7 October 2017
NSW All Schools Championships – Girls preview
If performances from the recent school leadup events to the NSW All Schools are any indication, we are set for a great start to the track and field season which culminates in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Commencing on Thursday are the 2017 NSW All Schools Championships, first held in 1936, two years before Sydney hosted its first Empire Games in 1938. The Championships have been a preview of our future Commonwealth and Olympic athletes. Nothing will change at the 2017 championships.
On the track next week will be a host of our junior international teenage girls who have this year competed at the Commonwealth Youth Games and World Para-Athletics Junior Championships.
Commonwealth youth champions, Bendere Oboya, Carley Thomas and high jump silver medallists Emily Whelan, along with Alissa Jordaan, Kailyn Joseph, and Tamsin Colley from the world Para-Athletics junior championships, join stars from the recent key leadup meets the Combined High Schools (CHS) and Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) carnivals.
One of the events with the best depth is the 14 years girls long jump. At the CHS, six athletes were over 5.20m, led by Katie Gunn with 5.40m. At the CCC, the winner Jessica Laurance was also over 5.20m. The other five who make this a tremendous event are: Tiahna Skelton (Wallsend), Cleo Dickie (Blayney High), Alyssa Lowe (Riverside Girls), Alyssa Parks (Figtree High) and Danielle Osifo (Cherrybrook Tech).
The championships will also see Airds High’s Venita Mailei back into action for the summer in the 16 years shot. She was one of the hard-warming stories of the Australian junior championships last March. She was supported by 22 students and four teachers who travelled to the competition to give her a boost, and she responded. After just 18 months in the sport she won gold in the under-17 shot on the very last attempt. Read more about her story here.
We have already seen strong progression this summer from emerging middle-distance runner Jaylah Hancock-Cameron. The Moruya High student, who regularly makes the four-hour plus journey to Sydney with members of her squad and her coach Andae Kalemusic, stunned with a record time of 2:10.43 in the 15 years 800m at the CHS. She broke the record held by Rio Olympian and one of her idols, Jenny Blundell. Hancock-Cameron runs in the 15 years 800m and 1500m events.
Talented all round jumper, Tomysha Clark (Endeavour Sports) will be looking to duplicate her amazing treble at the CHS with wins in the 15 years high, long and triple jumps. He long jump was particularly outstanding leaping 5.75m. A pair of triple jumpers who have been in tremendous recent form are 16-year-olds Samantha Dale and Desleigh Owusu with recent jumps of 11.48m and 12.24. In the 17 years Cardiff High’s Tahla Pont has leapt an impressive 12.19m this summer, further than her silver medal winning mark at the Australian championships of 12.08m last summer.
There have been a number of outstanding javelin performances with a few over 45 metres already this season. At the CHS in the 17+ years, Tamworth’s Jessica Aldridge reached 45.03m. But in her pet event, the shot, she added just one centimetre to the meet record, held by her. She put 15.44m to win a close battle with Newcastle’s Stephanie Scigala. Bega’s Kiarna Woolley-Blain nailed an impressive 46.35m to win the 15 years javelin at the CHS.
NSW has been a production line of great junior women’s discus throwers and that trend looks to continue in 2017 with a talented line up. In the 12-years, Brianna Worsfold (Killara High) is a standout, hitting 42.54m (700g) at the CHS and also putting 12.58m in the shot for decisive wins. Belmont High’s Ashlyn Blackstock broke both the shot and discus records at the recent CHS with marks of 14.27m and 40.19m. Sally Shokry (Castle Hill) and Deamma Taganesia (Picnic Point) will resume their close battle from CHS in the 15 years discus, where Shokry prevailed by less than one metre with both over 40 metres.
Returning from injury are Eastern Suburb-based national sprint medalists Sara Dougan and Maisie Stevens in the 16 and 17 years respectively. In the next group of emerging sprinters behind them a few to watch are Elena Delaveris and Tierney Dunne in the 15 years and Torrie Lewis in the 12 years. Over 400m, behind Commonwealth Games qualified Bendere Oboya there is a number of 57 second runners from the recent CHS meet. They include Newcastle’s Jasper Bagwell-Henderson (16-years) and a pair of 14-year-olds athletes Sidney Burrell and Jasmin Guthrie.
In the 3000m walk, 14-year-old Allanah Pitcher (Terrigal High) and 15-year-old Emma Blanch (Caringbah High) will be the ones to watch. Both are super talented and have won national titles in recent years and are the future for this key event for Australian athletics.
Record-breaking para distance runner, Belinda Scott has a busy program including her pet event the 800m.
Our hurdlers have prepared well over winter and we have a few new emerging stars. At the CHS in the 12 years Westfields Sports’ Latecia Lolohea who just missed the 13 year-old record, clocking 13.25. In the 13-years Chanelle Odendaal (Rouse Hill) will be competitive following her CHS win in 13.19. The 15-years 90m hurdles features Nicolette Donofrio who combines hurdles with her great sprint talent which swept her to a dramatic win in the under-16 200m at the national championships where she took the title by 0.002 seconds. An established high-quality performer in the 16 years, Teah MacPherson (Hunter Sports) will be busy with sprints and her speciality the 100m hurdles. She recently clocked a brilliant 14.43 at the CHS.
EVENT PROFILE – NSW All Schools Track & Field Championships
When? 12 to 15 October 2016
Where? Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre
More information: timetable, entries, history of the event, age groups, rules, records here.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Katie Gunn long jump (courtesy of David Tarbotton)