.”

Perhaps ‘Troopy’ gave more away when he remarked: “I have a rivalry with everyone and I always thrive on competitive races as well and what better way than having two Aussies go head to head.”

Indeed, the race came at a time when the feelings between Mottram and Troop ran deeper than just competitive tension, adding a piquant touch to a match-up between the top two Australians.

Maybe, though, both were right to downplay their ambitions for the 2003 Zatopek because, come the night, the star was Haley McGregor who won the women’s Zatopek with what was then the second-fastest performance ever in the big race, and remains the fourth-fastest.

McGregor’s was a solo run through the second half of the race after being paced through the first 5000 by Eloise Wellings. After slowing initially from the 15:55 half-way pace, she surged home to such effect that she ran 31 minutes 43.14 seconds, almost two seconds under the Olympic qualifying standard.

“I don’t know how to describe it, but I was close to tears of joy tonight,” an elated McGregor said. “That last 100 metres really kills, but you forget about that as soon as you cross the line.”

McGregor lapped the field with Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games marathon silver medallist Krishna Stanton finishing second in 33:19.20. Her performance made her an almost certain selection to join Benita Willis in running the 10,000 metres at the following year’s Olympic Games.

“It’s a dream, it will hit home some time soon. The prospect of going is awesome,” McGregor said.

The big match-up in the men’s race was a bit of a fizzer. Troop led through the first part of the race before Mottram moved away with a sub-64 second lap from the 5000 mark. He ran the next lap as fast to open up a winning advantage. His winning time was 27:50.55, just over a second outside the Olympic qualifying standard, but he was aiming at the 5000 anyway.

“I had a rough patch from 6000 to 9000 metres,” Mottram said, a rather significant “patch” usually.

“It was hard. I would have loved to run sub-27:30. Then I had the other goal of the A-standard, but I just missed that, too.”

Still, the run continued the build-up in momentum for Mottram after he had missed the world championships in Paris earlier in the year as he recovered from a prolonged bout of ilio-tibial band syndrome.

The momentum continued all the way to Athens as Mottram set three national records for 5000 metres in Europe, culminating in his 12:55.76 finishing centimetres behind Haile Gebrselassie in London, before finishing eighth in the Olympic final.

Mottram’s 27:50.55 remains the most recent occasion on which an Australian has broken 28 minutes in the Zatopek, David McNeill with his 28:03.02 win in 2008 coming closest.

Troop finished second in 28:13.96 with Steve Moneghetti, running his 19th Zatopek at the age of 42, third in 28:42.93.

Tallent and Erickson named for 2014 World Race Walking Cup

Victorian pair Jared Tallent and Chris Erickson have been named on the Australian Flame team for the 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup.

Tallent and Erickson will be joined by South Australian Kim Mottrom on the men’s 50km race walk at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup to be held in Taicang, China from Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 May 2014.

Tallent and Erickson were both selected based on their performances at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.  

Under the Athletics Australia selection policy for the World Race Walking Cup, any athlete who finished in the top 24 in Moscow gained automatic selection.  Tallent took bronze at the World Championships whilst Erickson finished in 16th position, earning an automatic place in  Taicana.

Mottrom ensured his selection by winning the Australian 50km Race Walking Championship in Melbourne on  Sunday 15 December, which was also the official selection trial for the World Race Walking Cup. 

“Both Jared and Chris showed last year their ability to perform at the international level and Kim’s performance at the Trial last weekend provides an opportunity for him to make his World Walking Cup debut,” Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors Dion Russell said.

Selection for all other events at the 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup will be made in the week beginning Monday 3 February 2014.  

To read more about the 2014 IAAF Race Walking Cup click here.

Chapple and Birmingham nominated for Glasgow 2014

Recently crowned Australian 10,000m champions Nikki Chapple and Collis Birmingham have been nominated by Athletics Australia to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Jessica Trengove (SA) and Martin Dent (ACT) join Chapple and Birmingham as nominations by Athletics Australia for Glasgow 2014.

Birmingham and Chapple earned their automatic nomination for Glasgow after winning the men’s and women’s Australian 10,000m Championships respectively at the recent Zatopek:10 meet in Melbourne.

Under the selection criteria, any athlete who wins the 10,000m national championship and has at least a B standard (28:31.25 for men, 33:24.00 for women) qualified for automatic nomination.

Both Chapple (32:56.25) and Birmingham (27:56.22) recorded B qualifiers and were first Australia’s across the line in this months Zatopek:10 at Lakeside Stadium.

Trengove and Dent were both nominated after their performances at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, qualifying them for automatic nomination under Athletics Australia’s selection policy.

Under that policy, any athletes who finished in the top twenty-four in the marathon at last year’s world championships and who have achieved at least the B standard within the qualification period received automatic nomination for the team for Glasgow.

Trengove finished 11th in the women’s marathon in Moscow, while Dent placed 23rd in the men’s race. Both recorded times in Moscow which bettered the B standard, with Trengove’s 2:37.11 easily under the required 2:42:30 and Dent’s 2:17.11 also under the men’s B standard of 2:18.00.

“The nomination of these athletes is the start of what we hope will be a very strong Australian team for Glasgow,” Athletics Australia Chairman of Selectors Dion Russell said.  “All of these four athletes essentially nominated themselves by virtue of their performances, and we look forward to many more athletes doing likewise throughout the upcoming season.”

The other nominations for the marathon and 10,000m are scheduled to be decided later in May 2014. The bulk of the Track and Field athlete nominations will be made to the ACGA following the 92nd Australian Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games Selection Trials – April 3-6.

Through its ‘Go Glasgow’ program, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) is distributing $8 million of its own funds to support athlete preparation in the 18 Games programs sports in addition to meeting the full costs (approximately $7 million) of sending the Team to compete in Glasgow (SCO) at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

Australian athletics is a major beneficiary of the ‘Go Glasgow’ program and is grateful for the ACGA’s ongoing support.

Where does your club sit on the Athletics Victoria social media ladder?

2013 CLUB V CLUB SOCIAL MEDIA LADDER (as of 18.12.2013)

  Twitter Facebook  
Club Followers Likes Total Followers
Melbourne University Athletic Club 298 548 846
Traralgon Harriers Athletic Club 0 601 601
Box Hill Athletic Club 0 555 555
Glenhuntly Athletic Club 112 400 512
Coburg Harriers Athletic Club 107 317 424
Athletics Essendon 88 299 387
Doncaster Athletic Club 91 238 329
Frankston Athletic Club 0 323 323
South Bendigo Athletic Club 109 193 302
Eureka Athletic Club 49 248 297
Old Xaverians Athletic Club 123 154 277
Knox Athletic Club 0 263 263
Ballarat YCW Harriers Athletic Club 35 226 261
Diamond Valley Athletic Club 0 252 252
Old Melburnians Athletic Club 105 141 246
Geelong Guild Athletic Club 0 209 209
St Kevin's Amateur Athletic Club 76 128 204
Bendigo Harriers 36 168 204
Victorian Masters Athletic Club 0 194 194
Keilor St Bernards Athletic Club 42 149 191
Wendouree Athletic Club 0 174 174
Casey Cardinia Athletics 27 140 167
Whittlesea City Athletic Club 0 165 165
Western Athletics 0 159 159
Ringwood Athletic Club 45 98 143
Williamstown Athletic Club 0 135 135
Bendigo University Athletic Club 35 98 133
Wodonga Athletic Club 0 130 130
Richmond Harriers Athletic Club 0 125 125
Eaglehawk YMCA Athletic Club 0 113 113
Sandringham Athletic Club 0 101 101
Mentone Athletic Club 0 99 99
Wyndham Track and Field Club 0 98 98
Wellington Athletic Club 0 98 98
Mornington Peninsula Athletic Club 0 93 93
Bellarine Athletics T & F Club 0 90 90
South Coast Athletics 34 46 80
Brunswick Athletic Club 77 0 77
South Melbourne Athletic Club 0 75 75
Yarra Ranges Athletics 0 69 69
East Melbourne Harriers 0 66 66
Preston Athletic Club 0 65 65
Malvern Harriers Athletic Club 0 65 65
St Stephens Harriers Athletic Club 0 52 52
Gippsland Athletic Club 0 49 49
Old Scotch Collegians Athletic Club 16 30 46
Collingwood Harriers Athletic Club 0 46 46
Ivanhoe Harriers Athletic Club 0 41 41
Athletics Nunawading 0 28 28
Haileybury Athletic Club 0 27 27
Maccabi Athletic Club 0 18 18
Croydon Athletic Club 0 16 16
Oakleigh Athletic Club 0 13 13
Athletics Chilwell 0 0 0
Athletics Waverley 0 0 0
Ballarat Harriers Athletic Club 0 0 0
Border Track & Field 0 0 0
Corio Athletic Club 0 0 0
Deakin Athletic Club 0 0 0
Meadowglen Senior Athletic Club 0 0 0
Ruyton Athletic Club 0 0 0


Patterson leads Vics into record books

Townsville – Victorian Eleanor Patterson stole the headlines with a world youth best of 1.96m in the girl’s high jump at the 2013 Australian All Schools Championships this weekend.

17-year-old Patterson secured a Commonwealth Games and World Junior Championships A-qualifier as well as claiming the Australian under 20 and 18 records.

“You never go anywhere expecting to jump as well as I did today. I was hoping for a personal best but to come away with a performance like this is out of this world. It’s so exciting, and I couldn’t be happier,” Patterson said.

2013 has been a break out year for the South Coast Athletics Club jumper, raising her international profile in July at the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk with a jump of 1.88m to claim gold.

On the domestic scene Patterson has asserted her dominance as one of the leading high jumpers, winning the under 18 Australia Junior Athletics Championships and a maiden open aged national title with a leap of 1.85m at the Australian Athletics Championships.

Next on Patterson’s radar is Vanessa Ward and Alison Inverarity’s 1.98m Australian open aged record that has stood jointly for 19-years.

“The national record of 1.98m is in my sights but I honestly don’t care. I just always want to jump a personal best and if that’s a record then that’s a bonus. I’m just so happy. It’s amazing,” said Patterson.

Entering the competition at 1.79m, Patterson made first attempt clearances at 1.82m, 1.85m and 1.88m. Soaring over 1.92m with her third jump, and then cleared 1.94m to break the Australian under 18 and 20 records with ease, before further success at 1.96m.

On day one under 16 Australian hammer throw champion Ned Weatherly produced a 68.81m to take home the first gold medal of the All Schools Championships. Fellow Victorian Chris Browne joined Weatherly on the podium finishing second with a throw of 53.39m.

“I’m ecstatic about getting out there and winning a gold medal. I am happy with my throws in the short term, but know that long term I have more to offer and I’m looking forward to what might be a big season,” Weatherly said.

Wheatherly also added a second gold on day three winning the under 16 boys shot put with 18.87m throw. Well clear of New South Wales’s Andrew Spira in second place (17.35m).

Big V’s Dylan Johnson impressed in the under 18 boys triple jump to take home gold with a 14.85m jump ahead of Queensland’s Scott Latter (14.14m).

Victoria dominated the under 18 5000m walk, both Tayla-Paige Billington (24:01.25) and Kyle Bird (24:18.27) taking gold in emphatic style in the girls and boys races.

Seymour College athlete Maxine Paholek held off Queensland’s Zali Eason-Coutts to finish second in the under 16 girls 2000m steeplechase in 7:19.12 behind New South Wales’s Rosie-May Davidson (7:10.99).

It was the same story in the under 18 boys for Nathan Percy who collected silver in 6:06.81 behind Tasmanian Kale Adams (6:04.94).

In a nail-bite finish Laura Powell clinched gold in the under 16 1500m girls with a time of 4:26.17 ahead of Queensland’s Elena Green who was .76 seconds behind in 4:26.93. Cillian Jansen found himself between two Queenslanders in the under 16 boys 1500m on day two to claim silver in a time of 4:14.36.

The Peninsula School triple jumper Michael Cann was amongst the medals, securing gold in the under 16 boys with his third jump of 13.96m enough to hold out Queensland duo Brenton Foster (13.72m) and Rowan Sutton (13.34m).

Danielle Shaw was strong in the under 16 girls hurdles to take silver (12.80) behind New South Wales’s Rachel Pace who ran an Australian under 16 record in 12.35.

More silver came courtesy of Ruyton Girls School’s Natalie Rule in the under 18 girls 1500m, finishing second in 4:34.36 behind New South Wales’s Jessica Hull (4:27.60).

St Josephs College sprinter Jordan Munyard also collected silver in the under 14 boys 200m final with a 22.88, which eclipsed the meet record of 22.96 from Queensland’s Dylan Stewart in 2010. However Western Australia’s James Gallaugher took gold and a new meet record in 21.73.

Emmet Brasier and Jemima Montag continued Victorians strong hold in the walk discipline, with the former winning the under 16 boys 3000m in 13:49.35 from Western Australia’s Declan Tingay (13:56.83) and Montag winning the under 16 girls 3000m in a meet record of 13:14.42.

Day three started with gold to Victoria in the under 16 girls pole vault, Phillipa Hajdasz cleared 3.40m on her first attempt to match New South Wales’s Elizabeth Baral and South Australian Holly Beecham. After all three had failed their first two attempts at 3.50m it was Hajdasz who cleared the mark on her third attempt to win.

Braemar College triple jumper Daniel Johnstone found his way on the podium in the under 14 boys section, finishing second with a 11.74m jump behind Western Australian Tom Kelly (11.96).

Georgia Griffith was dominant in the under 18 girl 800m final with a 2:09.16 to secure gold ahead of New South Wales’s Hayley Arden.

Madison Andrew also added gold on day three winning the under 18 pole vault with a first attempt clearance at 3.10 that couldn’t be matched by Divine Aaron (2.70).

Harrison Kimpton-Moss continued Victoria’s strong finish on day three of the All Schools Championships with a gold medal in the under 16 boys 200m hurdles (25.30) ahead of Queensland’s Christian Devon (25.38).

Its was success in the under 18 boys and under 16 girls for the Big V in the 1000 Swedish sprint medley to finish off a fantastic three days of competition for Victoria at the 2013 Australian All Schools Championships.

Over 90 athletes recorded personals bests across the three day event adding to Victoria’s successful trip to Far North Queensland.

Overall it was New South Wales who claimed honours in the state vs. state competition, Queensland second and Victoria finishing third.

DAY ONE – Friday 6 December




Boys Hammer Throw Under 16

Ned Weatherly

1st – 68.81m

Boys Triple Jump Under 18

Dylan Johnson

1st – 14.85m

Girls 5000 Metre Walk Under 18

Tayla-Paige Billington

1st – 24:01.25

Boys 5000 Metre Walk Under 18

Kyle Bird

1st – 24:18.27

Girls 2000 Metre Steeplechase Under 16

Maxine Paholek

2nd – 7:19.12

Boys 2000 Metre Steeplechase Under 18

Nathan Percy

2nd – 6:06.81

Boys Hammer Throw Under 14

Riley Thompson 

3rd – 43.72m

Boys 3000 Metre Walk Under 14

Harry Hockley Samon

3rd – 16:34.23

DAY Two – Saturday 7 December




Girls High Jump Under 18

Eleanor Patterson 

1st – 1.96m (AWJ)

Boys 3000 Metre Walk Under 16

Emmet Brasier

1st – 13:49.35

Girls 3000 Metre Walk Under 16

Jemima Montag

1st – 13:14.42 (M)

Girls 1500 Metre Under 16

Laura Powell 

1st – 4:26.17

Boys 1500 Metre Under 16

Cillian Jansen

2nd – 4:14.36

Girls 90 Metre Hurdles Under 16

Danielle Shaw

2nd – 12.80

Girls 4×100 Metre Relay Under 14

Meg Cairns, Sienna Fighera, Caitlin Bronte, Jessie Andrew

2nd – 49.59

Girls 4×100 Metre Relay Under 16


Danielle Shaw, Sophia Fighera, Sarah Billings, Nana-Adoma Owusu-Afriyie

2nd – 47.44

Girls Javelin Throw Under 14

Chelsea Owen-Smith

2nd – 37.25m

Girls 1500 Metre Under 18

Natalie Rule

2nd – 4:34.36

Girls 400 Metre Under 16

Sarah Billings

2nd – 55.66

Boys 200 Metre Under 14

Jordan Munyard

2nd – 22.88

Girls 100 Metre Under 16

Nana-Adom Owusu-Afriyie

3rd – 12.11

Boys Pole Vault Under 14

Daniel Masini

3rd – 2.20m

Girls 200 Metre Under 14

Jessie Andrew

3rd – 25.14

Girls 400 Metre Under 18

Emily Lawson

3rd – 56.20

Boys Long Jump Under 18

Samuel Gunther

3rd – 6.41m

Boys 400 Metre Under 18

Sam Reiser

3rd – 47.39

Girls Shot Put Under 14

Piper Montag

3rd – 13.18m

Boys Hammer Throw Under 18

Ned Weatherly

3rd – 62.54m

Boys 800 Metre Under 14

Sam Williams

3rd – 2:11.57

Girls Discus Throw Under 18

Laura Hutchins

3rd – 39.34m

Boys 4×100 Metre Relay Under 16


Thomas Wilson, James Hogg, Lawson Power, Harrison Kimpton-Moss

3rd – 43.47

Girls 4x100 Metre Relay Under 18

Elizabeth Hedding, Sarah Fitt, Jesse Bonnici, Holly Dobbyn

3rd – 48.61

Boys 4x100 Metre Relay Under 18

Damon Zethoven, Marcus Jones, Nicholas Merrick, Sam Reiser

3rd – 43.40

Boys 100 Metre Hurdles Under 16

Michael Romero 

3rd – 13.22

Boys Discus Throw Under 14

Bradley Butler

3rd – 46.26m

DAY THREE – Sunday 8 December




Girls Pole Vault Under 16

Phillipa Hajdasz

1st – 3.50m

1000 Sprint Medley Swedish Under 16

Sienna Fighera, Sophia Fighera, Danielle Shaw, Sarah Billings

1st – 2:17.18

Boys 1000 Sprint Medley Swedish Under 18

Nicholas Merrick, Damon Zethoven, Marcus Jones, Sam Reiser

1st – 1:58.07

Boys Shot Put Under 16

Ned Weatherly

1st – 18.87m

Girls 800 Metre Under 18

Georgia Griffith

1st – 2:09.16

Girls Pole Vault Under 18

Madison Andrew

1st – 3.10m

Boys 200 Metre Hurdles Under 16

Harrison Kimpton-Moss

1st – 25.30

Girls Javelin Throw Under 18

Kathryn Brooks

2nd – 49.61m

Boys Triple Jump Under 14

Daniel Johnstone

2nd – 11.74m

Boys 800 Metre Under 16

Felix Lonergan

2nd – 2:00.65

Boys 1500 Metre Under 14

Sam Williams

2nd – 4:24.82

Girls 400 Metre Hurdles Under 18

Caitlin Hawks

2nd – 65.53

Girls 1000 Sprint Medley Swedish Under 18

Sarah Fitt, Holly Dobbyn, Jesse Bonnici, Emily Lawson

2nd – 2:18.40

Girls Pole Vault Under 14

Crystal Brazilek

2nd – 2.60m

Girls 200 Metre Under 16

Sarah Billings

2nd – 24.39

Boys 200 Metre Under 16

James Hogg

3rd – 22.37

Girls 200 Metre Under 18

Emily Lawson

3rd – 24.49

Boys 100 Metre Under 14

Jordan Munyard

3rd – 11.61