Ruddick national champ, Tallent disqualified

Ballarat Harrier Kelly Ruddick was crowned the women’s Oceania and Australian 20km race walking champion this weekend in Hobart at the first round of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge.

Ruddick secured automatic selection for the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China this May, winning in a time of 1:34.44 ahead of Tasmanian Stephanie Stigwood (1:37.39) and fellow Victorian Rachel Tallent (1:38.38).

Disaster struck for three-time Olympic Games medalist Jared Tallent when he was disqualified on the last lap of the men’s event to hand Queensland’s Dane Bird-Smith the win in 1:22.39.

Tallent and Bird-Smith had opened up a lead heading into the final lap of the race before Tallent made a race winning move only to be sensationally disqualified with a 60 metre advantage and the win insight.

Bird-Smith was flanked by two Victorians on the podium – Olympian Chris Erickson (1:25.23) and Rhydian Cowley (1:26.49).

Victorian athletes strong weekend of results continued in the under 20 events where Jemima Montag claimed the women’s title in 47:00 ahead of Queensland’s Clara Smith (48:17) and New South Wales Jasmine Dighton (49:11).

World junior 10000 metre qualifiers Jesse Osborne and Nathan Brill were a class above in the under 20 men’s event, Osborne won in a personal best of 41:27 minutes from Brill (42:46) and New South Wales Tyler Jones (45:39).

Full Victorian results:

Men 20km Race Walk Open
2 Chris Erickson 1:25:23
3 Rhydian Cowley 1:26:49

Jared Tallent DQ IAAF 230.1

Women 20km Race Walk Open
1 Kelly Ruddick 1:34:44
3 Rachel Tallent 1:38:38
6 Regan Lamble 1:40:49
9 Beth Alexander 1:50:37

Women 10km Race Walk Under 20
1 55 Jemima Montag 47:00
7 52 Stephanie George 54:00

49 Tayla-Paige Billin DNF
50 Zoe Boldiston DNS

Men 10km Race Walk Under 20
1 44 Jesse Osborne 41:27
2 38 Nathan Brill 42:46
4 40 Adam Garganis 46:19
7 46 Kyle Swan 48:01
8 47 Reese Walmsley 48:05
9 37 Kyle Bird 48:55

For a complete list of results click here.

Two states, nine qualifiers

Victorian athletes bagged a swag of Commonwealth Games and world junior qualifiers this weekend at the 25th Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart and at High Velocity Meet 5 at Lakeside Stadium.

The day signaled the return of Old Melburnians Sam Baines who kicked off the High Velocity meet with an Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying time of 13.84 seconds in the 110 metre open hurdles.

Fellow hurdler Matthew De Bruin followed up in the under 20 event to secure a world junior qualifying time of 13.99 seconds.

Ballarat sprinter Sam Baird after coming so close to the 400 metres junior worlds qualifying time at the Victorian Country Championships last weekend pulled out a personal best of 46.78 seconds to close in on a spot to the United States later this years.

Melissa Duncan (4:10.20 sec) backed up her fine run at the Hunter Track Classic to edge out 2013 world championships finalists Zoe Buckman (4:10.49) in the women’s 1500 metres in Hobart.

Buckman in her first major hit out for 2014 secured the Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard of 4:10.75, while Duncan recorded a second ‘B’ standard.

Success in the 1500 metres continued into the men’s race where Zak Patterson (3:44.75) and Luke Mathews (3:46.98) both clinched the world junior qualifying time of 3:47.00 minutes.

While Brooke Stratton has indicated there is still work to be done, the Victorian Institute of Sport athlete recorded a Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying distance of 6.30 metres in the long jump.

“Lots of run up work needed to be done after tonight's comp at the ‪#BriggsTC‬.6.30m and didn't touch the board on 5/6 jumps. ‪#StillaCommBQual‬” via @brookestratts

Women hammer thrower Gabrielle Neighbour rounded out a strong day of qualifiers for Victorians, winning the Briggs open event with a throw of 62.19 metres to record a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifier.

Other strong performance across the day include Damien Birkhead winning the men’s shot put with a throw of 16.73 metres at the Briggs Athletics Classic.

Sprinter Emily Lawson took out the 100 (12.61) and 200 (24.83) metres events while Nicholas Finch impressed in the Men’s B 800 metres winning in a time of 1:55.05 minutes.

Sam Reiser (47.50) was another notable performance in Hobart finishing second to 2013 world championships 4×400 metre hero Tristan Thomas (47.32) in the men’s 400 metres.

Sandringham Athletics Ashleigh Whittaker still has a Commonwealth Games qualifier in her reach after producing a 23.83 second personal best in the women’s 200 metres at the High Velocity meet today.

Briggs Athletics Classic:

Women Open 1500m
1 Melissa Duncan – 4:10.20 CGB
2 Zoe Buckman – 4:10.49 CGB

Men 800m B 
1 Nicholas Finch – 1:55.05

Women 100m Open
1 Emily Lawson – 12.61 (-3.2)

Men Open Shot Put
1 Damien Birkinhead – 16.73m

Men Open 1500m
2 Zak Patterson – 3:44.75 WJQ
5 Luke Mathews – 3:46.98 WJQ

Women Open Long Jump
2 Brooke Stratton – 6.30m CGB

Women Open 200m
1 Emily Lawson – 24.83 (-1.4)

Women Hammer Throw Open
1. Gabrielle Neighbour – 62.19m CGB

High Velocity Meet 5

Men 110m Hurdles 106.7cm Open
Sam Baines  Old Melburnians AC  13.84 CGB

Men 110 metres Hurdles 99.1cm Under 20
Matthew De Bruin  Casey Cardin  13.99 WJQ

Men 400 metres Open
Sam Baird Ballarat Harriers 46.78 WJQ

Click here for complete Briggs Athletics Classic results
Click here for complete High Velocity 5 results

Buckman set for season debut at Briggs Athletics Classic

2013 world championships 1500 metre finalist Zoe Buckman will kick start her 2014 season this Saturday at the 25th Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart.

Buckman will headline a strong field of Victorians heading to the Apple Isle for the third stop on the Australian national athletics tour.

“I have undergone a solid training block at Falls Creek and feel fitter going into the new season,” Buckman said.

“I was able to find consistency at Falls and training on the trails will make running on the track feel a bit like air.”

Buckman will enter the women’s 1500 metre race as the one to beat and with a personal best of 4:04.82 minutes adds serious class to the field.

“I haven’t run on track since September, so I’m looking forward to my first hit out.”

The 2012 Olympic Games semi-finalist will be focused on clinching the Australian Commonwealth Games ‘A’ qualifying time of 4:07.00 minutes at her first major hit out for the 2014 season.

“I’m definitely keen to get the qualifier out of the way but the win is the priority and hopefully the qualifying time comes with that,” Buckman said.

The Victorian Institute of Sport athlete had a strong 2013 to become one of the world’s leading women 1500 metre runners and a seventh place finish at the recent world championships in Moscow has signalled a bright future for Buckman.

“I’m still in my early athletics development years and will only benefit from last season,” Buckman said.

“I have adapted well to the larger training load and feel I’m now reaping the benefits and becoming more mentally stronger and confident in my own ability to compete at the highest level.”

Buckman indicated the 1500 metres would be her focus in 2014 but still enjoys racing over 800 metres.

“I like the 800 metres because it’s over so quick and it will also help with my 1500 metres.”

Victoria will be well represented in the men’s 5000 metres with eight out of 21 on the start list, an event Ballarat’s Collis Birmingham has dominated at the Briggs Track Classic over recent years, winning five of the last six and setting a meet record of 13:15.57 minutes in 2012.

Athletics Essendon pair Liam Adams and Mitchel Brown will head up Victoria’s assault on this year’s 5000 metre event.

Adams has already secured an Australian ‘A’ Commonwealth Games qualifier in the marathon and comes into the event having set a personal best of 13:31.21 minutes at 5000 metres early last year in California, United States.

Brown and Adams will have hot favourite, News South Wales Ben St Lawrence to chase down to continue Victoria’s strong showing in the distance.

A host of field athletes will be firing for Victoria this weekend with Luke Cann looking to work on his current Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying throw of 73.82 metres in the Javelin as will Damien Birkinhead in the shot put, the Corio athlete threw 18.64 metres at the Zatopek:10 meet last December in Melbourne to surpass the ‘B’ qualifying standard of 18.15 metres.

Athletics Nunawading jumper Brooke Stratton heads to Hobart having finished first at the Victorian Country Championships as an invite athlete in the women’s open long jump with a distance of 6.35 metres.

Stratton has already clinched an Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying jump of 6.53 metres but will be eager to close in on the ‘A’ qualifier of 6.65 metres.

Full list of Victorian athletes competing at the Briggs Athletics Classic:

Men Javelin (800gm) Open – Luke Cann
Women 400 Metres Open – Katherine Katsanevakis, Billie Arch
Men Long Jump Open – Jamie Stratton
Men 400 Metres Open – Fraser Russell, Sam Reiser, Conrad Coumaros
Men 800 Metres B Open – Jack Holden, Nicholas Finch, Tony Crawford
Women 100 Metres Open – Adora Arch, Emily Lawson
Men Shot Put (7.26kg) Open – Damien Birkinhead
Women Shot Put (4kg) Open – Kimbererley Mulhall
Men 100 Metres Open – Aidan Debernadi
Women 400 Metres Hurdles (,76m) Open – Ashleigh Horrobin, Felicity Black
Men 400 Metres Hurdles (.91m) Open – Tom Robertson
Women Hammer Throw (4.0kg) Open – Emma Werner, Natalie Debeljuh, Gabrielle Neighbour
Men 1500 Metres Open – Michael Marantelli, Daniel Clark, Zak Patterson, Luke Mathews, Ryan Geard, Alex Rowe
Women Long Jump Open – Corinna Minko, Brooke Stratton
Women 200 Metres Open – Emily Lawson
Men 200 Metres Open – Will Johns, Aidan Debernadi
Men 800 Metres Open – Lachlan Barber, Eddie Vinning, Darcy Sutton, Fraser Russell
Women 1500 Metres Open – Coreena Cleland, Melissa Duncan, Eliza Curnow, Zoe Buckman, Katherine Katsanevakis
Men 5000 Metres Open – Jack Rayner, Jack Davies, Toby Rayner, Brady Threlfall, Nick Wightman, Josh Harris, Anthony Aloisio, Liam Adams

The Briggs Athletics Classic will take place at the Domain Athletic Centre, Hobart on Saturday 1 February, with the main program starting at 6.00pm.

Tickets are available via Centertainment, through athletics clubs or at the gate. Adults – $15; Children (under 16) – $5; children under 6, competing athletes and little athletes – free.

Click here for event information and entry lists.