Junior athletes ready to shine at Vic Champs

Over 1,200 of Victoria’s best junior athletes including 2014 Commonwealth Games high jump gold medalist Eleanor Patterson will be on show this weekend for the 2015 Victorian Junior Track & Field Championships at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park.

Patterson will be out to improve on her current year’s best of 1.91m from Zone V Zone last month in preparation for both the state and national open championships.

The 18-year-old South Coast jumper won’t be the only high jumper drawing the crowd’s attention; 2014 world junior representative Joel Baden since jumping 2.17m in the final at Oregon improved on his personal best at the APS Athletics Final last October with a height of 2.29m taking him to fifth on the Australian all-time rankings list.

Following on the Oregon theme Nunawading sprinter Hana Basic will be favourite to take out the 100m after a decent first up effort for 2015 of 12.00 at the Canberra Track Classic last weekend.

Queensland sprinter Jacinta Beecher will offer strong competition from Basic and the rest of the Victorian women sprinters as she heads to Melbourne to chase the world youth qualifying time of 11.83 in the 100m.

With a recent personal best 11.89 and currently leading the under 20 seasons best for the 200m in 24.05 the invite runner will be one to mix it up with Diamond Valley’s Maddie Coates and returning  Nunawading sprinter Katarina Mosebergen after focusing on year 12 studies.

The men’s 400m event will be one to watch with Knox athlete and Youth Olympics representative Michael Mullett going head-to-head with Deakin’s Sam Reiser, who ran 47.79 at the Canberra Track Classic last weekend.

Starting the championships program on Friday will be world junior 10,000m race walks representative Tayla-Paige Billington in the 5000m race walks.

World youth hopeful Jemima Montag will be another race walker to keep an eye on, after finishing 12th at the world race walking championships in China last year the Maccabi athlete already has the qualifying time of 23:22.6 after clocking 23:09.0 in Melbourne last November.

Essendon’s Amelia Mazza-Downie is another chasing a world youth spot and the 15 year-old has already secured one qualifying time in the 3000m of 9:27.16 at Zatopek:10 last December and will be firmly focused on the magic time of 9:32.9 this weekend.

Youth Olympics representative Ned Weatherly will no doubt be putting on show for the crowd this weekend, the Chilwell thrower already has two qualifying distances in the hammer throw (5kg) that included an impressive personal best of 79.03 at the Australia All Schools Championships last December in Adelaide.

Multi event athlete Celeste Mucci is another athlete with world youth ambitions, the 2014 under 16 Australian junior 90m hurdles champion has continued her upward curve in 2015 finishing second to Ringwood’s highly talented 100m hurdler Danielle Shaw at the Australian All Schools last year.

Box Hill sprinter Nana-Adoma Owusu-Afriyie is one who continues to impress as she moves up the ranks and, last weekend’s AV Knockout Round 2 was good signs for the Wesley student winning the 100m and jumping a massive personal best 5.93m.

Other exciting athletes on show this weekend will be Youth Olympics representative Ryan Patterson who will be favoured in the 800m and 1500m, with Chilwell’s Lachlan Barber the most likely to cause Patterson trouble in the 800m after impressing at Canberra Track Classic last weekend with a personal best of 1:48.06.

Good luck to all athletes competing across the weekend and don’t forget those wishing to nominate for the Australian Junior Championships the application process closes on Sunday 15 February.

Check out the athlete nomination entry check list for more information: http://athsvic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Nomination-Entry-Checklist-2015-Australian-Juniors2.pdf

Key information:

Date: Friday 13 – Sunday 15 February
Where: Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park
Event Page: http://athsvic.org.au/event/2015-victorian-junior-track-field-championships/
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ocial Media: @athsvic #vicchamps15