AV laurel wreath top 10 count-down

With AV memberships now open for the 2015/16 season we start the laurel wreath top 10 count-down:

Name: Ellen Pettitt
Age: 28 years-old
Club: Athletics Essendon
Coach: Vasily Grishchenkov

2014 Achievement: Pettitt finished second in the triple jump at the Australian Athletics Championships in Melbourne, with a leap of 13.43m enough to secure the Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard of 13.25m.

Pettitt was subsequently selected for the Australian Commonwealth Games team and finished fifth in the triple jump final in Glasgow, including a personal best jump of 13.54m.


Name: Decathlete Steve Cain (AUS)
Age: 30 years-old
Club: St Kevin’s AAC
Coach: Efim Shuravestsky

2014 Achievement: The two-time national decathlon champion was selected for his first open age major international competition; after 7,493 points at the Australian Athletics Championships Cain secured a spot on the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games team.

The St Kevin’s multi-athlete recorded his second best ever points total of 7,787 to finish fifth overall in the Decathlon.


Name: Damien Birkinhead
Age: 21 years-old
Club: Corio Athletic Club
Coach: Scott Martin

2014 Achievement: Birkinhead topped the men’s shot put at the Australian Athletics Championships with a throw of 19.04m and claimed a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard in the process.

In 2014 the ‘Corio Colossus’ tracked better in his career progression than coach and Australian record holder Scott Martin at this age and, with a distance of 19.59m Birkinhead finished fifth in the shot put at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.


Name: Liam Adams
Age: 28 years-old
Club: Athletics Essendon
Coach: Ken Hall

2014 Achievement: Having represented Australia on six occasions at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Adams’ selection for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games was his first multi-sport major international championship representation for Australia.

In 2013 Adams ran a Glasgow standard of 2:14.09 at the Melbourne Marathon to qualify for the 42.195km event.

On the opening day of the athletics program in Glasgow Australia was the standout nation and, Adams went on to record a personal best of 2:13.49; finishing seventh overall.


Name: Brooke Stratton
Age: 21 years-old
Club: Athletics Nunawading Inc
Coach: Russell Stratton

2014 Achievement: The two-time world junior finalist had one of her best seasons to date; with a personal best of 6.70m at the Australian Athletics Championships in Melbourne enough to secure the ‘A’ qualifying standard for 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Australian title.

Stratton’s outstanding season was cut short on the brink of the Glasgow Games due to injury, forcing the Nunawading athlete to miss out on her first senior international Australian team.

With a world championship qualifying jump of 6.73m at the Adelaide Track Classic last February, all roads lead to Beijing in 2015.


Name: Jeff Riseley
Age: 28 years-old
Club: Knox Athletics Club
Coach: Andrew Russell

2014 Achievement: The two-time Olympians performances in two of the most hotly contested events; 800m and 1500m at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games was nothing short of first class. In a close finishing 800m final Riseley was in the frame for a podium finish but was pipped by Andre Olivier and Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich to finish fifth in a time of 1:46.12.

The Australian 1500m champion also placed fifth in the 1500m with a time of 3:40.27.

Riseley confirmed his status as one of Australia’s leading middle distance runners by claiming a famous 800m / 1500m double at the 2015 Australian Athletics Championships and selection for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing later this year.


Name: Kathryn Mitchell
Age: 32 years-old
Club: Eureka Athletics Club
Coach: Uwe Hown

2014 Achievement: Mitchell built on her fifth place at the 2013 IAAF World Championships to throw a personal best of 66.10m at the Adelaide Track Classic in mid-February, before finishing second at the IAAF Diamond League meet in New York.

The Ballarat athlete placed fourth at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games with a throw of 62.59m. Mitchell’s achievements in 2014 were recognised by being named Ballarat Sportswomen of the Year.

Last Tuesday Athletics Australia confirmed Mitchell’s spot on the 2015 IAAF World Championships team due to start 137 days in Beijing, China.