Hooray for the weekend!
Day 7 of the Australian National Championships meant for one thing – finals…
The first event on the track was the Men’s U16 2000m steeplechase. Harry Sharp ran the perfect race, sitting in second position for the majority of the 2km. It was only on the final lap that a mistake (a real Steven Bradbury moment) from Queenslander Thygesen on the water jump opened the door for Sharp. He moved himself into first position down the home straight and held on for a well-deserved gold medal finish! An awesome race from the youngster who showed a lot of composure and poise.
In the Women’s U15 2000m steeplechase, it was a gold and silver double with Taryn Furletti and Mia White crossing the line in 7:03.7s and 7:13.2s respectively. During the race Furletti led by example and increased her lead dramatically after each lap. Never looked in doubt and was a commanding win from the Victorian!
The Men’s U16 discus throw out on the warm-up track saw Oliver Courtnay grab onto a silver medal with a distance of 56.41m!
Back in the main arena it was time for the junior 400m finals, and Jakeb Pearson got things underway in the Men’s U16 division with a bronze medal and time of 50.91s. Gigi Maccagnini ran the perfect race in the Women’s U16 division, sitting for the first 200m, then accelerating with 150m left, to assure herself on the gold medal and National Title. Crossed the line with a time of 55.67s – which was a huge personal nest and the first time Gigi had broken 56 seconds! Down an age group and it was Jack Peris in the Men’s U15 division who battled it out with NSW for the majority of the race to just hold onto first place with a time of 51.59s! Nicholas O’Brien also got himself up on the podium with a bronze medal time of 52.52s! In the Women’s U14 400m final, Dee Dee Deng was far too strong with her long strides. Easing her way to solid victory with a gold medal time of 57.81s!
In the Women’s U15 pole vault final it was the Parnov (WA) sister act again with Alla and Natasha grabbing the first and second, however mighty Victorian Cassidy Bradshaw was at her best, and snatched herself a bronze medal with a height of 3m!
The performance of the morning would have to go to Mackenzie Mielczarek who smashed the Meet Record in the Women’s U16 javelin throw with an awesome personal best distance of 46.26m. Looked extremely elegant in her style and will no doubt have a seriously bright future in the sport! A gold medal worth celebrating!
The Women’s 400m hurdles semi-finals, had Olympian Lauren Wells (ACT) as a feature in the first heat alongside Ashleigh Horrobin and Mackenzie Keenan (NZL, OMAC). All that was needed from Horrbin and Keenan was a top 3 finish, or ensure a one of the two second fastest spots up for grabs. Keenan ran very strongly and grabbed the automatic qualifier with a time of 59.31s, with Horrobin snatching the final spot in the final with a time of 59.89s.
Jesse Wyatt took out the Men’s Secured shot put with a distance of 9.04m and a percentage of 73.14.
The Men’s U15 pole vault went down to a jump off! It was between James Woods and Wilson Cram, with Woods claiming bragging rights after winning with a height of 3.30m.
Melvin Monleh was solid in his Men’s U16 100m final, in what was a tight race! Monleh crossed the line for a bronze medal podium finish with a time of 11.13s! For the Women, it was 200m silver medalist Mietta Russell who doubled up in the Women’s U16 100m final with another silver medal and a time of 12.06s! Down a division in the Men’s U15 100m, Antonio Vaitohi was far too strong winning the gold medal with a time of 11.52s. The final of the junior 100m finals saw Angel Ukpiebo take out the National Title for the Women’s U14 division with a time of 12.18s!
In the Women’s U16 4x200m relay, Victoria (featuring Adora Arch, Abbey Bradley-Power, Georgia Gillson and Mietta Russell) just held on for a silver medal in a time of 1:41.34s! The Men’s U16 team (featuring Antonio Vaitohi. James Thomas, Nicholas Grech and Melvin Monleh) were solid finishing with a time of 1:32.06s! Down two divisions in the Women’s U14 4x100m, it was team Victoria with the gold, featuring Eden Lloyd, Amber Clarke, Hannah Cote and Angel Ukpiebo, finishing with a time of 49.46s. And with the Men’s U14 4x100m relay team (featuring Patrick Aquilina, Hugo Hanak, Andreas Weickhardt amd Ryan Tarrant), it was a silver medal after NSW were disqualified.
Isis Holt flew out of the blocks in the Women’s 100m ambulant final! Coach Nick Wall said it was one of the better starts he’s seen from Isis, and was definitely one of the races Isis has competed in since her Rio Paralympic campaign. After receiving the silver medal in a time of 13.92s, Isis was even shocked about how fast she jumped out of the blocks! It’s fair to say the form has been found again!
Meggan O’Riley was far too strong in the Women’s triple jump, finishing with a gold medal distance of 13.30m! Mother of twins and an all-round super lady, Linda Laverton grabbed herself a bronze medal with a distance of 12.97m. After pulling her calf muscle in the warm-up, Laverton made her third-placed distance on her second jump, then passed her remaining four jumps to hold onto a podium finish!
In the Men’s Open high jump, it was Olympian Joel Baden who grabbed the National Title with a height of 2.18m.
Out on the track, and Ethan Grills took out the Men’s U14 1500m final with a commanding win with a time of 4:23.99s which was almost 2 seconds clear of his nearest rivals!
One of the feature events of the night was the Women’s Open 1500m final with three big names in Linden Hall, Zoe Buckman and Heidi See (NSW). The race started off very slowly with each athlete feeling each other out (or just playing mind games) right up until the final lap. Hall kicked first with Buckman and See responding. It came down to the last 100m with See holding on for what was a emphatic win in 4:32.99s! Buckman finished second with 4:24.33s and Hall third with 4:24.53s.
Another feature event was the Women’s 400m final with Olympian and reigning National Champion Morgan Mitchell a clear favourite. Mitchell started off strongly and led the whole way to win convincingly with another (3 in total) World Championship qualifying time of 52.08s!
The Men’s 800m final was always going to be close. There were two Victorians who it could have gone to in Luke Mathews and Alex Rowe..
To say that it was even the whole way round would be an understatement! The lead changed multiple times, and it went right down the wire down the final 100m with Mathews winning by literally a nose! His gold medal time was 1:46.71s with Joshua Ralph (NSW) close behind with a silver medal time of 1:46.76s and Alex Rowe a bronze medal time of 1:47.29s! It was simply an awesome race to witness.
In the field during all the crazy track action, Kathryn Brooks went about her business as she normally does and got herself a bronze medal in the Women’s javelin throw, with a distance of 53.50!
Likewise in the Men’s triple jump, it was Alwyn Jones who got the crowd going with his silver medal distance of 16.13m!
For a list of full (morning) results click here.
For a list of full (evening) results click here.