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