Australian Junior Athletics Championships – Day One

Western Athletics Matthew Hussey kicked off the gold medal haul for the Big V on day one of the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Perth with victory in the under 16 3000m final with a time of 9:00.14min.

Victoria continued its winning ways in the 3000m with James Lightfoot (8:44.96) taking line honours ahead of Big V teammate Thomas Sellwood (8:47.30) in the under 17 category.

Athletics Essendon’s Amelia Mazza-Downie claimed bronze in the 5000m under 20 selection trial with a time of 16:40.09min. World Youth 2015 representative Annabel McDermott (NSW) clinched the automatic qualifying spot with a winning time of 16:30.25min.

Diamond Valley para-athlete Jaryd Clifford ran a 5000m personal best of 15:09.17min. to record the ‘B’ qualifying standard for the Rio 2016 Paralympics later this year.

Unfortunately 2015 Victorian All Schools captain Kathryn Brooks missed out on competing in the under 20 javelin selection trial due to injury and will have to wait for conformation of selection for IAAF World U20 Championships later this year in Poland.

Day two action will start with our under 20 race walkers competing in the 10,000m selection trial.

Photos are available via the Athletics Victoria Facebook Page.

Access full results here

Event website here

DAY 1
Gold Silver Bronze
Matthew Hussey – Men 3000 Metre U16 – 9:00.14 Thomas Sellwood – Men 3000 Metre U17 – 8:47.30 Molly McCarthy – Women 3000 Metre U15 – 10:00.44
James Lightfoot – Men 3000 Metre U17 – 8:44.96 Amelia Mazza-Downie – Women 5000 Metre U20 – 16:40.09
Liam Cashin – Men 5000 Metre U20 – 15:04.27
Edward Beischer – Men 3000 Metre U18 – 8:43.21

Luke Mathews on track for Rio spot

2014 IAAF world junior representative Luke Mathews almost upstaged world record holder David Rudisha (KEN) to stake his maiden claim for Rio 2016 selection in the men’s 800m at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge on Saturday night.

Crossing the line second in a massive personal best time of 1:45.16 as Rudisha won in 1:44.78, Mathews was joined on the Olympic Games qualified list by Madeline Hills (NSW, 3000m steeplechase), Genevieve LaCaze(Vic, 3000m steeplechase), Morgan Mitchell (Vic, 400m), Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault), Eleanor Patterson(Vic, high jump), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic, javelin) and Damien Birkinhead (Vic, shot put) to cap off a huge night at Lakeside Stadium.

“I knew it was going to be a pain-train. I just had to get on his heels and hold. Through 500m I wondered, but I held on, held on and held on. The crowd made me lift. I’ve run at the World Juniors, a couple of races in Europe, but that was the best atmosphere of my life,” Mathews said.

“Going through 600m I thought he was vulnerable. That’s the thing though, to think that I can pass him is half the challenge. I didn’t get there today, and I’m not going to say that I’ll get him straight away in the future, but hopefully it’s there. To get the time done is an absolute relief.”

Hills, LaCaze and M. Mitchell joined Mathews on the list of Rio 2016 qualified track athletes.

Stopping the clock in 9:34.44 and 9:43.93 respectively, Hills and LaCaze delivered one of the races of the night in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Together for much of the race, Hills moved to the front with two laps to go, as LaCaze dug deep to come home and cross second from Victoria Mitchell (NSW, 9:54.54.)

“It’s an Olympic year and everyone wants to run well so the race today was important in terms of placings among the Australians, we’re all qualified already. I don’t expect to run PB’s at this time of year but it was great to sit back and then take it on in the closing stages,” Hills said.

“I’m training far better than I ever have so I am happy to keep working and lay low before racing later in the year. In the right race I am in shape to run fast.”

Equally impressive in the women’s 400m, M. Mitchell stopped the clock in 52.16 to add a third Olympic Games mark to her summer of athletics resume.

Taking line honours ahead of a stacked field that included Christine Day (JAM, second, 52.68), national champion Anneliese Rubie (NSW, 52.89) and Kaliese Spencer (JAM, fourth, 53.12), the result gives M. Mitchell great confidence about where she is at as a debut start at the Olympic Games becomes closer to a reality.

“I wasn’t super nervous coming out here. I just relaxed and tried to chase them down in the last one hundred. That’s what I did, and I am really happy,” M. Mitchell said.

“It’s amazing to beat a field like that. It’s a confidence boost for sure. I’m expecting more from them later in the year, but I am fit right now and when the Olympics come I’ll be even fitter again and hopefully matching them there. It’s a new outlook on my athletics. It’s coming together.”

Rounding out the impressive results on track was Dane Bird-Smith (Qld). Selected to compete in the men’s 20km walk at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games earlier this week, the 22-year-old today improved the Australian record in the men’s 5000m track walk by clocking 18:38.97 to win.

It was Boyd, Patterson and K. Mitchell who starred in field events.

Boyd soared over 4.71m to win the women’s pole vault just moments before Patterson cleared 1.93m to take out the women’s high jump. Both then raised the bar to what would have been personal best heights, stumbling at 4.81m and 1.97m respectively to finish their competition with Olympic Games qualifiers instead.

“I’m really happy with 4.71. The jump felt really good and it was my best jump of the night. I didn’t put it together when it moved up but I am so happy with where I am at. I am consistent and even improving on that, moving from 4.60’s into the 4.70’s and that’s great,” Boyd said.

“I’m spewing I didn’t get it (the PB), but I was really close and I’ll hopefully be nearer to it for the next one,” Patterson said.

“My first few jumps were great, then I stumbled in the middle, but I relied on the work that I’ve done and got there in the end. It’s all a step in the right direction. I’ve been working really hard to get back to this.”

Boyd will now prepare for competition at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland (USA) later this month, while Patterson will take a break from competing as she prepares for the Australian Athletics Championships on the last weekend of March.

Not to be outdone, K. Mitchell threw her first Olympic Game qualifier of 64.37m in the final round to win the women’s javelin. Her series also included throws 60.33m, 60.55m, 57.62m, 59.97m and a foul.

In other results:

–          Aaron Stubbs (Qld) clocked 10.34 (w: +1.0) to win the men’s 100m from Joseph Millar (NZL, 10.40) andMitchell Williams-Swain (Qld, 10.50)

–          Stopping the clock in 13.14 (w: +0.4), Michelle Jenneke (NSW) reigned supreme in the women’s 100m hurdles. Brianna Beahan (WA) crossed second in 13.26, with Abbie Taddeo (NSW, 13.50) third.

–          The Olympic qualified Alex Hartmann (Qld) ran 20.76 (w: -1.0) to take line honours in the men’s 200m from Joseph Millar (NZL, second, 20.95) and Ryan Bedford (Qld, third, 21.26).

–          The men’s and women’s 400m hurdles was won by Michael Cochrane (NZL, 50.48) and Lauren Wells(ACT, 56.78) respectively.

–          In the men’s 1500m, Ryan Gregson clocked 3:38.06 to take victory from James Magut (KEN, second, 3:40.03) and Collis Birmingham (Vic, third, 3:40.16).

For more information on the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge, including results, please click here.

The summer of athletics now moves to Perth (WA) for the Australian Junior Athletics Championships and Perth Track Classic, commencing on Tuesday 8 March.

Luke Mathews (Vic) has almost upstaged world record holder David Rudisha (KEN) to stake his maiden claim for Rio 2016 selection in the men’s 800m at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge.

Crossing the line second in a massive personal best time of 1:45.16 as Rudisha won in 1:44.78, Mathews was joined on the Olympic Games qualified list by Madeline Hills (NSW, 3000m steeplechase), Genevieve LaCaze(Vic, 3000m steeplechase), Morgan Mitchell (Vic, 400m), Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault), Eleanor Patterson(Vic, high jump), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic, javelin) and Damien Birkinhead (Vic, shot put) to cap off a huge night at Lakeside Stadium.

“I knew it was going to be a pain-train. I just had to get on his heels and hold. Through 500m I wondered, but I held on, held on and held on. The crowd made me lift. I’ve run at the World Juniors, a couple of races in Europe, but that was the best atmosphere of my life,” Mathews said.

“Going through 600m I thought he was vulnerable. That’s the thing though, to think that I can pass him is half the challenge. I didn’t get there today, and I’m not going to say that I’ll get him straight away in the future, but hopefully it’s there. To get the time done is an absolute relief.”

Hills, LaCaze and M. Mitchell joined Mathews on the list of Rio 2016 qualified track athletes.

Stopping the clock in 9:34.44 and 9:43.93 respectively, Hills and LaCaze delivered one of the races of the night in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Together for much of the race, Hills moved to the front with two laps to go, as LaCaze dug deep to come home and cross second from Victoria Mitchell (NSW, 9:54.54.)

“It’s an Olympic year and everyone wants to run well so the race today was important in terms of placings among the Australians, we’re all qualified already. I don’t expect to run PB’s at this time of year but it was great to sit back and then take it on in the closing stages,” Hills said.

“I’m training far better than I ever have so I am happy to keep working and lay low before racing later in the year. In the right race I am in shape to run fast.”

Equally impressive in the women’s 400m, M. Mitchell stopped the clock in 52.16 to add a third Olympic Games mark to her summer of athletics resume.

Taking line honours ahead of a stacked field that included Christine Day (JAM, second, 52.68), national champion Anneliese Rubie (NSW, 52.89) and Kaliese Spencer (JAM, fourth, 53.12), the result gives M. Mitchell great confidence about where she is at as a debut start at the Olympic Games becomes closer to a reality.

“I wasn’t super nervous coming out here. I just relaxed and tried to chase them down in the last one hundred. That’s what I did, and I am really happy,” M. Mitchell said.

“It’s amazing to beat a field like that. It’s a confidence boost for sure. I’m expecting more from them later in the year, but I am fit right now and when the Olympics come I’ll be even fitter again and hopefully matching them there. It’s a new outlook on my athletics. It’s coming together.”

Rounding out the impressive results on track was Dane Bird-Smith (Qld). Selected to compete in the men’s 20km walk at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games earlier this week, the 22-year-old today improved the Australian record in the men’s 5000m track walk by clocking 18:38.97 to win.

It was Boyd, Patterson and K. Mitchell who starred in field events.

Boyd soared over 4.71m to win the women’s pole vault just moments before Patterson cleared 1.93m to take out the women’s high jump. Both then raised the bar to what would have been personal best heights, stumbling at 4.81m and 1.97m respectively to finish their competition with Olympic Games qualifiers instead.

“I’m really happy with 4.71. The jump felt really good and it was my best jump of the night. I didn’t put it together when it moved up but I am so happy with where I am at. I am consistent and even improving on that, moving from 4.60’s into the 4.70’s and that’s great,” Boyd said.

“I’m spewing I didn’t get it (the PB), but I was really close and I’ll hopefully be nearer to it for the next one,” Patterson said.

“My first few jumps were great, then I stumbled in the middle, but I relied on the work that I’ve done and got there in the end. It’s all a step in the right direction. I’ve been working really hard to get back to this.”

Boyd will now prepare for competition at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland (USA) later this month, while Patterson will take a break from competing as she prepares for the Australian Athletics Championships on the last weekend of March.

Not to be outdone, K. Mitchell threw her first Olympic Game qualifier of 64.37m in the final round to win the women’s javelin. Her series also included throws 60.33m, 60.55m, 57.62m, 59.97m and a foul.

In other results:

–          Aaron Stubbs (Qld) clocked 10.34 (w: +1.0) to win the men’s 100m from Joseph Millar (NZL, 10.40) andMitchell Williams-Swain (Qld, 10.50)

–          Stopping the clock in 13.14 (w: +0.4), Michelle Jenneke (NSW) reigned supreme in the women’s 100m hurdles. Brianna Beahan (WA) crossed second in 13.26, with Abbie Taddeo (NSW, 13.50) third.

–          The Olympic qualified Alex Hartmann (Qld) ran 20.76 (w: -1.0) to take line honours in the men’s 200m from Joseph Millar (NZL, second, 20.95) and Ryan Bedford (Qld, third, 21.26).

–          The men’s and women’s 400m hurdles was won by Michael Cochrane (NZL, 50.48) and Lauren Wells(ACT, 56.78) respectively.

–          In the men’s 1500m, Ryan Gregson clocked 3:38.06 to take victory from James Magut (KEN, second, 3:40.03) and Collis Birmingham (Vic, third, 3:40.16).

For more information on the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge, including results, please click here.

The summer of athletics now moves to Perth (WA) for the Australian Junior Athletics Championships and Perth Track Classic, commencing on Tuesday 8 March.

Words – Athletics Australia

Australia’s best take on the world in Melbourne

The very best of Australian athletics will be on show at the IAAF Melbourne World Challengethis Saturday 5 March, as the most impressive track and field talent from across the country takes on a bounty of challengers from across the globe.

Headlined by world record holder David Rudisha (KEN, 800m), Commonwealth Games gold medallists Dani Samuels (NSW, discus throw) and Eleanor Patterson (Vic, high jump) and national record holders Alana Boyd (Qld, pole vault), Ben St Lawrence (NSW, 5000m), Ryan Gregson (NSW, 1500m), Alex Rowe (Vic, 800m), the event also features a further 19 athletes who donned the green and gold at the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships.

Rudisha is one of the best ever, boasting a trophy cabinet that includes the Olympic Games gold medal, world titles in 2011 and 2015, a Commonwealth Games silver medal and 17 victories as part of the IAAF Diamond League series.

He will open his 2016 season in Australia to replicate the Olympic preparation that led to his world record at London 2012 four years ago, providing the ideal pace for domestic talent including Rowe, Joshua Ralph (NSW) and Luke Mathews (Vic). Ralph is already qualified in the two-lap race for Rio 2016, while Mathews will be on the hunt for yet another personal best after clocking an impressive 1:46.35 at the Hunter Track Classic last month.

Samuels’ start in the women’s discus throw follows a 66.41m best mark to dominate at the Auckland Track Challenge last week before a 64.57m effort to claim gold at the New South Wales Athletics Championships. Her appearance in Melbourne will be her first since 2014, when she threw a then personal best of 66.81m to win the national crown.

In the women’s javelin, London 2012 Olympic finalist Kathryn Mitchell (Vic) and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) will take to the runway, while Damien Birkinhead (Vic), who has a new personal best of 21.21m, will face-off with IAAF World Indoor Championships silver medallist Tom Walsh (NZL) in the men’s shot put.

Patterson’s start in the women’s high jump tops the jumps highlights, with the Commonwealth Games champion to compete alongside Glasgow 2014 representatives Hannah Joye (Qld) and Zoe Timmers (WA). Her career best of 1.96m is a mere two centimetres shy of the Australian record.

Not to be outdone, Boyd, a duel Commonwealth Games champion, will take to the runway in the women’s pole vault alongside New Zealand record holder Eliza McCartney (NZL) and the Perth-based Nina Kennedy (WA), Liz Parnov (WA), Vicky Parnov (WA) and Emma Phillipe(WA).

The men’s long jump features IAAF World Youth Championships silver medallist Darcy Roper(Qld) and national champion Robbie Crowther (Qld).

Entry lists also confirm the start of Commonwealth Games 1500m champion James Magut(KEN), Glasgow 2014 400m hurdles champion Kaliese Spencer (JAM) and Beijing 2015 4x400m relay gold medallist Christine Day (JAM).

The head-to-head battle between Magut and Gregson in the men’s 1500m will be bolstered by the challenge set down by Collis Birmingham (Vic), Sam McEntee (WA) and Jordan Gusman (ACT), while the longer 5000m boasts St Lawrence, Brett Robinson (Vic) and Elijah Kipchirchir (KEN).

Spencer and Day combine with Morgan Mitchell (Vic), Anneliese Rubie (NSW) and Monica Brennan (Vic) to deliver one of the most competitive women’s 400m races in recent Australian Athletics Tour history. They are joined on the list of track highlights by Aaron Stubbs(Qld) and Josh Ross (Vic) in the men’s 100m and the Olympic qualified Alex Hartmann (Qld) in the men’s 200m.

The IAAF Melbourne World Challenge is the fifth leg of the Australian Athletics Tour, a nationwide series providing crucial Olympic and Paralympic qualification opportunities for Australia’s best athletes. The event is also the opening leg of the global IAAF World Challenge series, with upcoming events to be held in cities including Berlin (GER), Madrid (ESP) and Beijing (CHN).

For more information on the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge, including entry lists and the event timetable, please click here.

Tickets to the event are available via Ticketmaster by clicking here. Children are free!

The IAAF Melbourne World Challenge will be broadcast LIVE & FREE online from 5:00pm at theAthletics Australia website.

Ten things from the weekend

Over three days of open and junior competition, Olympic and world under 20 qualifiers and personal bests, here are ten moments that stood out. Congratulations to everyone that competed and a big thank you to all the officials and volunteers that help deliver both Victorian Open Championships and AV Knockout – Junior Final.

1. Morgan Mitchell – Olympic 400m qualifying standard

Morgan Mitchell is a near lock for the 4x400m relay team after a personal best of 51.81sec. Mitchell’s next test will be going head-to-head with world championship 400m semi-finalist Anneliese Rubie at IAAF Melbourne World Challenge this Saturday at Lakeside Stadium.

Diamond Valley sprinter Monica Brennan continues to grow in stature across 400m, finishing second to Mitchell with a personal best of 53.14sec, rounding out the podium was Olympian Tamsyn Lewis-Manou with a time of 53.39sec.

2. Damien Birkinhead – Olympic shot put qualifying standard

The ‘Corio Colossus’ Damien Birkinhead continued his hot streak and produced an Olympic qualifying mark with his second last attempt of 20.68m. His final foul attempt looked to have gone close to his 21.21m personal best.

3. Luke Stevens – 400m personal best

Western Athletics speedster Luke Stevens looked smooth through the qualifying rounds of the 400m and produced a stunning personal best of 46.06sec to win the Victorian title. Could we see the jump to an Olympic 400m qualifier of 45.40sec soon?

4.Lauren Ryan – IAAF World U20 Championships 1500m qualifying standard

Athletics Essendon’s Lauren Ryan automatically qualified for the 3000m at the trial last month in Adelaide and the middle distance runner added a 1500m qualifying standard to her name on the weekend with a time of 4:20.99min.

5. Todd Hodgetts – IPC shout put world best

Reigning F20 shot put Paralympic and world champion Todd Hodgetts broke his own world record, with a world best mark of 16.59m and didn’t we all know about it… The showman was at his best, ripping off his singlet in celebration.

6. Bianca Hansen – IAAF World U20 Championships discus qualifying standard

In a competitive discipline that already has four other world u20 qualifying athletes, Bianca Hansen heads to the Australian Juniors next week in Perth off the back of a qualifying standard of 48.94m in the discus throw.

7. Dayna Crees (F35) 2.33m – IPC long jump world best

Casey Cardinia Dayna Crees added the second IPC world best on the weekend, recording 2.33m in the long jump to eclipse Aubrey Headon’s (USA) 2014 mark of 2.29m.

8.Sarah Billings – IAAF World U20 Championships 800m qualifying standard

After pacing Tamsyn Lewis-Manou to 2.03.5min at Victorian Milers on the Tuesday night, Sarah Billings stepped out for the 800m at AV Knockout – Junior Final and produced an impressive personal best of 2:05.77min, running with fellow qualifier Georgia Hansen for most of the race.

9. Lateisha Willis – 200m personal best

The Yarra Ranges sprinter might be too young for the IAAF World U20 Championships, but, she showed what is to come in the next couple of years, with a personal best time of 24.61sec in the 200m. The qualifying mark is 24.09sec.

Willis also cleaned up with wins in the under 18 100m hurdles and 100m at AV Knockout – Junior Final.

10. Brooke Stratton – consistent jumping

After coming close to 7m in Canberra last weekend, Brooke Stratton will be happy with her consistent jumping at the Victorian Open Championships in the build up to nationals and Olympic selection trials with jumps of 6.61m, 6.62m and 6.66m.

Notable:

Athletics Essendon’s Louise Mendes continues to break her own Victorian record in the under 18 hammer throw with a mark of career best 55.23m on the weekend.

Knox Athletics cleaned up in the men’s open 800m final, claiming the top four spots – Mark Richards (1:49.79), Ryan Patterson (1:49.94), Stephen Knuckey (1:50.28) and Lachlan Mann  (1:50.59).

H.H Hunter Shield

Athletics Essendon notched up another win in the H.H Hunter Shield with a total points score of 175 from Box Hill (118 points) and Sandringham (90 points) rounding out the top three.

4th – Frankston (85 points)
5th – Melbourne University (83 points)
6th – Doncaster (76 points)
7th – Diamond Valley (75 points)
8th – Western Athletics (72 points)
9th – Glenhunty (71 points)
10th – Knox (65 points)

Download full results from the Victorian Open Track & Field Championships and AV Knockout – Junior Final here.