Sprint doubles for Bee and Whittaker

Speedsters Joel Bee and Ashleigh Whittaker stared at the 2014 Victorian Open Track and Field Championships doubling up with wins in the 100m and 200m finals over the weekend at Lakeside Stadium.


Speedsters Joel Bee and Ashleigh Whittaker stared at the 2014 Victorian Open Track and Field Championships doubling up with wins in the 100m and 200m finals over the weekend at Lakeside Stadium.

Ballarat’s Bee set the tone on the opening night with a blistering 10.44 in the 100m heats and backed it up in the semi’s to qualify fastest in 10.56 for the Saturday final.

Coming off an impressive win in the 120m open final in 12.53 at the Maryborough Gift as the back marker in January, Bee returned to the track in fine style taking out the 100m in 10.50 ahead of Frankston’s Matt Carter (10.62) and Western Athletics Luke Stevens (10.78).

Sandringham’s Whittaker was the standout in the women’s 100m event, comfortably making her way through the heats as the only competitor to go under 12 seconds in 11.71.

Whittaker was the likely favourite going into the final and didn’t disappoint with a time of 11.73 ahead of Geelong’s Angela Byrt (12.02) and Nunawading’s Hana Basic (12.07).

Backing up on Sunday in the 200m Whittaker showed plenty of class to win in 23.89 ahead of 2013 titleholder Monica Brennan (24.40) and Ringwood’s Kendra Hubbard (24.74).

Up and coming pole vault star Madeline Lawson was a standout on the infield with an impressive 4.00m jump that secured her the state title and added a third world junior qualifying standard to her two jumps of 3.95m earlier this year at Rare Air Club.

Diamond Valley athlete Chris Armet claimed his ninth state title in the men’s high jump with a final clearance of 2.09m.

Armet missed out at 2.14m while Old Melburnians Joel Baden (2.03m) and Bellarine’s Thomas Henry (2.00m) made up the podium.

Nunawading jumper Jamie Stratton started off a strong weekend of results for the Stratton siblings winning the men’s long jump with jump of 7.38m.

Coming off a personal best of 6.62m at the Perth Track Classic last weekend Brooke Stratton recorded a fifth Commonwealth Games ‘B’ standard with a jump a of 6.39m. While Kristy Stratton rounded out the medal tally for the Stratton’s finishing third (5.71) to her sister Brooke in the long jump.

Ringwood thrower Kimberley Mulhall added to her 2013 crown to win the women’s shot put with a distance of 14.53m ahead of Whittlesea City Athletics Prabhjot Rai (13.97m) and Western Athletics Julia Bourke (12.65m).

Knox Athletics Zak Patterson showed his class to win the 1500m in 3:49.71 ahead of Athletics Essendon pair Liam Adam (3:50.06) and Ryan Geard (3:50.27).

Patterson heads to Sydney next weekend for the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in good shape, with a world junior qualifying time of 3:46.98 claimed at Briggs Athletics Classic in February the national championships will be his chance to secure a spot on the Australian team heading to Oregon for the IAAF World Junior Championships later this year.

VIS athlete Damien Birkinhead improved on his Commonwealth Games ‘B’ standard of 18.43m at last weekend’s Perth Track Classic to win the state shot put title with a throw of 18.67m.

World youth champion Eleanor Patterson entered the women’s high jump competition at 1.79m with Denise Snyder the only other competitor left.

With Snyder missing out at 1.82m Patterson was left on her own and finished as Victorian champion and claimed a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ and world junior qualifying standard by clearing the bar at 1.88m.

Day two action saw Queensland’s Lara Nielsen (61.10m) and Mentone thrower Gabriel Neighbour (60.74m) produce Commonwealth Games ‘B’ standards in the women’s hammer throw with Corio athlete Natalie Debeljuh (57.47m) taking bronze.

2010 national 800m champion Katherine Katsanevakis (2:03.12) impressed ahead of next weekends Sydney Track Classic claiming state title in a final that included 2013 worlds’ representatives Kaila McKnight (2:03.60) and Kelly Hetherington (2:03.88).

Western Athletics 19-year-old Morgan Mitchell was another who impressed across the weekend with one of the highlights of championships winning the 400m in a personal best of 53.47.

Next on the athletics calendar Victoria’s junior team will head to Sydney for the Australian Junior Athletics Championships from 12-16 March.

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