2017 SUMMERofATHS Grand Prix Preview

If you thought things were slowing down, think again.

This weekend is the SUMMERofATHS Grand Prix held at the AIS Athletics Centre in Canberra where a handful of Victoria’s best will be shaking it with athletes from all over the county.

Competition spans over two days, providing one last competitive opportunity before attention shifts toward the 2017 Australian Athletics Championships and Australian Para-Athletic Championships.

With the amount of talent coming out of Victoria at the moment,  there was always going to be a solid presence, both in the able-bodied and para categories.

Michael James (Old Melburnians) is coming off a finals berth for the 100m at the Victorian Championships and is in good form, however he’ll have a tough ask in the Men’s Open 100m, with Jack Hale (Tasmania) in the mix.

The Men’s Open 200m is looking like an epic race (on paper) with Victorian 400m Champion Will Johns (Old Melburnians) in the mix alongside Nitro superstar Luke Stevens (Western Athletics). Stevens will be looking to bounce back after having an ordinary final at the Victorian Championships in the 200m. Alex Hartmann (Queensland) will be looking to spoil the Victorian party…

It’ll be deja vu in the Men’s Open 400m with Johns and Stevens going head-to-head again. Johns has the upper hand on Stevens after pipping him at the line in the Open Men’s 400m final at the Victorian Championships, but it could be anyone’s race. Definitely one to watch!

You can put a blanket on the Men’s Open 800m race with Lachlan Barber (Deakin), Peter Bol (St Kevins), Christian Davis (Chilwell), Stephen Knuckey (St Kevins), Brad Mathas (St Kevins) Alex Rowe (St Kevins), Matt Scott (MUAC) and Jordan Williamsz (Old Melburnians) all in the mix to take out the title. Look to Bol and Mathas to have a solid battle for first place.

The Men’s Open 1500m is going to be just as exciting as the 800m with a plethora of Victorian talent on display. Rio Paralympian and 2017 Victorian U20 1500m Champion Jaryd Clifford (Diamond Valley) will be looking to add another medal to his cabinet, however, 2014 World Junior 5th placer Zak Patterson (Knox) and 2016 National Championships bronze medalist Adam Pyke (St Kevins) will also be in the mix to take out the event.

Victorian 1500m Champion Andrew Buchanan (Bendigo University) will be a feature in the Men’s Open 5000m, but will have his hands full, with Rio Olympian David McNeill (Old Xaverians) in the field.

With no Victorians present int he Men’s Open 400m Hurdles it comes down to Matthew De Bruin (Casey Cardinia) and Ben Khongbut (Frankston) in the 110m Hurdles. Khongbut was crowned 2017 Victorian Champion for the 110m Hurdles with De Bruin claiming second position. No doubt they will both be looking to channel retired Victorian legend Sam Baines (Old Melburnians) during their race…

For the Men’s Open 3000m Steeeplechase, it will be 2017 Victorian Champion, Benjamin Buckingham (St Stephens) who’ll be going in as favourite.

The Men’s Open High jump will feature Rio Olympian Joel Baden (MUAC) and World University Games qualifier Joseph Baldwin (Bendigo Harriers). Look to Baden to claim victory…

The 2017 Victorian Track & Field Championships silver medalist Max Mishchenko (Essendon) will have some solid competition in the Open Men’s Pole Vault with Kurtis Marschall (South Australia) in the field.

In the Open Men’s Long Jump, it will be Victorian 100m Champion Christopher Mitrevski (Essendon) who’ll be the sole representative from our state.

It’s a different story in the Men’s Open Triple Jump, with half the field Victorians in Deni Finnegan (Essendon), Dylan Johnson (St Kevins), Alwyn Jones (Essendon) and Alex Lorraway (Old Melburnians). Jones has been historically good in this event competing in previous Nationals, but it’ll be John going in as favourite, coming off a win at the 2017 Victorian Championships.

In the Men’s Open Shot Put look no further than Rio Olympian and 2017 Victorian Champion Damien Birkinhead (Corio).

Ned Weatherly (Frankston) is looking strong coming off a win at the Victorian Championships and will be tough to beat in the Men’s Open Hammer Throw.

The Women’s Open 100m has plenty of serious talent entered. There are former World Junior representatives a plenty with Hana Basic (Old Melburnians), Brittany Burkitt (Nunawading), Maddie Coates (Diamond Valley) and Nana Owusu-Afriyie (Box Hill) all featuring. Coates will be full of confidence after taking out the 2017 Victorian 100m and 200m Championships, however with Ella Nelson (NSW) in the field, it could come down to the wire.

In the Women’s Open 200m, Rio Olympian Morgan Mitchell (Western Athletics) and Youth Commonwealth Games qualifier Mia Gross (Deakin) will be joining Maddie Coates, in what is sure to an absolute thriller of a race. However, as it is in the 100m, Ella Nelson will also be a feature and may have something to say about a Victorian taking the top prize.

The Women’s Open 800m will see 2017 Victorian 400m Champion Abbey de la Motte (Doncaster) feature alongside Victorian 800m Champion Georgia Griffith (Box Hill) and adopted Victorian Anneliese Rubie. This one will go down to the wire…

A race that is sure to draw a lot of attention will be the Women’s Open 400m. Mia Gross has exploded on the scene with Commonwealth Games qualifiers in the 100m, 200m and 400m and is sure to have a huge future in the sport and no doubt looks up to Morgan Mitchell who has been a familiar face on the world circuit. It’s not a changing of the guard just yet, but it will no doubt be an enticing race to watch with Gross coming off a solid two weekends at the Victorian Championships claiming victories in both the 100m and 200m. However, Mitchell will be extremely hard to beat…

For the Women’s Open 1500m it will be hard to look past Rio Olympian and 2017 Victorian 1500m Champion Linden Hall (Essendon), who seems to be getting better and better each time she races. A World qualifier could be on the cards…

In the Women’s Open 5000m it’ll be all three 2017 World Cross Country qualifiers Anna Kelly (South Melbourne), Gemma Maini (Frankston) and Virginia Moloney (Collingwood) who’ll be vying for the top prize. However with Jess Trengove (SA) in the field anything can happen…

World Youth representative Danielle Shaw (Ringwood) will be lone feature for Victoria in the Women’s Open 100m Hurdles in what is sure to be an exciting race which also features the likes of Sally Pearson (Queensland), Elizabeth Clay (Queensland) and Michelle Jenneke (NSW). Hard to pick a winner in this one…

The Women’s Open 400m Hurdles will feature 2017 Victorian 400m Hurdle Champion Mackenzie Keenan (Old Melburnians) who, although has had some hamstring issues, is looking very impressive on track. However, with Olympian Lauren Wells (ACT) in the field, it’s going to be an insanely tough ask of Keenan to back up such an awesome result at the Victorian Championships.

It’ll be between Stella Radford (MUAC) and Victoria Mitchell (NSW) in the 3000m Steeplechase. Radford was a World Junior representative back in 2014, and has already gotten herself qualified for the World University Games this year. Look to be in good touch and will be hard to beat…

Rio Olympian Eleanor Patterson (South Coast) will go into the Women’s Open High Jump as favourite, having just won the Victorian Championships with a modest jump of 1.87m, albeit with a few run up struggles.

Elizabeth Hedding (Old Xaverians) is coming off an awesome Victorian Championships, having won the Long Jump with a personal best of 6.20m! Will definitely be looking for a World University Games qualifier of 6.28m this weekend as the sole Victorian representative with Brooke Stratton (Nunawading) still injured…

In the Women’s Open Triple Jump, Meggan O’Riley (Essendon) will be full of confidence after being crowned the 2017 Victorian Triple Jump Champion, with a distance of 13.03m!

Commonwealth Games representative and 2017 Victorian Discus Champion Kim Mulhall (Sandringham) will be the main feature in the Women’s Open Discus.

Gabrielle Neighbour (Frankston) is coming off a solid performance at the Victorian Championships finishing first for her state, but second overall to Alexandra Hulley (NSW) who will also be featuring the Women’s Open Hammer Throw. This one will be close…

In the Women’s Javelin it’ll be 2016 World Junior representative and 2017 Victorian Javelin Champions Kathryn Brooks (Box Hill) who’ll be hard to beat!

Paralympian Jemima Moore (Chilwell) has a full program, competing in the Women’s 400m WC, 800m WC and 1500m WC. Will have a tough ask going up against Maddison de Rozario (NSW) who won two silver medals at Rio…

Another Paralympian in Samuel McIntosh (Bellarine) will be the main feature in the Men’s Open 100m WC and 400m WC.

In the Women’s Open 100m Ambulant, it will be Erin Garbler (Old Xaverians) and Paige Greco (Old Xaverians) who will be flying the Victorian flag. Both mange to build into some form at the Victorian Championships and will no doubt be full of confidence this weekend.

Another Old Xaverian representative and Rio Paraympian, Isis Holt will be regarded as one of the favourites going into the Women’s Open 200 Ambulant event. Had a solid Victorian Championships but will be looking to get a little more out of herself this weekend…

Liam Richardson (Bendigo Harriers) will be the sole Victorian representative in the Men’s Open 100m and 200m Ambulant!

Dayna Crees (Casey Cardinia) who had a very solid Victorian Championships claiming a silver medal in the Women’s Secured Shot Put, will be a feature in both the Secured Discus, Shot Put and Javelin.

In the Men’s Secured Shot Put and Discus, three quarters of the field will be Victorians in Michael Fawkner (Malvern), Craig Jarrett (Sandringham) and Paralympian Jessee Wyatt (Frankston) all battling it out for the gold medal!

Paralympian Nicholas Hum (Glenhuntly), who placed 6th in the Men’s Open Long Jump at the 2017 Victorian Championships, will be one of the favourites going into the Men’s Long Jump Ambulant.

Marty Jackson (Chilwell) who placed 3rd overall in the Victorian Ambulant Shot Put, will be looking to go better in the Men’s Shot Put and Discus Ambulant.


Make sure you head to www.athletics.com.au for live streaming details!