Carly Rodger’s dream of emulating the success of her idol, Sally McLellan, is on track after shattering the meet record today in the 100m hurdles at the NSW All Schools Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre.
Rodger, 16, stopped the clock in 14.02 seconds in only her sixth race at the distance since graduating from the 90m distance raced in the under 16 age group. Last December Rodger took one tenth of a second off McLellan’s Australian under 16 record in winning the Australian All Schools Championships.
The Kirrawee High student said that McLellan’s silver medal performance at the Beijing Olympics had inspired her to train harder.
“It gives me a lot of confidence, but I’m a long way off Sally’s level so I try not to focus on the future too much,” said Rodger.
In the short term Rodger has set her sights on winning the Pacific School Games this December in Canberra and qualifying for the Australian team for next year’s World Youth Championships, an event which McLellan won in 2003.
Although Rodger’s time at these championships is three quarters of a second outside what McLellan ran to win the world youth championships, her performance is encouraging in light of recent injuries she has suffered.
“I’ve had shin splints recently so I have only been training on grass. It’s much easier hurdling on the track – today felt pretty easy.”
Mitchell Tysoe produced an impressive display of hurdling to slash four tenths of a second off the 16 years 110m hurdles record. The Erina High student ran 14.07 seconds. Second placegetter Raymond Smith also went under the previous record with a run of 14.36 seconds.
Todd Wakefield demonstrated his preparedness to compete at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India in a fortnight’s time by breaking 3 minutes, 50 seconds for the first time over 1500m. With training partner Joshua Johnson running up an age group and setting a fast early pace, Wakefield took the lead during the final lap and finished strongly to clock 3:49.45 – just over a tenth of a second outside Ryan Gregson’s meet record for the 17 years age group.
Also bound for India is Amanda Bartrim, who won the 17 years pole vault in 3.60m. For the fourth consecutive year Bartrim broke the meet record. The Henry Kendall High student had three unsuccessful attempts at 3.72, which would have bettered her own NSW under 18 and under 20 records.
Meridan Girls’ Kirsten Bannister leapt over the meet record on three occasions during the 19 years girls triple jump. Her best performance was 12.13m.
The still and warm conditions presented a perfect stage for sprinters to perform, with Jake Hammond and Elly Graf running the fastest times of the day. Both athletes ran quicker in their heats, with Hammond clocking a swift 10.69s and Graf 11.97s. In the final they ran 10.75s and 12.00s respectively.
Other winners in the 100m were Lachlan Maxwell (11.18) and Sarah Thomson (12.28) in the 19 years; Mitchell Tysoe (10.93) and Annaliese Gardiner (12.35) in the 16 years; and Matthew Lee (11.26) and Karlie Morton (12.20) in the 15 years.