4 February 2017
Sydney Invitational smashes records
The men’s 1500m race at the inaugural Sydney Invitational will be a memorable event. Records were smashed, personal bests were shattered and all-time lists were re-written. David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall report for Athletics NSW.
Less than ten seconds covered the entire 1500m field as Jordan Gusman (ACT) stormed home winning by nearly two seconds in 3:39.85.
“That is my third time under 3:40. I’m happy to be able to do it so early in the season, although tactically I probably should have got to the lead a little earlier.”
He had also rebounded well from a surprise loss at the Hunter Track Classic.
“I was doing a bit of base work, so I was a little disappointed about last week.”
In second was Nowra 18-year-old Jye Edwards in a stunning 3:41.69 – the seventh fastest in Australian history (see list below).
“It didn’t really feel that quick. After last week (3:45) I felt I had a little more in me.”
In one week, he has taken six seconds from his PB, 2.5 seconds last week and then 3.5 tonight.
Edwards’ preparation has not been tough with the loss of his coach, John Atterton late last year. His mum, (Angela Edwards) continued her coaching duties recently and what a great job she has done, however Edwards moves to Canberra this week to train with Dick Telford’s squad and enter university.
Arm amputee athlete, Michael Roeger (ACT) smashed the T46 1500m world records by three seconds running 3:46.51. The records standard at 3:50.15 and Roeger has himself dipped under the mark on three occasions with a best of 3:48.49, but the record had remained elusive due to the meet being unsanctioned, but coach Philo Saunders was confident tonight’s meet will pass that requirement.
In 15th place, Jackson Sharp, from the Blue Mountains, ran inside the qualifying for the Commonwealth Youth Games with a big PB of 3:48.80. Coached by Ben St Lawrence, Sharp has had a terrific season, slashing his 800m and 1500m PBs and winning national schools medals.
In 2018, it is expected the qualifying time for the IAAF world Juniors/U20s will be about 3:48.00 (the 2016 standard). In this race alone, over 14 months before the 2018 trails, Josh Torley (ACT, 3:45.54) and Joshua Phillips (SSR, 3:47.59) were under this standard. But extraordinarily, there could be another athlete chasing that mark. Rio Paralympian, Jaryd Clifford (Vic) clocked 3:49.05. He is only 17 and a visually impaired (T12) athlete. His time just missed the senior T12 1500m world record (3:48.31) by less than one second.
In his first race for over seven months, Josh Clarke (SYU), clocked an impressive 20.88 (1.1) 200m and importantly pulled up comfortably. In third was 16-year-old Westfields athlete, Yadin Ngeng, who clocked a Commonwealth Youth Games 200m qualifier of 21.25. A little earlier he won the NSW under-18 state 100m title with a windy 10.59 (4.4m/s)
In the women’ 1500m there was also a season debut for Rio Olympian Jenny Blundell (SYU). After some strong early place, she took off on laps three and four, but had to work hard to maintain the moment in the home straight. She will be much better for the race, the only real 100% effort for an athlete. Her time was 4:13.22. In second Holly Campbell (SYU) just dipped under her PB clocking 4:15.68. Back in Australia after studying at Washington State in American, Abby Regan, 26 and now a member of Ben St Lawrence and Gary Howard’s Runcrew, broke her PB clocking 4:16.89. Close behind were two interstate athletes, Keely Small (15, ACT) and Katrina Robinson (16, Qld), who clocked significant PBs ad Commonwealth Youth Games qualifiers with stunning times of 4:18.54 and 4:18.73.
The short program was kicked off by a season’s best 110m hurdles of 13.88 (0.5m/s) by Nick Hough (SYU). In second was impressive teenager, Jacob McCorry (CHE) managing the conversion to the senior height hurdles well by clocking a promising PB of 14.43.
British Rio Olympian, Jade Lally, who has progressed significantly while training in Australia in recent years (her two best ever throws remain from competitions in Sydney and New Zealand) nailed a good early season distance of 62.15m in the discus. In the javelin, Rhys Stein (ASW) was a comfortable winner with 71.92m
Australian U20 1500m All Time list
3:37.24 Ryan GREGSON N 28.02.09
3:39.67 Mike HILLARDT Q 23.03.80
3:40.6 Randal MARKEY T 30.03.74
3:40.95 Jordan WILLIAMZ V 27.07.11
3:41.00 Collis BIRMINGHAM V 03.11.05
3:41.31 Michael POWER V 16.07.95
3:41.69 Jye EDWARDS N 04.02.17
3:41.92 Alastair STEVENSON Q 21.03.98
3:42.10 Paul CLEARY V 03.12.95
Image: men’s 1500m field (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)