Victorian Country Championships set for five year venue rotation

Athletics Victoria after meeting with the regional representative committee has agreed on event locations for the next five Victorian Country Championships including the Albury/Wodonga.

“We now have agreed venues for the next five years which gives our regional committees the opportunity to seek local and regional support and to promote this iconic event,” Athletics Victoria CEO Glenn Turnor said.

Victorian Country Championships locations:

  • 2015 – Bendigo
  • 2016 – Geelong
  • 2017 – Casey Fields
  • 2018 – Ballarat
  • 2019 – Albury/Wodonga

The Victorian Country Championships will be held over the Australia Day weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Athletics Victoria welcomes this rotation in particular South Coast and Albury/Wodonga who are exciting additions to the list of venues. It’s a great opportunity to take athletics to different regions around Victoria, said Turnor.

Metro athletes are welcome to participate but as has been the case in the past only four metro athletes in finals.

“‘The Country championships have been a great success for over 25 years and we look forward to making sure they continue to be,” said Turnor.

The Victorian Country Championships attracts strong competition with over 700 participants competing in Ballarat this year from all over Victoria and around Australia.

The event also serves as great boost for local economies and helps promotes Athletics Victoria’s challenge of JOIN.EXPERIENCE.BENEFIT.

#AAC14 Day Four: Riseley confirms Glasgow spot in 1500m

Over twelve month on and 2012 London Olympian Jeff Riseley has put injury worries behind him to claim the 1500m national crown in 3:46.47 on day four of the Australian Athletics Championships.

“I was really badly injured after the Olympics, I put everything into it, you get clouded judgment, work hard and unfortunately caused an injury and about a twelve month lay off,” Riseley said.

“The season hasn’t go quite the way I wanted it to, its been tough, I’m putting in a lot of effort and just keep getting beating by Ralph (Joshua), but, you get knocked down a bit but keep getting up.”

Riseley the third fastest Australian over 1500m made up for the disappointment of the 800m on day three to beat New South Wales Ryan Gregson (3:48.01) and fellow Victorian Brenton Rowe (3:49.27) to ensure automatic selection for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“I had a lot of mental energy in that one (800m) and if I could get through that I was a good chance today, I lead it to 70m to go and thought I had a metre on the straight and I was like come on, come on, come on, it was pretty windy and when they come up on you I had to respond and proved I can do it again.”

Victorian Institute of Sport athlete Brooke Stratton’s break out season culminated with the long jump stars final attempt producing the ‘A’ qualifying standard she has been chasing all season.

Stratton delivered a final distance of 6.70m to claim her spot on the Australian team for the July Commonwealth Games.

Having come close at the Perth Track Classic with a distance of 6.62m, the nerves may have been bubbling before today's competition, but, it was pure excitement for Stratton as the distance was read out across the stadium.

Fellow VIS athlete Damien Birkinhead also added his name to the list of Australia’s heading to Glasgow with a throw of 19.04m clinching the national title and automatic selection.

“The season panned out the way I hoped, working on getting more consistency and b-qualifiers, it would have been nice to get a personal best but I had a good go,” Birkinhead said.

“Today went really well, very consistent again, all around the same distance, I'm really happy with how it went.”

Birkinhead will head to Glasgow on his first senior Australian team and couldn’t be happier.

“It’s pretty exciting to go over to Scotland, my mum is from Edinburgh so be good to have family over there and hopefully go over and perform really well.”

Mister consistent this season is Box Hill pole vaulter Joel Pocklington having clinched nine b-qualifying standards across the season and claiming a personal best of 5.41m in Newcastle earlier in the year won the national title with a height of 5.25m.

“I couldn’t of asked for a better season, this has been the best season of my life and to be able to cap it off that way is the icing on the cake,” Pocklington said.

“It was the most stressful competition of my life, I've never been in that position in such a major meet before and to win is incredible.”

World Youth Champion Eleanor Patterson confirmed her status as Australia’s number one women high jumper after claiming the national title at a height of 1.92m.

“It’s was a tough competition that’s for sure but it's great to finally be officially on the plane to Glasgow,” Patterson said.

Going in as favourite didn’t seem to phase Patterson whose goal is to just keep on improving and get the best out of herself.

“It was really good conditions, I didn’t notice the wind much and it was nice and warm on the track so it was fantastic.”

Glasgow now becomes a reality for Patterson who wasn’t sure what the plan was for this season until jumping 1.96m at the Australian All Schools Championships in Townsville late December last year.

“I was undecided on what I was aiming for but after that competition (Australian All Schools Championships) I was definitely going to go for the Commonwealth Games.”

“In any competition all I want to do is be the best I can be, jump the highest I can and a personal best is always the goal.”

Sandringham's Ashleigh Whittaker impressed on the final day of action by finishing second in the women's 200m final with a time of 23.55 behind New South Wales Ella Nelson who won in 23.47.

“I knew I had to work that bend with Ash (Whittaker) on my outside. She was always going to push me and then I had Mel to deal with on the straight as well so I am very excited to come away with the win and the spot on the team for Glasgow,” Nelson said.

92nd Australian Athletics Championships

Final Results
Live Stream

Athletics Australia Day Four wrap

Athletics Australia will now nominate its initial squad of athletes to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association for ratification ahead of a media event announcing the first segment of the team this Wednesday 9 April. Additional details about this will be issued tomorrow.

#AAC14 Day Three: Mitchell 400m brilliance

You couldn’t wipe the smile off Morgan Mitchell’s (52.22 CGB) face as she delivered when it counted to claim the women’s 400m national title on day three of the Australian Athletics Championships in Melbourne.

“I’m so stoked, You have no idea, I’ve been trying all season, up and down, up and down, I got sick on Thursday which wasn’t ideal and then to win it with a personal best I couldn’t believe it”, said Mitchell.

“I stuck to my race plan and it paid off, just held myself until 150m to go and then just gave it my all, so it paid off.”

“I got a qualifier and I won, I now have to keep working as I was ready to take a month off, I didn’t believe myself until I got to the start line and then I thought I could win this.”

Deferring studies looks to have played a critical part in Mitchell’s success and will now await confirmation of selection on her first senior Australian team in Glasgow.

“It was a bonus that paid off, I’m just working part-time, my days consist of training, work and playing basketball, I live a pretty chilled lifestyle.”

In a slow final 2012 London Olympian Zoe Buckman won the women’s 1500m national title with a time of 4:10.86.

“I was feeling my way through it, it was a championship race, no pace, tactical race, that’s a skill I’m accruing, to feel your way through the race.”

“Just run a good tactical race, and that’s what I had to do here today to secure my spot on the team.”

“You got to be happy with the win, judged my kick just right, was a bit bold going into the wind down on the back straight, but, I know that I’m strong.”

New South Wales Joshua Ralph (1:46.57) again had the edge over Victorian Institute of Sport pair Alex Rowe (1:46.68) and Jeff Riseley (1:47.11) in the men’s 800m national final.

“It was probably one of my best runs of the season, Ralph had me by point one of a second, I beat Jeff for the first time this season so have to take the positives out of it,” Rowe said.

“No denying I’m a little disappointed but Ill use that for motivation.”

“I guess in Perth I was to far back, in Melbourne I was too far in front, so I ran a lot better race in that one.”

Ballarat based Victoria Mitchell has secured automatic qualification for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games later this year after winning the women’s 3000m steeple national title in a ‘B’ qualifying standard time of 9:42.01

Coburg Harriers Stella Radford (10:29.55) finished fourth with Melbourne University Sarah McSweeney finishing fifth in a time of 10:31.84.

Chilwell Athletics Richard Coleman was impressive winning the men’s 1500m wheelchair national title in 3:29.77 while also collecting silver in the 100m wheelchair final with a time of 16.11.

Ballarat’s Collis Birmingham kicked with 800m to go and turned on the speed to claim the 5000m national title in 13:44.55.

Birmingham went toe-to-toe with New South Wales Ben St Lawerence for the majority of the race but the speed of the 2014 world indoor 3000m finialist was enough to add the 5000m crown to his Zatopek:10 10000m national title.

Ringwood Athletics Kim Mulhall threw 15.00m to claim the women’s shot put national crown ahead of South Australian Alifatou Djibril distance of 14.93m on her fourth attempt.

Geelong Jess Gulli has progressed to the women’s 400m hurdles final after recording second fastest semi-final time of 59.99 and convincingly winning heat two.

Australian Capital Territories Lauren Wells cruised through heat one in a time of 58.00 to head into tomorrow afternoon’s final as hot favourite.

Wells recorded a season best of 56.56 in Perth earlier this year, .56 outside the ‘A’ qualifying standard while Gulli added a ‘B’ to her name at last months IAAF Melbourne World Challenge with a personal best of 57.30.

Athletics Chilwell Tessa Consedine will also feature in the final after a solid run of 60.71 ensured automatic qualification.

Athletics Essendon Ellen Pettitt recorded a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifier with a jump of 13.43m in the women’s triple jump to claim sliver behind Queensland’s Linda Leverton who produced a personal of 13.93m to secure automatic selection for the Glasgow Games in July.

Glenhuntly Athletics Nicolas Hum (T20) added a silver in the 100m ambulant to his day one gold medal in the long jump.

Ballarat’s Joel Bee continued his impressive season with a silver medal in the 100m final with a time of 10.64 behind New South Wales Tim Leathart who won in 10.56 in difficult conditions.

Sandringham Athletics Ashleigh Whittaker (11.95) was impressive in the women’s 100m to claim bronze behind two of the sports super stars Sally Pearson (11.70) and Melissa Breen (11.90).

Mentone athlete Paige Greco (T37) also made it through to the women’s 100m ambulant final finishing eighth with a time of 16.47.

Old Melburnian Sam Baines unfortunately didn’t make it through the warm up after a slight injury concern.

Baines was resigned to the same fait at last months IAAF Melbourne World Challenge and will have to wait on discretionary selection.

As expected with no Baines in the heats New South Wales Nicholas Hough was the fastest qualifier with a ‘B’ standard of 13.87.

Frankston athlete Ben Khongbut made it through to the final as one of the next two best times in 14.39 seconds.

Wondonga athlete Dennis Ramsay (F57) continued his strong nationals campaign by adding a second gold on day three in the men’s secured shot put with a throw of 8.78m. Taking his over total to two gold and one bronze.

Frankston thrower Jessee Wyatt joined Ramsay on the podium as he continues his strong season finishing third with a throw of 6.13m.

92nd Australian Athletics Championships:

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#AAC14 Day Two: Driesen throws fourth straight national hammer title

South Bendigo thrower Tim Driesen recorded his fourth consecutive Australian hammer title after claiming a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard of 67.16m ahead of Queensland star Matthew Denny who finished second with a throw of 65.13m on day two of the Australian Athletics Championships at Lakeside Stadium.

Winning the national title and recording the best throw (69.53m) of any Australian this season places him well to claim a spot on the Australian Commonwealth Games team in Glasgow later this year.

As a result of an appeal to the jury concerning the 1500m race the men's decathlon victory ceremony has been postponed to tomorrow which involves St Kevin’s Steve Cain.

Knox Athletics David Thomson recorded a world junior qualifying standard in the men’s decathlon after finishing second with a final total of 7151 points behind Queensland’s Cedric Dubler who secured automatic selection winning with a total of 7266.

Geelong’s Jess Gulli ambitions of Commonwealth Games selection came a step closer after easing through heat four in the women’s 400m hurdles in 61.33 to qualify for the semi-final round.

Victorian 100m and 200m champion Ashleigh Whittaker was the best of the Big V athletes in the women’s 100m event qualifying for the semi-final stage in 11.62.

Joining Whittaker in the semi-finals will be Williamstown Athletics Daniela Roman (11.90) who will represent Australia later this year at the world junior championships in Eugene, USA.

Diamond Valley’s Monica Brennan (11.98) and Geelong athlete Angela Byrt also progressed out of the heats.

Ballarat’s Joel Bee ensured passage to the semi-finals of the 100m with a time of 10.58 in heat four.

Frankston sprinter Matt Carter produced a solid 10.50 in heat one will join Bee, the state 100m and 200m champion in the next round.

Day two action started in disappointing fashion with Ballarat thrower Kathryn Mitchell having to pull out of the women’s javelin qualification round with a slight shoulder niggle.

Mitchell’s holds the second best throw of the season with here Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifying standard of 66.10m at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge last month.

The 2012 London Olympian will have to wait until next week for confirmation of discretionary selection from Athletics Australia.

Australian national record holder Kim Mickle and Mitchell’s closest rival made easy work of the qualification rounds, automatically advancing through to the final with a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard throw of 59.57m.

Frankston thrower Alycia Maher (45.05m) and Doncaster Athletics Breanna Large (41.71) both finished in the top 10 to progress to Saturday nights final.

Glenhunty athlete Kelly Hetherington was the best of the Victorian’s in the women’s 800m heats recording the best time of 2:05.91.

Victorian state champion Katherine Katsanevakis also made easy work of the heats to progress to the final in a time of 2.06.12 alongside Hetherington in heat one.

2012 London Olympian Jeff Riseley backed up his 800m heat win to ease through the qualifying round of the 1500m with a time of 3:48.87, while Deakin’s Brenton Rowe recording the fastest qualification time of 3:47.33.

Wodonga Athletics Dennis Ramsay (F57) added a national title to his bronze medal on day two, winning the men’s secured javelin throw with a distance of 23.26m.

Along with Ramsay, Brydee Moore (F33) also claimed a second medal on day two winning the women’s secured javelin throw with a distance of 10.01m.

Duel Olympian Chris Erickson (40:51.82) finished second in the men’s 10000m race walking final while Ballarat’s Kelly Ruddick claimed bronze in the women’s division with a time of 45:25.90.

92nd Australian Athletics Championships:

Click here for Athletics Australia Day One wrap
Click here for live stream video replay

Click here for Live Results 

Note- Athletics Australia advises that during Friday evenings competition, its Administration Delegates and the Chief Photo Finish Judge detected a pre existing configuration error in the Photo Finish Equipment at Lakeside Stadium.

It means that the majority of times previously published for events up to and including event #103 (Mens 100m Heats) on Thursday & Fridays program will have been shown as .01 second faster than they should have been. This also includes points for combined events.

All events have now been re read, the times adjusted and the points for the each combined event adjusted. The live results and collated links (above) are all now correct.


Get more active, more often with Premier’s active April

Stay active in April and your Club could win 1 of 4 $250 Rebel Sport vouchers

Premier’s Active April is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to promote healthy and active lifestyles and get Victorians more active, more often!

Premier’s Active April is a 30 x 30 challenge where all Victorians are encouraged to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day during April.

Its fun, its free, and just by registering, your club could win one of 4 x $250 Rebel Sport vouchers. Club teams simply need to register their name as <sport> <club name> and the four clubs with the most registrations will win the $250 prizes.

Each registered individual will also receive:

  • 15% off at Rebel Sport
  • 10 free YMCA passes
  • One free child pass to National Sports Museum and MCG Tour
  • One free child pass to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
  • One hour free tennis court hire at Melbourne Park or Albert Reserve
  • A chance to win some great prizes including our major registration prize of a sports pack valued at over $40,000 including four corporate tickets to the 2014 Toyota AFL Grand Final, bikes and sporting equipment
  • A chance to win Rebel Sport vouchers and coaching clinics at your school with high-profile athletes
  • Weekly email tips on being active and healthy eating

Teams and participants can log daily activity with the new Active April app and chart their progress throughout the month. You can also discover great events that are taking place in your local area!

Click here for How to register my club information sheet.

Register today and join your club team to help your club win this great prize:

Get more active, more often, with Premier's Active April. 1-30 April 2014.

Glasgow on the mind for Big V athletes

The next four days are set to shape the athletics lives of nearly 250 Victorian athletes as Melbourne plays host to the 92nd edition of the Australian Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games selection trials.

As the Australian summer season comes to a close the coming days at Lakeside Stadium presents athletes with the opportunity for automatic selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be staged in Glasgow, Scotland in 111 days.

And, if the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge last month is any indication the women’s javelin will be a must watch with Ballarat’s Kathryn Mitchell to reignite her battle with 2013 Moscow world championship silver medalist Kim Mickle.

The pair has gone head-to-head all summer with both recording personal bests and going beyond 66m, highlighted by Mickle adding the Australian national record of 66.83m to her name.

Box Hill pole vaulter Joel Pocklington has been one of the most consistent performers this season, setting nine ‘B’ qualifying standards with a season and personal best of 5.41m in Newcastle earlier this year a sure sign he is a good chance of claiming a spot on the Australian team.

There will be plenty of intrigue in how the men’s 800m plays out, with a tactical battle between Knox Athletics Jeff Riseley, St Kevin’s Alex Rowe and one of the seasons most talked about athletes, New South Wales Joshua Ralph set to lock horns again.

The trio last met in Melbourne for the first round of the IAAF World Challenge and it was Ralph who produced a personal best of 1:45.80 ahead of Riseley who crossed the line in 1:46.15 to add his first ‘A’ qualifying standard of the season.

2014 Sopot World Indoor finalist Collis Birmingham will head into the 5000m as the man to beat and will be hoping to add the crown to his 10,000m national title from Zatopek:10 last December.

Originally from Canberra, but, continuing the Ballarat theme 2013 5000m world championship finalist Brett Robinson will also be lining up a trip to Scotland later this year.

New South Wales’ athlete Ben St Lawrence is the likely threat to the two Victorian based athletes, but as Zatopek:10 showed, anything can happen and all three will be eyeing the national crown.

Old Melbournian’s Sam Baines stand out season has built up well to the nationals, recording a personal best of 13.69 in the 110m hurdles at the Sydney Track Classic with the only slight concern coming at last months IAAF Melbourne World Challenge where he opted to withdrawal after a slight injury concern.

Another exciting head-to-head battle is to unfold with Baines to face New South Wales young star Nicholas Hough, if conditions suit the pair could capture the 13.50 Commonwealth Games ‘A’ standard.

The women’s 1500m provides the opportunity for three Victorians to book trips to Glasgow. It will be Olympians Zoe Buckman and Kaila McKnight who resume their long standing battle, but don’t discount Melissa Duncan who could push for selection if an ‘A’ standard is produced from one of the three.

In another stand out season South Coast jumper and world youth champion Eleanor Patterson has opted to focus on the Commonwealth Games and will head into the Australian national championships as firm favourite to confirm her position as Australia’s number one female high jumper.

Victorian Institute of Sport athletes Brooke Stratton and Damien Birkinhead will both be focused on confirming spots on their first ever senior Australian team this weekend.

Long jumper Stratton came close to the ‘A’ qualifying standard in Perth earlier this year with a distance of 6.62m and will be in a battle with South Australian Margaret Gayen who also has a season best of 6.62m, Australian Capital Territories Jessica Penney who produced a 6.54m back in February and fellow Victorian Corinna Minko will also performed well at the Perth Track Classic to record a season best of 6.38m.

In form Birkinhead heads into the shot put off the back of an outstanding IAAF Melbourne World Challenge, claiming a personal best of 19.31m and there is every chance he could find the extra metres to claim the 20.10m ‘A’ qualifying standard.

Geelong’s 400m hurdler Jess Gulli has had a breakout season and is now right in the selection frame for Glasgow after an impressive 57.30 at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge.

Gulli will have strong competition from Canberra’s Lauren Wells who came close to the ‘A’ qualifying standard in Perth earlier this year with a 56.66 and will be favourite to claim the national title.

Good luck to all Victorian athletes competing at the Australia Athletics Championships.

92nd Australian Athletics Championships Information:

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#AAC14 Day One: Buckman and Riseley ease through to finals

2012 London Olympians Zoe Buckman (1500m) and Jeff Riseley (800m) both qualified for their respective finals on day one of the Australian Athletics Championships at Albert Park.

Buckman sat in a lead group of three for the back half of heat two and looked confortable recording the fastest heat time of 4:20.47.

Commonwealth Games hopefuls Kaila McKnight (4:21.91) and Melissa Duncan (4:23.49) also progressed through to the final.

Rounding out the Victorian contingent in the women’s 1500m final will be Coreena Cleland who recorded a time of 4:26.76 in heat two.

Riseley in similar fashion to Buckman recorded the fastest heat time of 1:49.43 in the 800m, moving from the inside to work with fellow Victorian Timas Harik (1:49.95) at the front to see the pair ease through to the final.

2013 Moscow worlds representative Alex Rowe also made easy work of the heats to progress with the second fastest time of 1:49.64.

Gabrielle Neighbour is on track for Commonwealth Games selection after finishing second overall in the women’s hammer throw qualification round with a distance of 57.88m.

Neighbour’s closest rival Queensland’s Lara Nielsen took out the heats with a throw of 58.22m.

Athletics Nunawading multi athlete David Brock leads the men’s decathlon after five events on 3936 points ahead of New South Wales pair Andrew Neville in second on 3785 and Kyle Cranston in third on 3729.

St Kevin’s Stephen Cain is the next best placed Victorian on 3682 and will head into day two with the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m remaining.

Ashleigh Hamilton is the best placed Victorian in the women’s heptathlon in second place on 3277 behind New South Wales Sophie Stanwell on 3352 after four events.

Brydee Moore (F33) claimed the first gold medal for the Big V on day one of competition in the women’s secured discus throw with a distance of 10.44m.

Dennis Ramsay (F57) claimed bronze in the men’s secured discus throw with an effort of 24.27m.

Frankston’s youngster Jessee Wyatt (F34) finished fourth with his fourth attempt of 18.98m.

Victorian trio Ellen Pettitt (12.80m), Emma Knight (12.78) and Tierra Exum (11.85) all secured spots in the women’s triple jump final and will have the task of matching it with Queensland’s Linda Leverton who produced 13.16m to progress to the final as a firm favourite.

Nicholas Hum (T20) impressed in the men’s long jump ambulant winning the national title with a distance of 6.88m ahead of South Australian Brayden Davidson’s (T36) jump of 4.91m.

Diamond Valley’s Jaryd Clifford (T12) continued his strong season claiming bronze in the men’s 800m (2:09.81) behind Tasmania’s Deon Kenzie (T38) 2:07.90 and Western Australian Paul Gilbert (T20) 2:05.58.

Four Victorians made it through to the heats stage of the men’s 400m, Iain Douglas (47.58), Christopher Baillieu (47.96), Sean Wroe (48.05) and Deluca Lawson-Matthew (48.18).

Victorian Alwyn Jones progressed as the number one ranked athlete in the men's triple jump with a distance of 15.72m. Fellow Victorians Callan Rauchfuss (14.99) and Frank Brisevac (14.86) will also join Jones in the final.

92nd Australian Athletics Championships:

Click here for Athletics Australia Day One wrap
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Lakeside Stadium operating hours between April 1 – September 30

Please note the following changes to Lakeside Stadium operating hours between Tuesday 1 April –  Tuesday 30 September due to the Athletics priority period concluding and South Melbourne Football Club (SMFC) priority period commencing;

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday  – Open between 9.00am – 6.30pm (due to SMFC training commencing at 6.30pm)
  • Tuesday & Thursday   – Open between 9.00am – 7.00pm
  • Saturday – Open between 10.00am – 2.00pm (dependant on events & bookings)
  • Sunday – CLOSED (ONLY open for events and bookings with the appropriate staffing charges applying)

Visit the Lakeside Stadium website for more information on access times and bookings.