Australian Junior Championships Day 1: Eliza Lawton – New distance still the best

Published Fri 14 Apr 2023

13 April 2023

Australian Junior Championships Day 1: Eliza Lawton – New distance still the best

The NSW team of 672 were out in force on day one of the Australian Junior Athletics Championships which commenced in perfect weather conditions yesterday in Brisbane.

After winning gold in the 800m and 1500m last year, Sydney Pacific’s Eliza Lawton graduated up the distance ladder to the 3000m, but was again unstoppable, taking the under-15 title in a swift time of 9:42.08, from teammate Eva Gawel who clocked 9:59.74.

Eliza, who is coached by her dad Vaughan Lawton, explained.

“We think I’m more a long distance runner.”

What were her expectation going into the race?

“We thought I had a change for a medal, but we knew it was going to be windy and hard for me to get a best time.”

Eliza considered the reward of the win was a result of “hard work and effort” and the time “pretty good for the conditions.”

Eliza took five seconds off the meet record set by Imogen Stewart in 2017.

Third consecutive hurdle gold for Tammin

Despite clocking the second fastest time in the heats, Sutherland’s Tammin Lampret claimed the under-16 200m hurdles title, her third consecutive hurdles win at these championships since they resumed from COVID in 2021. In the under-14s in 2021 she won the 80m hurdles, then in 2022, in the under-15s, the 90m and 200m hurdles double. Today’s time by Tammin of 28.04 was impressive.

“I ran a personal best into a head wind,” she said.

This year (the under-16s) is the last year she competes over this distance and it sounds like Tammin won’t miss the event.

“I have always hated the 200m hurdles, so I just wanted to get it done,” she said – likely because the stride pattern is challenging.

Tammin and her second placed teammate Neve Jenkins (28.92) are both coached by Jacinta Doyle.

First National title for Andres Hampel

This is the title Andres Hampel wanted.

“I knew I was likely second in the 100m hurdles, I knew this was the one,” said Andres after he won the under-16 200m hurdles in a terrific time of 25.87 seconds.

“I have to be honest - it wasn’t the best race execution, one of the hurdles I stuttered at, as I was under pressure.”

Andres did it the hard way, as he was well back in fifth place as they hit the straight.

“I was telling myself I wasn’t tired, as I had had the 100m heat and final in between, and I knew my bend wasn’t the best I just had to dig deep. I heard the commentators saying I was coming back,” and he was as he steamed home. Then at hurdle nine, under pressure from a surging Andres, Queenslander Sean Putra Susilo crashed the hurdle, as Andres flashed home for his first National title.

The win meant a lot to Andres who has battled injuries this season.

“It means the world to me.”

In brief

-In the under-14 3000m Walk, Sophie Polkinghorne clocked 14:11.96 to break the meet record previously held by NSW’s Milly Broughton.

-Layla Sharp (T38) led a NSW clean sweep in the under-17 Para 400m clocking 67.42, from Tamworth’s Abbie Peet (T36) and Charlize Colwell (T37).

-On his return from injury, the very talented Mason McGroder calmly went about taking down the 19-year-old meet record with his opening leap in the under-16 triple jump. His distance of 14.34m won the title by 79cm.

-There was another NSW clean sweep of the medals in the under-13 100m with Michael Melfi winning in 12.51, from Sebastian Duddle (12.74) and Aaron Finnerty (12.79).

NSW athletes crowned Australian Champions on Day 1:

U15 100m Maya Taber 12.27

U15 Hammer Throw Kaiah Wong 43.34m

U16 Triple Jump Mason McGroder 14.34m

U15 Pole Vault Csenge Zsombor 3.10m

U17 400m Para Layla Sharp 67.42

U14 High Jump Olivia Scott-Rogers 1.65m

U14 Hammer Throw Hanna Masic 39.17m

U14 3000m Walk Sophie Polkinghorne 14:11.96 – meet record

U16 200m hurdles Tammim Lampret 28.04

U16 4x100m relay Oliver Facer, Wol Albino, Max Marshall, Xavier Perry 42.21

U14 4x100 relay Angelica Batti, Ruth Ifejika, Tayla Bryant, Sophie Dimitrov 48.14

U13 100m Divine Chukwudi 12.66

U13 Hammer Throw Krystal Emme 28.39m

U15 Hammer Throw Kalisi Aualiitia 44.76m

U17 Para 400m Cooper Robb-Jackson 58.75

U13 100m Michael Melfi 12.51

U13 Javelin Throw Archer Todd 34.07m

U13 3000m Walk Callum Martin 14:48.27

U15 3000m Eliza Lawton 9:42.08 – meet record

U16 200m hurdles Andres Hampel 25.87

U14 100m Jayden Todoroski 11.65

U14 Long Jump Jayden Todoroski 5.78

U14 4x100m Jayden Todoroski, Kulan Parry, Michael Melfi, Ryan McNamara

David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW

Image: Eliza Lawton (courtesy of David Tarbotton)