The 2015 Victorian Open and AWD Championships produced plenty of exciting athletics at Lakeside Stadium across the weekend and once again the 2014/15 summer season saw athletes compete in varying conditions.
Ringwood thrower Todd Hodgetts (F20) produced his best throw since winning gold at the London 2012 Paralympics to claim a second IPC World Championship ‘AA A’ qualifying standard of 16.18m.
The world record holder (16.29m) looks in good shape as he builds up to the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha from 22 – 31 October.
Ruyton pole vaulter Phillipa Hajdasz added a second world youth qualifying height of 3.95m to go one step closer to selection for the team heading to Cali, Columbia from 15-19 July for the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships.
The Victorian championships started with Diamond Valley high jumper Chris Armet claiming a 10th successive state title with a height of 2.06m.
In the women’s high jump South Coast’s Eleanor Patterson claimed the Victorian title after clearing 1.87m on the third attempt.
Athletics Essendon showcased its dominance in the triple jump on night one of competition with Alwyn Jones (16.22m) and Nneka Okpala (13.62m) claiming gold in the men’s and women’s events.
Fellow Athletics Essendon and Commonwealth Games representative Ellen Pettitt finished second in the women’s competition with a jump of 13.31m.
Ringwood’s Michael Vassilopoulos second round threw 46.15m to claim the men’s discus title, with visiting Malaysian Muhammad Shamshuddin with the best throw on the night of 53.80m.
In the mixed discus ambulant Frankston thrower Sio Laki (F37) was the best of the men with a distance of 33.91m ahead of Malvern Harriers Michael Fawkner (F43) who took silver with a throw of 19.11m.
Friday night’s track featured back-to-back heats for the 100m, 400m and 800m, making for some exciting competition as athletes went for times to secure a spot in the ‘A’ final.
All eyes were on heat one of the women’s 400m, with the return of Sandringham’s Tamsyn Lewis Manou to competitive racing 6-month after the birth of her first child.
The three-time Olympian impressed with a time of 55.03 seconds to progress to final as the 5th fastest.
Day two action started with the multi-event competition that included aspiring world university athlete David Brock and Commonwealth Games decathlon representative Stephen Cain.
Athletics Nunawading’s Brock started the day strongly with 11.34 seconds (786 points) in the 100m to be the first Victorian across the line behind Australian Capital Territories Lachlan Calvert (11.23 seconds and 810 points).
Athletics Chiwell athlete Richard Colman (T53) claimed the 100m wheelchair sprint in 16.15 seconds.
In the mixed 400m para event Glenhuntly’s Tom McLean (T46) finished first with a time of 54.20 seconds ahead of Bellarine Athletics Andrew Semmens (T20) 53.27 seconds. The women’s race was claimed by Athletics Chilwell’s Kirstie Newcombe (T38) in 1:24.95 over Geelong Guilds Eliesha Byrt (T20 – 1:19.95).
Wyndham Track and Field’s Christopher Mitrevski improved on his 2014 silver medal to win the men’s long jump with a fourth round effort of 7.45m.
Mitrevski’s first up effort of 7.43m had the field chasing early and fellow Wyndham jumper Mitchell Fontaine came the closes with a fifth round distance of 7.26m.
Off the back of claiming a world qualifying standard and personal best of 6.73m, Nunawading’s Brooke Stratton leaped 6.54m on her second attempt to claim the Victorian title ahead of Collingwood athlete Corinna Minko who jumped 6.22m for the silver medal.
Athletics Nunawading’s Brydee Moore (F33) impressed with a throw of 4.49m in the seated shot put to record an ‘AA A’ qualifying distance for the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships.
Commonwealth Games representative Damien Birkinhead was too good in the men’s shot put, claiming the Victorian title with a distance of 19.38m.
Athletics Chilwell’s Ned Weatherly threw personal best of 62.32m to win the men’s hammer throw.
Weatherly was joined by Chiwell teammate Nigel Skurrie who claimed silver with throw of 49.96m. Doncaster’s James Joycey rounded out the podium with a personal best throw of 44.79m.
Knox athlete Craig Appleby went back-to-back in the men’s 3000m steeplechase with a time of 9:04.86 with Melbourne University distance runner Mark Kirwan breaking a 30 year club record to finish second in 9:07.26.
East Melbourne Harriers sprinter Will Johns made it a sprint double claiming 100m Victorian title in 10.89 seconds then the 200m on day three with a time of 21.59 ahead of Western Athletics 400m star Luke Stevens (21.76).
Western Athletics showcased their the 400m class with Morgan Mitchell claiming her second successive Victorian title in 53.34 seconds after being pushed hard by Tasmanian Samantha Lind (53.67) early.
Rising star Luke Stevens wound up the field in the last 50m to claim the state title in a personal best of 46.48 ahead of Victorian relay teammate and 2014 Victorian champion Iain Douglas (46.76) and Ballarat’s Sam Baird (46.95).
Ballarat walker Kelly Ruddick showed her class in the 5000m race walk to claim the state title in 21:49.33. Athletics Essendon’s Chris Erickson recorded a personal best of 19:23.72 to win the men’s 5000m race walk ahead of Glenhuntly’s Rydian Cowley (20:05.62).
The women’s 800m ‘A’ final featured arguably the best field seen this season and New South Wales’s Selma Kajan claimed line honours in 2:04.04 with Doncaster’s Abbey de la Motte taking out the Victorian title in 2:04.74.
In men’s 800m race it was the younger of the Patterson brothers, Ryan, who powered home in the last 60m to claim the Victorian title in 1:50.79.
The tactical affair saw a bit of jostling early on and, with Patterson sitting at the back of the group, the Knox runner went wide with 150m to go to round the pack and sit on brother Zak Patterson (1:51.90) and St Kevin’s Timas Harik (1:51.49) shoulder before finding a turn of speed to win comfortably.
Nunawading Brock finished the Decathlon with 7,403 to claim a world university qualifying standard and head Cain (6748) and fellow Nunawading multi-athlete Chris White finished third on 6,569.
Diamond Valley heptathlon athlete Ashleigh Hamilton claimed the Victorian title with a total of 5,328 points from Sandringhams’ Ruby Holten (4,715) and Knox athlete Olivia Goder (4,633)
Australia’s leading 40+ multi-athlete Justin Hanrahan impressed with a total of 7,216 points to be the best of the 30-49 age category.
Athletics Essendon started as the finished to ensure overall victory in HH Hunter Shield with 185 points from Melbourne University Athletics Club (108) and Glenhuntly (106).
Full results: http://athsvic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/all-results.pdf
Complete HH Hunter Shield results: http://athsvic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015-HH-Hunter-Shield-Final-standings.pdf