30 January 2018
Sprinter blown to quick times at Country
Tailwinds were welcome by the sprinters and hurdles at the 73rd NSW Country Championships held at in Wollongong over the weekend.
Teenage 400m specialist, Tyler Gunn (GOS) posted the weekend’s fastest time in the under-20 100m with a slightly wind assisted 10.73 (2.3m/s). He led home another good performance by Coffs Harbour’s Aidan Wallace who ran 10.87 for second. The open men’s 100m was a win for local Illawarra Blue Stars (IBS) athlete Lachlan Parry in 10.75, just ahead of team mate Kyle Grubnic with 10.78. There was no wind reading recorded, but nearly all races were just over the legal two metres per second. Favourite for the men’s 100m final had been Mingara’s Hillary Dube who clocked a 10.88 (1.9m/s) in the heats ahead of Parry’s 10.97.
IBS claimed the open sprints double, when Stephanie Power just held off Macquarie Shores teenager Teah MacPherson 12.24w (2.5) to 12.26w. The placings were duplicated in the 200m in times of 25.12w (2.5m/s) to 25.60.
In the masters 30-39 yrs 100m, Aanika Milne (MIN) enjoyed a strong wind of 3.4 m/s running 12.55. She won her pet event the 100m hurdles in an excellent time of 15.23.
One of the finest junior throwers in Australia, Ashlyn Blackstock (East Lakes), had a five-gold medal haul at the championships. The extraordinary 12-year-old, won the under-15 and 17 discus events with marks of 38.16m and 40.34m respectively. She was even more impressive in the shot putt events exceeding her previous PB in the under-15 and 17 events with distances of 14.26m and 14.36m (3kg). But there was more to come from the talented athlete, as she won the open shot, putting the 4kg implement out to 12.11m. That would have ranked her the 33rd best open shot putter in Australian in 2017 !
The leading women’s throwers at the meet, were regulars at the NSW Country Championships. Wallsend pair Stephanie Scigala and Melissa Holahan were the ‘best on ground’ at the meet with marks of 12.81m and 45.43m. Scigala in the open, while Holahan in the masters 30-39 yrs. Five-time national championships medallists, Karen Clarke (WOL) was a convincing winner of the open javelin with a throw of 43.17m.
Masters thrower, Gavin Murray had a few close battles in the throwers, but they were not with the competitors but with the his own meet records. In the hammer throw he raised his 2016 mark of 40.25m, with a toss of 40.45m. In the discus he fell just 4 cm shot with a distance of 44.02m. In the shot he under the record with a best of 11.98m.
The under-13 and 14 girls 80m hurdles record were destroyed at the championships. In the under-14s, Tori Robertson (MIN) ran 13.22, just defeating Ebony Newton (RAY) in 13.31, they went under the record of 13.4 (equal to electronic time of 13.64) set 15 years ago. In the under-13s local athlete Delta Amidzovski (WOL) was even faster with 13.10 – 1.51 seconds under the record.
It was great to see back on the track Chloe Tighe (KEJ) after a stint in the UK. She ran well to win the open 1500m in 4:30.06.
Another local star was Athletics Wollongong sprinter and thrower, Chelsea Ezeoke. In the under-13 100m and 200m she broke the meet records, the 100m set in 1975 ! She added the shot and discus titles with ease. But possibility her finest achievement was in the under-14 400m where she won the race by five seconds setting her third meet record in a time of 59.93.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics Australia
Image: men’s 100m final, left to right - Christopher Devery, Kyle Grubnic, Lachlan Parry, Hillary Dube and Matthew Winsor