14 October 2017
NSW All Schools Day 3 Review: Alexander’s record shot
Unwelcome headwinds greeted the sprinters and the blustery conditions were also not to the liking of the circular track runners on a cooler day three of competition at the NSW All Schools Championships. Despite this there was a series of tremendous half-mile performances and one special shot putt result.
A back injury has not been the ideal leadup for Commonwealth Youth Games shot put champion, Alexander Kolesnikoff, but that didn’t seem to hinder him as he smashed the NSW under-18 record with three of his puts. The record had stood at 20.04m and the meet record 20.03m, but after a warmup mark of 18.53m, Kolesnikoff blasted the shot out over the record on the next three throws, with marks of 20.32m, 20.69m and 20.52m. The distance moved him to number four under-18 in the world this year and just 12cm from the world lead.
He certainly achieved his goal for this competition.
“I wanted to break the state record and my PB which was 20.01m from March 2017, so it was while since I have thrown a PB so I was thinking, ‘come on get the 20.04 you can do it.’”
“On my last throw I just let it go and it went 20 and a half. If I had focused I could have thrown something very decent but it is hard containing all those emotions,” said Kolesnikoff who is maturing into a very impressive young person both in the circle and out. He is also learning about other factors around being an elite athlete.
“The Commonwealth Youth Games was the best experience. I learned to compete and the need to stay focused. I learnt a lot about travelling and overcoming jet lag and other challengers.”
As he moves into year 12 at Trinity Grammar, he is now one of the leaders and role models in the very successful athletics program.
“Trinity - I love it there.”
He also understands where his event and sport is at in the Australian landscape.
“I love throwing metal balls and metal plates. It is not the most well-known sport, but it is a passion of mine. I’ve sacrificed other sports to throw things.”
Also in record breaking form was outstanding middle-distance runner Angus Beer, who just broke the 15 years 800m record by 0.01 seconds, clocking 1:55.42.
“First lap I felt I was going a bit too quick, but at least I was able to come home strong and finish well, which is what I wanted to do.”
He had added motivation today to perform, wearing a black armband to remember. Last week a Victorian 15-year-old athlete and friend died.
“We had meet at national camps. When we heard the news we all knew we had to do something. We wanted to do him proud this weekend. We were all going 110% doing it for him.”
Another extraordinary achievement was recorded by Killara High’s Brianna Worsfold. Her surprising achievement was not winning the 12 years 400m comfortably in a time of 59.39 and breaking a 27-year-old record, but this was her third title of the championships, adding to her wins in the shot and discus.
But that can be explained as she is a multi-event athlete, with three impressive coaches guiding her – Olympians Melinda Gainsford-Taylor and Jane Jamieson (a heptathlete) and former beach sprint and track champion, Clayton Kearney.
The dominate win by Mark Fokas in the 16 years 400m hurdles merely continued his splendid summer form, which is a surprise as he explained.
“I haven’t done a lot of training over winter as I was injured. I was off the track for three months and I wasn’t expecting the times I’ve run so far, especially at CHS.”
Today he clocked 53.93 in the blustery wind. “Technically-wise over hurdles it was fine, but it was horrible conditions. The wind just hit me in the back straight and again as I can into the straight.”
His training partner in the Natasha Stenberg squad, Felix Long won a terrific 200m battle against Godfrey Okerenyang in the 15 years age.
Another athlete continuing some tremendous summer form is a big improver is Camden High’s Joshua Azzopardi. Last season he couldn’t even qualify for nationals, now his is on track for top-6. He explained his improvement. “Before I had days I couldn’t be bothered to go to training. My coach sat down and told me I needed to be consistent with my training to improve. I took that advice and have been improving ever since.” Under former national level sprinter, Rob Marks, Azzopardi won the 19 years 200m in 22.85 into a 3.2m/s wind.
A few other performances of note:
Strong return by Sara Dougan to win 16 years 200 metres in 25.61
Fastest 200s of the day were achieved by Kristie Edwards 24.66 and Sebastien Moir 22.04.
Holly Saunders won a high quality para 12-15 years girls long jump with a leap of 2.55m (123.78%)
Connor Murphy was over 14 metres to win the 16 years triple jump with marks of 14.14w and 14.10m.
Nickolai Simmons vaulted the highest of the day clearing 4.00m on his third attempt.
Shot putt specialist and national champion, Venita Mailei has added discus to her program and won the 16 years event by over three metres with a best of 43.34m.
One of the meets’ very best athlete, Paige Wilson, had no trouble winning the 19 years high jump with a clearance at 1.78m.
More gold for members of the Gerry Targett Newcastle-based throws squad with Stephanie Scigala winning the 17 years discus with a mark of 44.56m.
A close battle in the 1 ears girls 400m led to a near miss of the meet record of 57.74, as Jessica Bird won in 57.90 seconds, from Eve Gardiner 58.04.
Paralympian Tamsin Colley ran 3:06.12 for 110.8% to win the 12-15 years girls 800m para ambulant event.
Today there was a series of 1:54 800m times. In the 17 years Jordan Doris held off Jackson Sharp 1:54.02 to 1:54.29. In the 16 years record Doris’ record just survived, as Anthony Vlatko clocked 1:54.62.
Fastest for the girls over 800m, was Jayla Hancock – Cameron winning the 15 years 800m in 2:10.40.
First and second across the line in the 16 years 5000m walk dipped under the record of 23:09.17. ACT’s Mitchell Baker clocked 22:24.53, ahead of Central Coast’s Oscar Tebbuttt’s 22:51.52.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Alexander Kolesnikoff wins the 17 years shot in a record distance of 20.69m (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)