Perth delivers Commonwealth Games qualifiers

2012 Olympian Kathryn Mitchell added a second Commonwealth Games ‘A’ standard in the women’s javelin at the 2014 Go For 2&5 Perth Track Classic over the weekend with a throw of 60.42m.

In what is becoming one of the showcase events on this seasons Australian athletics calendar Mitchell finished third behind fellow 2012 Olympian Kim Mickle (63.37) and Canberra’s Kelsey-Lee Roberts (61.99) who also backed up strong performances at the Adelaide Track Classic a fortnight ago to record Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifiers in Perth.

Nunawading athlete Brook Stratton impressed in the long jump with a personal best of 6.62m to move up Australia’s all-time records list to equal ninth alongside Linda (Parr) Garden and Margaret Gayen.

Only .03m off an ‘A’ qualifier Stratton won at the opening Australian Athletics Tour meet well clear of Canberra’s Jessica Penney who’s fourth attempt of 6.49m was enough to claim second and a ‘B’ standard.

Collingwood Harriers Corinna Minko rounded out the podium and joined Stratton on the list of ‘B’ qualifiers with a jump of 6.45m.

Old Melburnians Sam Baines delivered a strong performance to win the 110m hurdles in 13.70 against New South Wales’s highly rated Nicholas Hough (13.73).

The pair split by .03sec both claimed ‘B’ standards in what is going to be an interesting battle over the next couple of months in the build-up to the Australian championships in Melbourne.

Ballarat’s Collis Birmingham (3:54.92) prepared for next month’s world indoor championships in Sopot, Poland with a strong performance in the mile, finishing second behind Kenya’s James Magut who recorded a new meet record of 3:53.73.

Birmingham and Magut were joined at the front by Irelands Paul Robinson (3:59.56) on the final lap before Birmingham pushed the pace; it was Magut who responded to take line hours and saw all three finish under the four minute mark.

2013 Moscow worlds star Zoe Buckman was the best of the Victoria’s in the women’s 1500m finishing second in 4:07.56 behind the Netherlands Susan Kuijken (4:07.21).

Buckman lead a group of four including Kuijken, Kaila McKnight and Melissa Duncan into the final 200m. Buckman looked on track for her first win of the season until Kuijken found another gear in the final 100m to win in a meet record.

Buckman and McKnight’s (4:07.92) times suggest they are not far off claiming the ‘A’ qualifier of 4:07.00. Duncan secured a third ‘B’ standard of the season with her fourth place and a time of 4.09.13.

New South Wales’s Josh Ralph continued to show how comfortable he is at 800m with a meet record and Commonwealth Games ‘B’ standard time of 1:46.25 ahead of VIS athlete Jeff Riseley (1:46.54) who was happy with his first serious run in 2014.

“Very happy with result first up, real stuff begins now” – via @jeff_riseley

Fellow VIS scholarship holder Alex Rowe showed great signs in Perth after a 1:48.04 at the Adelaide Track Classic Rowe clocked 1:46.77 to add to Victoria’s long list of ‘B’ qualifiers.

Adding to Victoria’s strong showing on the infield Corio thrower Damien Birkinhead recorded his second ‘B’ in the shot put with a throw of 18.43m.

Pole vaulter Joel Pocklington cleared the bar at 5.25m before three attempts at 5.46m to claim a ‘B’ standard.

Frankston javelin thrower Luke Cann was another to improve on his Adelaide Track Classic performance with five of his six throws over the ‘B’ standard and finished with a final throw of 77.50m to claim first place ahead of New Zealand’s Stuart Farquhar (75.65m) and Tasmanian Hamish Peacock (74.40m).

Deakin athlete Jess Gulli impressed in Perth winning the women’s 400m hurdles in 57.39 just outside the ‘B’ standard of 57.35.

Canberra’s Melissa Breen continued her winning ways in the 100m securing another ‘A’ standard ahead of Sandringham’s Ashleigh Whittaker who produced an 11.58 to claim second place.

Nunawading’s Hana Basic was too strong in the women’s 100m B race winning in a time of 11.88, the only interstate competitor on the starting line, local Amy Tolcon was closes in 12.17.

The next stop on the Australian Athletics Tour is the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday 15 March.

Click here for full results from the 2014 Go For 2&5 Perth Track Classic.