Rising talent on show at Vic Junior Champs

In a showcase of Victoria’s up and coming track and field talent the 2014 Victorian Junior Championships provided plenty of highlights across a packed weekend of competition.

No more so than Diamond Valley athlete Jaryd Clifford (T/F12) who took line honours in the 1500m on day one in the combined under 15 men’s event that placed him third overall with a time of 4:30.97.

Clifford was a regular on the winner’s podium with gold in the 100m (14.00), 200m (28.42), 400m (59.89) and 800m (2:13.24).

South Coast high jumper Eleanor Patterson recorded a fifth world junior qualifying standard and matched her recent Victorian Country Championships title with a height of 1.85m to claim the women’s under 20 state title.

The jump was also enough to add a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard to her Townsville All Schools ‘A’ standard jump of 1.96m late last year.

Sandringham jumper Henry Smith added to Patterson’s world junior standard with a 7.65m in the long jump on the final day of competition.

Smith now has two jumps of 7.65m after his first world junior standard at High Velocity in late January.

In a strong women’s under 20 100m final it took photo finish to work out the make-up of the podium.

Williamtown’s Daniela Roman was all class winning in 11.92, but, Diamond Valley’s Maddison Coates (11.93) turn of speed in the final 20 metres was enough to pip teammate Brittany Burkitt on the line (11.94).

Click here to check out the photo finish image on the Athletics Victoria Facebook Page.

Collingwood’s Ace Buck was too strong in the men’s under 14 1500m (4:26.95) and 800m (2:07.66) category and Box Hill sprinter Nana-Adom Owusu-Afriyie also impressed with her 100m (12.26) and 200m (25.42) wins in the women’s under 16 age group.

A number of Tasmanian’s made the trip across Bass Strait and Deon Kenzie was a standout, claiming a new Oceania and Australian Open T38 1500m record in 4.09.93, just .43 off the world record.

Along with Jacob Despard who produced a stunning 100m (10.84) and 200m (22.24) double in the men’s under 20 age group.

Box Hill pole vaulter Madline Lawson attempted the world junior standard of 3.95m on her way to the women’s under 20 state title.

Along with Lawson, Old Melburnians high jumper Joel Baden had three attempts at 2.16m in a bid to clinch the world junior qualifying standard.

Bellarine Athletics Thomas Henry finished second with the bar at 2.04m, leaving Baden on his own at 2.12m to claim gold and state title.

The weekend provided strong results, a number of personal bests and a great lead into next month’s Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney from Wednesday 12 – Sunday 16 March.

For full results from the 2014 Victorian Junior Championships visit www.athsvic.org.au/liveresults.

Footage will be uploaded over the next couple of days to the athsvicTV YouTube Channel