Buckman set for season debut at Briggs Athletics Classic

2013 world championships 1500 metre finalist Zoe Buckman will kick start her 2014 season this Saturday at the 25th Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart.

Buckman will headline a strong field of Victorians heading to the Apple Isle for the third stop on the Australian national athletics tour.

“I have undergone a solid training block at Falls Creek and feel fitter going into the new season,” Buckman said.

“I was able to find consistency at Falls and training on the trails will make running on the track feel a bit like air.”

Buckman will enter the women’s 1500 metre race as the one to beat and with a personal best of 4:04.82 minutes adds serious class to the field.

“I haven’t run on track since September, so I’m looking forward to my first hit out.”

The 2012 Olympic Games semi-finalist will be focused on clinching the Australian Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifying time of 4:07.00 minutes at her first major hit out for the 2014 season.

“I’m definitely keen to get the qualifier out of the way but the win is the priority and hopefully the qualifying time comes with that,” Buckman said.

The Victorian Institute of Sport athlete had a strong 2013 to become one of the world’s leading women 1500 metre runners and a seventh place finish at the recent world championships in Moscow has signalled a bright future for Buckman.

“I’m still in my early athletics development years and will only benefit from last season,” Buckman said.

“I have adapted well to the larger training load and feel I’m now reaping the benefits and becoming more mentally stronger and confident in my own ability to compete at the highest level.”

Buckman indicated the 1500 metres would be her focus in 2014 but still enjoys racing over 800 metres.

“I like the 800 metres because it’s over so quick and it will also help with my 1500 metres.”

Victoria will be well represented in the men’s 5000 metres with eight out of 21 on the start list, an event Ballarat’s Collis Birmingham has dominated at the Briggs Track Classic over recent years, winning five of the last six and setting a meet record of 13:15.57 minutes in 2012.

Athletics Essendon pair Liam Adams and Mitchel Brown will head up Victoria’s assault on this year’s 5000 metre event.

Adams has already secured an Australian ‘A’ Commonwealth Games qualifier in the marathon and comes into the event having set a personal best of 13:31.21 minutes at 5000 metres early last year in California, United States.

Brown and Adams will have hot favourite, News South Wales Ben St Lawrence to chase down to continue Victoria’s strong showing in the distance.

A host of field athletes will be firing for Victoria this weekend with Luke Cann looking to work on his current Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying throw of 73.82 metres in the Javelin as will Damien Birkinhead in the shot put, the Corio athlete threw 18.64 metres at the Zatopek:10 meet last December in Melbourne to surpass the ‘B’ qualifying standard of 18.15 metres.

Athletics Nunawading jumper Brooke Stratton heads to Hobart having finished first at the Victorian Country Championships as an invite athlete in the women’s open long jump with a distance of 6.35 metres.

Stratton has already clinched an Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying jump of 6.53 metres but will be eager to close in on the ‘A’ qualifier of 6.65 metres.

Full list of Victorian athletes competing at the Briggs Athletics Classic:

Men Javelin (800gm) Open – Luke Cann
Women 400 Metres Open – Katherine Katsanevakis, Billie Arch
Men Long Jump Open – Jamie Stratton
Men 400 Metres Open – Fraser Russell, Sam Reiser, Conrad Coumaros
Men 800 Metres B Open – Jack Holden, Nicholas Finch, Tony Crawford
Women 100 Metres Open – Adora Arch, Emily Lawson
Men Shot Put (7.26kg) Open – Damien Birkinhead
Women Shot Put (4kg) Open – Kimbererley Mulhall
Men 100 Metres Open – Aidan Debernadi
Women 400 Metres Hurdles (,76m) Open – Ashleigh Horrobin, Felicity Black
Men 400 Metres Hurdles (.91m) Open – Tom Robertson
Women Hammer Throw (4.0kg) Open – Emma Werner, Natalie Debeljuh, Gabrielle Neighbour
Men 1500 Metres Open – Michael Marantelli, Daniel Clark, Zak Patterson, Luke Mathews, Ryan Geard, Alex Rowe
Women Long Jump Open – Corinna Minko, Brooke Stratton
Women 200 Metres Open – Emily Lawson
Men 200 Metres Open – Will Johns, Aidan Debernadi
Men 800 Metres Open – Lachlan Barber, Eddie Vinning, Darcy Sutton, Fraser Russell
Women 1500 Metres Open – Coreena Cleland, Melissa Duncan, Eliza Curnow, Zoe Buckman, Katherine Katsanevakis
Men 5000 Metres Open – Jack Rayner, Jack Davies, Toby Rayner, Brady Threlfall, Nick Wightman, Josh Harris, Anthony Aloisio, Liam Adams

The Briggs Athletics Classic will take place at the Domain Athletic Centre, Hobart on Saturday 1 February, with the main program starting at 6.00pm.

Tickets are available via Centertainment, through athletics clubs or at the gate. Adults – $15; Children (under 16) – $5; children under 6, competing athletes and little athletes – free.

Click here for event information and entry lists.

Extreme weather update for this weekend

  • AV Shield Round 8 to go ahead as scheduled
  • HVC5 moves to 10:30am start on Saturday 1 at Lakeside Stadium
  • AV Throwers postponed and further details to be released

This weekend’s weather forecast has a maximum temperature of 35 on Saturday 1 and 41 on Sunday 2 February.

Earlier in the week we advised that the Athletics Victoria Unfavourable Weather Policy may come into play if the weather forecast remained above 35 degrees.

We have continued to monitor the weather forecast and have had regular communication with the Bureau of Meteorology.

We have also conferred with the Zone Committee Presidents and now confirm the following:-

AV Shield:

Round 8 will continue as scheduled and each Zone has already implemented some measures in preparation for the warm to hot conditions.

The program will commence as scheduled but there may be more scheduled breaks for officials as required.

Each Zone has the discretion to change the programming due to the weather and information will be provided to competitors and officials by each Zone on the day.

Athletics Victoria strongly recommend that all competitors, officials and helpers be adequately prepared for AV Shield on Saturday by making sure they hydrate, wear protective clothing, have sunscreen and a hat.

High Velocity Club:

Meet 5 has been rescheduled to 10.30am on Saturday 1 February at Lakeside Stadium.

A big thank-you to all our officials who have made themselves available for HVC5 on Saturday.

The event has been moved because of the predicted maximum of 41 degrees on Sunday.

To all competitors registered for HVC5; if you are not able to compete on Saturday please advise emma@athsvic.org.au so that where necessary we can re-seed the events.

Entries fees will be carried over to HVC6 or refunded as necessary.

AV Throwers:

Meet 3 has been postponed due to the predicted maximum of 41 degrees on Sunday.

Western Recreational Running Group

Western Athletics and Reclink are working together to provide beginner and intermediate runners, joggers and walkers a fun, friendly and non-competitive training environment. The sessions will focus on providing participants with social support, motivation and guidance on reaching their fitness goals.
Sessions will be held;

  •  6.30pm, Thursdays @ Chirnside Park

  •  7.00am, Saturdays @ Chirnside Park

  •  8.25am, Sundays @ You Yangs Regional Park (Rangers Hut)

Further information and enquiries at www.facebook.com/WRRGroup

Ruddick gold off no sleep

Australia’s number one ranked female walker Kelly Ruddick may have been up all night with a sick child but that wasn’t going to get in the way of gold in the 5000 metres walk race on the opening day of competition at the 2014 Victorian Country Championships in her home town of Ballarat last weekend.

“It’s great to win the country title, it’s great to win any major race, especially being in Ballarat,” Ruddick said.

“I have not been to bed yet, last night I worked to midnight and then one of my children had to go to hospital so I have not hit the bed at all, so that race was pretty difficult today, and I’m going to work right now.”

After completing a strong training block with new coach Brent Vallance the focus for Ruddick turns to this weekend’s Australian 20km Race Walking Championships in Hobart.

“Hobart is a qualifier for the world cup this May in China and there will be a strong international field,” Ruddick said.

“I’ve been aiming towards the 20km more so than the 5km, I found that a little bit difficult and I’m at the end of a big training block so I’m a bit tired.”

The proud Ballarat Harriers walker wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of victory on her home track.

“It was (all about the win), it was a hard hit out, I just love to win here (Ballarat) and I’m really proud to be a Harrier and do it for them and Ballarat as well,” said Ruddick.

With no walk event at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow all roads lead to Rio 2016 for Ruddick who is determined to live out a lifelong ambition of representing Australia at an Olympic Games.

“I’ve actually done an Olympic ‘A’ qualifying standard time, sadly I’m ranked number one in the Commonwealth and this is the first time ever there is no walk in the Commonwealth Games,” Ruddick said.

“For me it’s a bit of a bummer, but, I’m training a lot more serious than I ever have so if I keep it up I’ll be getting faster each time and aiming more towards the 20km rather than track meets which are a bit shorter, so Rio is in the mix, I’m definitely aiming for that.”

Ruddick along with stepping up her training program will have to juggle an increased travel schedule, motherhood and work commitments.

“I’ve been invited to race in Mexico in February, so there is a lot of travel coming up which I’m excited about, it’s great to be a part of the Australian team, its only taken me 40 years, I’m doing it all in reverse, I’ve had the kids and now I’ve decided I’m going to have a go,” Ruddick said.

Ruddick is enjoying working with three-time Olympic medalist Jared Tallent’s former coach Vallance and believes he is the person to take her walking to a new level.

“I know I’m in great hands with him and I’m really confident I can improve a lot and cut a few minutes across the 20km’s and be very competitive.”

“I travel to Melbourne, he (Vallance) was based at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra but has now moved to Melbourne for a different role.”

“I head down there twice a week and train with Olympian Chris Erickson and Jesse Osborne who are fantastic.”

There is every chance Ruddick could return to running since overcoming shin splints.

“I actually wanted to be a marathon runner but due to injury I stumbled into walking and thought I can do this.”

“I started with the Harriers at 15 and ran for 20 years and got an injury and someone suggested walking and the injury went away.”

“I might go to marathons; my body is feeling stronger, and more use to increasing the kilometres,” Ruddick said.

Click here for more information on the 2014 Australian 20km Race Walking Championships taking place this Sunday 2 February at Constitution Dock in Hobart.

Weather Forecast Warning

The weather forecast across Victoria predicts maximum temperatures above 35 degrees in some areas this weekend.

Athletics Victoria has been monitoring the forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology and if the forecast temperature exceeds 35 degrees this Saturday 1 February at the Zone locations, then this Round of the AV Shield competition may be cancelled due to the extreme weather. 

Our primary objective is to ensure the safety of all our competitors and Victorian officials.  

Any decision to cancel this weeks’ Shield competition will be made before 3pm this Friday 31 January.

All competitors and officials will be notified by email, and alerts will go out via the Athletics Victoria website and social media networks.

Be prepared for the conditions:

  • Stay hydrated before, during and after competition
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen to protect you from the elements 
  • Modify your competition preparation to take the conditions into account
  • Make sure you stay in the shade and out of the elements where possible
  • Look out for other members of your club or sport just in case they may need some assistance

Click here to refer to the Athletics Victoria Unfavourable Weather Policy.

To stay up-to-date with all the latest weather warnings and the seven day forecast vist: www.bom.gov.au/vic

Country stars ready to shine in Ballarat

Over 700 athletes will descend on Ballarat this Australia Day long weekend (Friday 24- Sunday 26 January) for the 2014 Victorian Country Championships at Llanberris Reserve.

The first major individual championships on the Athletics Victoria summer calendar will showcase a mix of up and coming talent through to the masters champions.

After stealing all the headlines last December in Townsville at the Australian All School Championships with a record breaking 1.96 metre jump in the women’s high jump, Eleanor Patterson will be one to watch in Ballarat.

The 17-year-old South Coast athlete added the Australian under 20 and 18 records to her growing CV and is on track to break Vanessa Ward and Alison Inverarity’s open national record of 1.98 metres.

Husband and wife duo Rob and Narelle Lehmann will once again be looking to dominate the 40 plus category. The Ballarat pair took home seven gold medals between them, winning all their events at last year’s event in Geelong.

Ballarat Pod Squad member and 2013 Australian world youth team member Sam Baird will be chasing a world junior qualifier to ensure he is on the plane to Eugene, USA later this year.

The current 400 metre under 18 Australian champion will have strong competition from Deakin Athletics Sam Reiser who has already claimed the world junior qualifying time of 47.25 seconds in the 400 metres with a 47.10 seconds late last year at the opening High Velocity Club meet of the season.

Geelong Guid sprinter Angela Byrt will be looking to replicate her strong form from the recent Zatopek:10 2013,  the 25-yeard-old broke the women’s Victorian country 100 yards record in 11.08 seconds and will be a strong contender in the 100 metres event in Ballarat.

The Victorian Country Championships not only attract strong competition from the regional centres but attracts entries from metropolitan athletes, interstate and overseas, with one competitor traveling from New Zealand.

These events are not possible without the hard work and dedication from the local organising committees and the Ballarat Regional Athletics Centre has done a fantastic job preparing  this year’s event.

Good luck to all athletes competing over the weekend and big thanks to all the officials, volunteers and helpers.

Don’t forget to join in the conversation on social media and hashtag #VicCountryChamps on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Key information:

Date: Friday 24 – Sunday 26 January 2014

Where: Llanberris Reserve, Ballarat

Final Timetable: Click Here

Start List: Click Here

Rules of Competition: Click Here

Team Entry Lists: Click Here

Entries open for 2014 Victorian Track & Field Championships

Entries are now open for the junior and open 2014 Victorian Track & Field Championships

2014 Victorian Junior Track & Field Championships

Friday 14 – Sunday 16 February

Lakeside Stadium

Click here to enter and for more event details

2014 Victorian Open Track & Field Championships

Friday 28 February – Sunday 2 March

Lakeside Stadium

Click here to enter and for more event details

Add to the experience and hash tag on social media #VICCHAMPS14

If you have any issues with the online entry system don't hesitate to contact the Athletics Victoria office on 03 8646 4500

Mount Buller Mountain Running Festival launched

Running Wild in association with Athletics Victoria and Mount Buller Resort are proud to be involved in the La Sportiva – Mount Buller Mountain Running Festival will be held from Saturday 1 to Sunday 2 February 2014 at Mount Buller.

The Festival sees the return of the Victorian Mountain Running Championships which for the first time will be held in conjunction with the inaugural Mount Buller Vertical K.

Register before Wednesday 15 January to take advantage of the early bird entry price. For full details on how compete visit: http://runningwild.net.au/2014-victorian-mountain-running-championships/entry/.

The Mount Buller Mountain Running Festival is unique to Victoria and brings together a range of exciting running events designed to appeal to a wide cross section of the Victoria running community; ranging from tough ultra marathon runners, mountain runners, families and road runners seeking to get out and experience something new in trail and mountain running.

Building on the success of last year’s challenging Mount Buller Skyrun, runners will have the option of three events – 22km, 36km and 45km races set in stunning mountain scenery covering Mirimbah, Mount Buller, Mount Stirling and Craig's Hut.

For those looking for something more low key, to really take in Victoria’s most stunning Alpine Villages there is the 5km Family Fun Run.

The Mount Buller Mountain Running Festival offers both spectacular scenery and mountain running with all the amenities of a modern alpine resort only two and half hours’ drive from Melbourne

La Sportiva -Mount Buller Mountain Running Festival program:

Saturday 1 February 2014
What: Victorian Mountain Running Championships- 9km Junior Men’s, Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s Mountain Championship incorporating the Mount Buller Vertical K.

Mount Buller Fun Run: 5km fun run around Mount Buller Alpine Village – taking in the spectacular views from the summit. Please note the 5km race is open to under 20 Women.

Sunday 2 February 2014
What: Mount Buller Skyrun – 22km, 36km or 45km

A classic introduction to the challenges and beauty of trail and ultra trail running within easy travelling distance of Melbourne and major regional Victoria centres.

For event information please visit www.runningwild.net.au