Riseley and Patterson ready for Hunter

A mix of Victoria’s best athletes including Jeff Riseley (Knox), Eleanor Patterson (South Coast) and Morgan Mitchell (Western Athletics) will headline a strong start list at the Hunter Track Classic this Saturday at the Hunter Sports Centre in Glendale, New South Wales.

Patterson will travel north just days after jumping 1.91m to take victory at the Victorian Country Championships over the Australia Day long weekend.

The performance launches what will be a big 2015 campaign for the 18-year-old, who will be focused on eclipsing her personal best of 1.96m and preparing for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing this August.

Two-time Olympian Riseley will head to the Hunter region for his first major hit out for the season after a strong finish to 2014 that included making the final in both 800m and 1500m at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

“Training has been going really well, I’ve been doing a lot of it, but you never know until you race and that’s the point of my start at the Hunter. It’s about getting out there and finding out where I am at and what I need to work on,” Riseley said.

“I’m probably going to focus on the 1500m in Australia in the next few months. The distance better suits where I am at with my training in terms of the aerobic work that we need to get done about this time. I’ll definitely be fronting up to Sydney and Melbourne and the result this weekend will help me decide what’s needed between now and then.

“The domestic season is the first step this year, I need to get the qualifiers out of the way and basically use 2015 as a basis for improving on what I did in Glasgow. The depth probably wasn’t as great as it would be at World Championships or something like that, but the top end talent at Commonwealth Games was high quality and I want to replicate running well against them in Beijing and hopefully make a final.”

Riseley will be joined by training partner and Victorian 5000m champion Zak Patterson.

Patterson’s break through 2014 season included a personal best run of 3:44.21 to finish fifth in the 1500m final at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon and the 19-yeard-old proved his fitness after a solid training block at Falls Creek to win the Men’s A 800m race at the Victorian Milers Club in 1:49.05.

Talented Victorian middle distance runners Reilly Shaw (Deakin), Tom Fawthorpe (Ringwood), Brenton Rowe (Deakin), Luke Mathews (St Kevin’s)  and Daniel Clark (Box Hill) will also compete in the highly competitive 1500m event at the second stop on the Australian Athletics Tour.

VIS thrower Damien Birkinhead will look to continue his fine start to 2015 after a personal best of 19.84m at the opening round of the national tour in Hobart.

National 400m champion Mitchell will head to Newcastle for her first serious test against fellow Glasgow Commonwealth Games team mate and 2014 national bronze medalist Caitlin Sargent (NSW) and, after an impressive win and personal best of 54.23 at the Briggs Athletics Classic last weekend, Tasmanian and 2014 IAAF World Junior representative Samantha Lind will be one to keep an eye on in the 400m.

Doncaster’s Katherine Katsanevakis and Knox’s Melissa Duncan will spearhead Victoria’s chances in the 800m along with aspiring 2015 IAAF World Youth athletes Maddison Caulfield and Corrin Demeo.

The Hunter Track Classic is the second instalment of the Australian Athletics Tour, following the Briggs Athletics Classic this past weekend (results review here) and future legs of the series in Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne .

The event will be held at the Glendale Sports Centre this Saturday 31 January, with complete event details available at the Hunter Track Classic website.

For more information on the Australian Athletics Tour, including entry lists and timetable information, please visit the #SUMMERofATHS hub at athletics.com.au.

Jaryd’s quest for Doha berth

Diamond Valley Athletic Club junior distance runner, Jaryd Clifford, 15, has made his first steps toward selection for the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championship.

The young vision-impaired athlete, classified as T12, undertook his first 5000m race at the Victorian Country Championships in Bendigo this week, with a view to attaining a qualifying standard for the World Championships.

But hot conditions, with a strong headwind down the home straight, didn’t make the task an easy one for Clifford. After setting the pace for the first lap, and staying clear of any trouble in a field of 21 runners, Clifford covered the first kilometre in 3min 07sec.

He then settled into the task of maintaining a pace that would earn him a B qualifying time of 16min 27.46sec or better. Over the final kilometre, Clifford returned his fastest split of 3min 05sec.

And, he crossed the line in 16min 21.23sec, well inside the B qualifier for Doha. Clifford finished in second place in the men’s under-20 field and will next race the 5000m at the Victorian Junior Championships in February.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Jarrod Woods was another Diamond Valley junior athlete to make an important breakthrough over the past week. With a previous best time of 2min 01sec for the 800m, Woods posted two runs under the two-minute mark in the space of six days.

The first came at the midweek Victorian Milers Club meet at Box Hill, where Woods smashed through the two minutes to finish in 1min 59.2sec. Then, in Bendigo, Woods charged home to win the under-18 race in 1min 59.96sec.

Lara Kolar, 16, finished second in both the women’s under-18 1500m and 800m events. Kolar’s time of 4min 45.87sec in the 1500m was inside the qualifying time for the Australian Junior Championships and her best in recent times. In the 800m, Kolar finished with a time of 2min 16.61sec.

Victorian Junior Championships entries close this Sunday 1 February at 11:59pm.

Words: Diamond Valley Leader – Max Balchin

Robinson on track, Birkinhead throws big

Ballarat based Brett Robinson held tight for the first 2000m before exerting his presence on the feature 5000m race to win in 13:43.15 ahead of 2012 London Olympian David McNeill at the Briggs Athletics Classic this Sunday in Hobart.

2013 World Cross Country representative Mitchel Brown made the first distinctive move with seven laps remaining before the inform Robinson made the race his own.

McNeill closed with just under 400m remaining to force Robinson to turn his head and take notice and stretch out in the last 100m.

“I know he (McNeill) can sprint at the end, I just hoped I had worn him out at the end and did enough to hold on, Robinson said.”

Coming off winning Zatopek:10 in mid December and a strong training block at Falls Creek, Robinson is focused on claiming the IAAF World Championships qualifying time of 13:23.00.

“I’m racing in New Zealand at the end of February, I should have got under 13.20 today and hopefully come nationals I can win that and easy done.”

Current Australian long jump champion Brooke Stratton was a welcome return to the long jump runway after a 7-month layoff due a back injury on the eve of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The VIS jumper opened with a distance of 5.92m before moving past the 6.00m mark to finish with an impressive 6.42m ahead of fellow Victorian Corinna Minko (6.18m) and Sandringham’s Emma Knight (5.89m).

Fellow VIS athlete Damien Birkinhead started 2015 in ideal fashion with a personal best of 19.84m in the shot put at Kings Domain.

The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games representative continues to grow in stature and will be eyeing off the world championship qualifying throw of 20.45 by the Australian Championships this March.

Diamond Valley’s Iain Douglas came home strongly to win the 400m in 47.95 while 20-year-old favourite Luke Stevens went out strongly but couldn’t match Douglas in the closing 50m to finish third in 48.44 in tough Hobart conditions.

Full results can be found here: http://athletics.com.au/Results/Briggs-Athletics-Classic-Live-Results

Big V stars shine at Vic Country Championships

Over 700 athletes joined a mix of Commonwealth Games stars including Eleanor Patterson at the Victorian Country Championships over this Australia Day weekend in Bendigo.

The country championships took place in Bendigo for the fifth time since 2000 and didn’t disappoint with Patterson starting her 2015 season in winning style on Saturday with a jump of 1.91m.

Chilwell rising thrower Ned Weatherly was dominate in the men under 18 hammer throw with a distance of 70.89m, well clear of local Christopher Browne from Bendigo Harriers who threw 55.01m.

Weatherly also took gold ahead of Browne in the under 18 shot put with a throw of 17.30m.

Williamstown athlete Celeste Mucci continues to push her credentials as a multi event athlete after winning the under 18 high jump with a height of 1.72m. Chilwell jumper Ruby Cordner was the best of the country jumpers with height of 1.60m.

On the final day of competition Mucci also claimed honours in the women’s under 18 100m hurdles event with a time of 14.63.

2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games 4x100m relay and 200m representative Ashleigh Whittaker hit the track for the first time this season with an impressive first up 11.68 in to win the 100m dash.

Australian 400m reigning champion Morgan Mitchell made the trip to Bendigo to get the 2015 season underway and took out both the 400m in 54.24 and the 200m in 25.07 in the build up to the Hunter Track Classic next weekend.

Thanks to all athletes, officials, families and friends for making it an exciting weekend of track and field in Bendigo.

For full results: http://athsvic.org.au/event/2015-victorian-country-championships/

Zone Final entries open

A call out to all athletes wishing to compete at the Zone v Zone final on Saturday 21 February at Lakeside Stadium.

With the completion of AV Shield and the three Zone V Zone rounds all attention turns to the Zone Final to see which Zone will be the inaugural Zone champions.

Going off the Zone and AV Shield points Yellow will head into the final as favourites to claim the Zone Final trophy with a total of 12 Zone and 9,649.75 AV Shield points.

Here is a recap of scoring from Round 10:

Round 10 scores:
Red (2993.50) 3 points v White (2859.00) 1 point
Yellow (3004.25) 3 points plus bonus point v Blue (2524.25) 1 point

Overall Scores

Yellow – 9649.75
Blue – 8941.25
Red – 8683.00
White – 8205.50

Final Table



Shield Points

Zone Points

















Entries/Registrations Close: 
11:59pm Monday 2 February, 2015. No late or on day registrations will be accepted. If you are experiencing problems entering please contact summer@athsvic.org.au or call 03 8646 4500 before the closing deadline.

How to register: 
Athletes MUST register their interest to compete for their zone in the events they are eligible for, in the correct age group. Athletes can login to their profile and select the events from the list available. There is no cost associated with this entry form. Clubs can also go onto the club portal and register athletes if they would like to compete.

Once athletes have registered for events, each Zone selection committee will be given the list of eligible athletes and the events they wish to compete in. The Zone will then select a team and notify Athletics Victoria of athlete names and events; once this is complete Athletics Victoria will contact all athletes competing.

Athlete Eligibility: To compete in the Zone Final, an athlete must have a ranking in that event for their nominated division/age group, and have competed in at least one round of the Zone vs. Zone competition. Athletics Victoria has the discretion to allow athletes to compete who do not satisfy this condition. Please refer to rule 17 in the Zone v Zone rules (here) for more information regarding eligibility.

Relay teams at the Zone Final can be comprised of any athlete who is eligible for an individual event at the Final for that age group, for their zone.

Event details:

Women in Athletics Survey

Complete the Athletics Victoria Women in Athletics Survey for your chance to win a 12-months Women’s Running Australia magazine subscription.

The Women in Athletics Survey intendeds to help Athletics Victoria understand more about the impact athletics has on the lives of women. Your responses are important even if athletics doesn’t have a significant impact on your life.

The opinions gathered in the survey will be used to shape competition, membership, recreational running and course opportunities.

It will take about 5-10 minutes to complete this survey. Your individual responses to these questions will NOT be disclosed publicly in any way.

Athletics Victoria thank you in advance for your time to complete the survey!

The Women’s Running Australia magazine winner will be announced on Monday 23 February, 2015.

* Only one entry per person
* Name and contact details must be provided to claim the 12 month subscription prize
* In the week of Monday 23 February, 2015 the prize winner will be acknowledged of the 12-month subscription period

Stratton ready to jump in Hobart

Seven months on from the heartache of missing the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to injury, reigning Australian long jump champion Brooke Stratton (Athletics Nunawading) will have her first serious hit out at the Briggs Athletics Classic this Sunday 25 January at Domain Athletics Centre, Hobart.

After going through a gruelling 30 week rest and recovery block that included low impact running on the alter G low impact treadmill three times a week, Stratton is now close to full training and has eased back into competition.

“Things are progressing well and my back is coping very well with the training. Six months on from my injury, I was finally back in the sandpit. It has now been seven months and I am pretty much back into full training, although I haven’t had the best preparation, jumps wise, leading into the season, but I’m hoping to be back jumping at my best come March, Stratton said.”

“I have really enjoyed getting back out there and having a few races at AV Shield. I have produced some decent times since I have come back from my injury which is very promising. I had my first long jump hit out last weekend. It was good to blow out some cobwebs and come off a full run-up before the tour meets start.”

After a break out 2014 season highlighted by a personal best of 6.70m at the Australian Athletics Championships and dominating the Australian Athletics Tour, Stratton is motivated and focused on strengthening her position as Australia’s number one female long jumper.

“This season, my goals are to better my personal best of 6.70m, win nationals and qualify for the World Championships in Beijing. It would be great to get the qualifier out before the national championships, but it’s a huge positive knowing I have up until August to achieve the standard.”

With the Glasgow hiccup behind the 21-year-old, Stratton is focused on making her first senior international team and achieving her ultimate goal of representing Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“It was so shattering for me to miss out on the Glasgow experience and my first major senior international team. I am more determined than ever for the upcoming season and I will be stepping on the runway and giving it nothing less than 100%. This drive and determination will definitely still be around leading into Rio next year.”

2014 Zatopek:10 winner Brett Robinson (Eureka) will headline a strong Victorian contingent in the 5000m this weekend at the Briggs Athletics Classic.

“The focus for me this year will be the 5000m for sure. My run at Zatopek:10 was good, but it was designed to provide an indication of how well I am going. The time I ran was almost exactly the same as what I did in 2012, and from there I went on to a good season in the 5000m in 2013. I hope to see similar outcomes this year, Robinson said.”

Robinson’s training partner David McNeill (Old Xaverians) will be looking for a strong performance after an injury niggle forced the 2012 London Olympic representative out of the Victorian 5000m Championships last November and followed by a stitch that hampered his Zatopek:10 chances in December.

Fellow Ballarat based runners Duer Yoa (Eureka) and Stewart McSweyn (Eureka) will join XCR front runners Craig Appleby (Knox), Nick Wightman (Deakin), Toby Rayner (Glenhuntly) and Mitchel Brown (Athletics Essendon) on the start line.

Western Athletics rising 400m star Luke Stevens will be one to keep an eye on this weekend in Hobart after the 20 year-old produced a personal best of 47.01 at AV Knockout Round 1 last December.

Victorian Institute of Sport and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games shot putter Damien Birkinhead (Corio) is also named to open his 2015 season on the Apple Isle.

Latest Briggs Athletics Classic athlete entry list can be found here

Athletics Australia has confirmed the entire Australian Athletics Tour will be streamed live via Athletic Australia’s dedicated YouTube channel – AthsAust.

For more event information and to purchase tickets for the Briggs Track Classic: http://athletics.com.au/Compete/Events/briggs-athletics-classic

To stay-up-to-date with all the latest news and information around the Australian Athletics Tour visits the Summer of Athletics Hub.


Big V call out for Australian Relay Championships

A call out to all athletes wanting to represent the Big V at the Australian Relay Championships on Saturday 21 February at the Adelaide Track Classic.

Athletics Victoria will be fielding teams in both men and women 4×100 and 4×400 events.

Athletes MUST be current AV members and have competed in at least one of:

  • AV Shield or Zone v Zone
  • AV Knockout
  • Victorian Country Championships

Athletes must complete the nomination form online by Friday 30 January.

Athletics Victoria will provide transport and accommodation for the selected athletes.

For full selection criteria, travel information and uniform details are available here.

If you have any questions about please contact Athletics Victoria on 03 8646 4500.

Enter now: Vic Open Champs

Victorian Open Track & Field Championships:

Friday 27 – Sunday 1 March 2015
Lakeside Stadium

If you are experiencing problems entering please contact summer@athsvic.org.au  or call 03 8646 4500 before the closing deadline.

1965: Rolling thunder from down under

The times were changing in the 1960s. Most radically in 1968, described in one commemorative piece as “the year that changed history”.

The article declared 1968 to have been “a year of seismic social and political change across the globe. From the burgeoning anti-Vietnam war and civil rights movements in the United States, protests and revolutions in Europe and the first comprehensive coverage of war and resultant famine in Africa. The world would never be the same again.”

But the world in 1968 was merely catching up with the world of distance running.

Distance running had experienced its seismic change three years earlier, in 1965, when three young men – Ron Clarke from suburban Melbourne, Kip Keino from high up in Kenya’s Rift Valley and Michel Jazy, the son of working-class parents in France – were the vanguard of an assault that saw every world record from 1000m to the one-hour run broken, several of them repeatedly.

Full story from IAAF: http://www.iaaf.org/news/feature/running-world-records-clarke-keino-jazy-1965

“46 Years – It’s far too long”

They say records are made to be broken. But in the case of Australian track and field, there has been one record that for over four decades remained untouched. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ralph Doubell won the final of the 800m in a time of 1:44.40 minutes, a world record at the time. Over the years many have tried and failed to better this mark. In July, 2014, 22-year-old Alex Rowe equalled Doubell’s time at the prestigious IAAF Monaco Diamond League event.

It is a welcome reward for Rowe, who has overcome several injury setbacks since he showed extraordinary promise as a junior.

So what’s next for Australia’s rising middle-distance star? Well that’s obvious – breaking the record. And under the guidance of long-time coach Justin Rinaldi (an Australian 800m champion himself), he’s confident he can do so.

“I want to break that 1:44 barrier,” he said in December, 2014. “It’s definitely a goal of mine. I believe that I can achieve it – there isn’t a reason why I can’t if everything goes to plan and we can follow the progression of the last few years.”

Words thanks to Unscriptd

Full story and video available here: http://www.unscriptd.com/stories/1508-track-and-field-alex-rowe/

Zone Final spot on the line for Red and White zones

In a bid to clinch an inaugural Zone v Zone Final birth Red and White Zones will face off for the third and remaining metropolitan spot this Saturday 17 January at Tom Kelly Athletics Complex.

After nine rounds of AV Shield, Yellow and Blue zones have ensured their spots in the Zone Final to take place at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday 21 February.

Heading into the final weekend of AV Shield, Yellow tops the points table with eight and Blue sit second on six zone points.

With both Red and White zones on two points, all eyes will be on the outcome at Doncaster this weekend.

Along with the first three metropolitan zones, a country team will be made up of select athletes from across Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland and Albury/Wodonga for the Zone Final next month.

Scores after Round 9:



Shield Points

Zone Points



6, 645.50




6, 417.00




5, 689.50






For more information on Zone v Zone check out: http://athsvic.org.au/events/competitions/avcompetitions/zone-vs-zone/

Zone v Zone 3 Timetables:

Don’t forget to hashtag #ZoneVZone & #athleticsvictoria to get your social media photos and videos out there.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding Athletics Victoria competitions email summer@athsvic.org.au.

Good luck to all athletes competing across the weekend and a big thank you to all the volunteers and Victorian Officials that make AV Shield and Zone V Zone possible.