Weekend Wrap

Victorian track and field stars were in action home and abroad this weekend as they build up to the Australian Athletics Championships and Rio Olympic selection trials later this month in Sydney.

IAAF World Indoor Championships 2016 – Portland, USA

A week after claiming the Australian long jump national record in Perth with a leap of 7.05m, Nunawading athlete Brooke Stratton took to the runway in Portland for the IAAF world indoor championships.

Adapting to the indoor elements Stratton produced a second attempt of 6.75m to place fifth overall.

“This was such an awesome experience. It is so different jumping indoors, it took a while to get a feel of the runway but I managed to get a 6.75m jump out, which is fantastic,” Stratton said.

“Not having the wind behind or in front of me was a bit different. Last week in Perth was so windy, and yet here there were no real elements to consider. The track was very springy, too, the springiest I’ve jumped on which was pretty cool.

Knox middle distance runner Melissa Duncan created history on her way to a sixth place finish in the 1500m final with a time of 4:09.69min after sitting at the front of the pack for the majority of the race.

26-year-old Duncan was the first Australian women to line up in a 1500m world indoor championship final.

“Indoors is so different, it’s very pushy, you can see where you want to go but you have to get there. I had a feeling that that would continue, so I decided to keep it rolling, get out in front, and test how I could back up from a heat run the day earlier. I wanted to make sure that I can recover well and test out the rest of the field,” Duncan said.

On the final day of competition at the world indoor championships, Melbourne Track Club runner Brett Robinson competed in the final of the men’s 3000m. Stopping the clock at 8:11.11min to place 11th overall. Fellow MTC runner Collis Birmingham placing eighth in heat two of the 3000m. His time of 7:54.51min saw him place 13th overall, missing a spot in the final by one place.

Sydney Track Classic

Sandringham sprinter Ashleigh Whittaker finished third in the 100m with a time of 11.71sec. Australian record holder Melissa Breen crossed the line first in a time of 11.60sec.

Diamond Valley speedster Monica Brennan ran 23.68sec to finish second to national 200m champion Ella Nelson (23.12sec), making it three consecutive wins at the Sydney Track Classic and another Olympic qualifying standard.

Athletics Essendon middle distance runner Linden Hall (4:10.74min) finished second to 2015 world championship representative Heidi See (4:10.37min). London 2012 steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze rounded out the 1500m top three in Sydney with a time of 4:11.05min.

Frankston distance runner Gemma Maini was the best of the Australian’s in the 5000m race, finishing second in a time of 15:56.51min behind New Zealander Camille Buscomb, crossing the line in 15:43.47min.

Athletics Essendon jumper Nneka Okpala claimed honours in the triple jump competition with a leap of 13.52m on her second last attempt. Fellow Athletics Essendon athlete and 2014 Commonwealth Games representative Ellen Pettitt finished third with a mark 12.90m.

Mentone thrower Kim Mulhall finished third in the discus competition with a final effort of 53.04m. Australia’s leading discus thrower Dani Samuels added a tenth Olympic qualifying standard, with a best of 63.25m, ensuring her untroubled in Sydney.

Victorian Institute of Sport runner Ryan Gregson (3:39.69min) had MTC training partner and rising star Luke Mathews (3:40.55min) measure over 1500m.

Melbourne University jumper Joel Baden cleared 2.15m in the high jump competition, before missing three attempts at 2.21m

Queensland Track Classic

Western Athletics sprinter Morgan Mitchell continued her dominance across 400m in Queensland, winning in a time of 52.39sec, ahead of reigning national champion and close rival Annelliese Rubie (53.28sec), and will head to the Australian athletics championships later this month in Sydney undefeated in 2016.

“The more I win, the more confident I become. You learn from every race, whether it be a win or a loss, because you never know what can happen the week after this one. I haven’t really had time goals this season, to get the qualifier done was great and to run sub-52 was even better,” Mitchell said.

Fellow Western Athletics sprinter Luke Stevens added another domestic victory over 400m with a time of 46.32sec setting him up for a big tilt at the national title in Sydney.

It was another win for Athletics Essendon in the triple jump this weekend with Alywn Jones taking honours in Queensland with a first up leap of 16.41m enough to claim the victory.

Commonwealth Games champion Eleanor Patterson topped the high jump with a clearance of 1.87m enough to take the win ahead of New South Wales jumper Nicola McDermott’s best effort of 1.85m.

For complete results from the weekend click here.

Highlights via athsaust YoutTube page.

For more information on the 2016 Australian Athletics Championships, please click here.