29 September 2018
NSW All Schools day 3 review – Stewart treble
On day three of the 2018 2XU NSW All Schools Track and Field Championships the weather conditions turned bleak, as athletes battled strong head winds and cool temperatures. Despite this, eight athletes completed sprint doubles and Damita Betham (sprints) and Imogen Stewart (distance) went one better with three titles and two meet records each.
On Friday, Imogen Stewart (PLC Croydon) had dominated the 13-years 800m and 14-years 3000m, both in meet record time, and in the first event on the program on Saturday she continued that form, claiming the distance treble with a win in the 13-years 1500m in another display of dominant running. What were her reflections on the three wins?
“Yesterday when I ran I was really happy with my results,” Stewart said. “I didn’t expect to run as fast as I did and was surprised how good I felt in the 3000m after backing up from the 800m, but this morning it was really hard as I was really ‘chesty’ from yesterday and my legs were a little tight as well.”
Although she has run an 800m PB and broken two records, times were not the focus at the championships.
“Today I just wanted to go out there like I have at this state carnival, not chase times just trying to run the best I can and have fun.”
However, the 800m was something special running a substantial PB of 2:10.61.
“My PB in the 800m is 2:13.6, so I was surprised. I went out in the first lap and felt so good and was expecting to see a 1:06 (at the bell) and saw a 1:02, and that is actually a PB for 400m, so it was like wow this is good, so I just tried to hold it and by the finish I was surprised with the time and really happy.”
It has been a significant year for Stewart as she has started high school now at PLC Croydon which involves more daily travel.
“I catch a bus near my house which takes me straight to the school. It is the best school and they are really supportive with my running.”
Next up for Stewart is the State 3000m, ahead of the national schools championships in Cairns.
“I would like to get a PB at that (state 3000m), as yesterday I felt really good running 9:26.”
Although she didn’t win gold at the championships, one of the most satisfied athletes at the meet was the Kailyn Joseph (PLC) in the 16-19 years para long jump. She placed third but was emotional after leaping a personal best distance of 4.17m.
“It was so good, and I was really happy as it was the first competition since I competed at the Commonwealth Games and I couldn’t be more stoked,” Joseph said. On the fourth attempt in the long jump on the Gold Coast in April she tore part of her meniscus and has been battling to overcome the injury.
“Since then I had done a lot of rehab and really taken care of my body.
“My goal for this comp was just to see how things are going as there has been a lot of fear since coming back from the injury even knowing my body is physically fine it was still in my mind.
“Today I was saying, ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to go out and have fun’.”
With her disability comes body imbalances.
“Having cerebral palsy, the right side is always trying to do more and over compensates.”
However, since the Games she has had tremendous support from her school, Pymble Ladies College.
“They have been so supportive at the school and it has been like a team behind me.”
Ambarvale High’s Damita Betham had a busy day, winning three medals and breaking more records. Following her 200m record setting form on Friday, Betham, of Samoan heritage, battled strong head wins to comfortably win the 12-years 100m in 12.78. Shortly after she was back on the track and won the 400m, breaking the old record of 59.39, with a PB time of 58.36 (tbc). Shortly after she was competing in the long jump where she won silver with a leap of 5.02m.
GPS 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m champion, Lachlan Wood (Kings) won the 13-years 100m title on Saturday running 12.06 into a headwind. Later in the day he was comfortably through to the 400m final after winning his heat by three seconds and looks odds on to add to his medal haul which includes gold in the 200m and silver in the 800m.
Another athlete with a busy schedule was Newcastle’s Leroy Reid (St Marys Gateshead). After his outstanding 200m win on Friday, he added a silver in the long jump and another gold in the 100m in a very close race against arch rival Felix Long (Randwick Boys High). The photo finish judges had to split then to a thousandth of a second – 11.604 to 11.608. He closed the day with a heat win in the 400m.
“Every time I have every raced him (Felix Long) he has just got me, but now I’m finally catching up to him,” said Reid who this weekend has turned the table on him twice. What has been the different for Reid of late?
“I’ve been more consistent in my training with my new coach Gerard (Keating), and he has only been coaching me for about a year now, but he has really helped me out.”
Reid has also given away rugby league because of injuries.
After a third in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump Laud Codjoe (Emmaus College) was unbeatable on Saturday winning a very close 15-years 100m final in 11.53 (-1.9 m/s headwind) and long jump with a massive leap of 6.68m.
On day three 100/200m sprint doubles were claimed by: Teah McPherson (Hunter Sports) 17 years, Donovan Bradshaw (Barker) 14 years, Torrie Lewis (St Marys Gateshead) 13 years, Sidhant Tuladhar (East Hills) 12 years and Alice Dixon (PLC) 15 years.
Other performances of note:
Samantha Dale (Oakhill College) was close to the meet record winning the 17-years long jump with a distance of 5.94m.
Charlotte McGill (Kambala) added the 16-years long jump (5.71m) to her record-breaking triple jump performance.
Katie Gunn (Henry Kendall H) leapt a tremendous 5.90m to win the 15-years long jump.
Youth Olympics Games-bound Sally Shokry (Castle Hill H) won the 16 years discus with a mark of 42.55m.
National champion, Lucas Rose (Emmaus College) was untroubled winning the discus with a throw of 57.63m.
Ashlyn Blackstock (Belmont H) claimed the throws double in the 14-years winning the discus with a distance of 41.87m.
There was another dominant throwing display in the 12-years by George Wells (Narara Valley H) winning the discus by 11 metres with a near meet record throw of 47.80m.
Day four commences at 8.00am Sunday.
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Imogen Stewart on the way to a distance treble. (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)