Weekend Recap: VIC, NSW, QLD, WA Open State Championships, Race Walking World Championship Selection and Auckland Track Challenge
By Grace Kalac – Runner’s Tribe
February 24th – 26th was one of Australian track and field’s busiest weekends to date. With four open state championships, international meets, and World Championship qualifiers and selection announcements, we are well and truly heading towards the peak of the summer season. Athletes from all over Australia graced both the track and field, producing an abundance of impressive results.
Internationally, Australia was well represented at the Auckland Track Challenge on Sunday afternoon. Brett Robinson took line honours in the Men’s 5000m, clocking 13:22.93, an agonising 0.33 of a second shy of the World Championship qualifying mark. David McNeill (13:29.11), Stewart McSweyn (13:34.46) and Sam McEntee (13:51.04) rounded out the top four. In a similar fashion, Australia also claimed the first four across the line in the Men’s 800m, with Josh Ralph taking victory in 1:47.75, followed by Luke Mathews (1:48.46), Jordan Williamsz (1:48.56) and Mason Cohen (1:48.86). In the Women’s 800m, Heidi See (2:03.51) and Georgia Wassall (2:06.16) finished 3rd and 5th respectively. Rio Olympian Damien Birkinhead threw 20.54m in the Men’s Shot Put, finishing in 4th position.
At the first weekend of the Victorian State Championships, Linden Hall claimed victory in the Women’s 1500m in a time of 4:08.98, edging closer to the World Championship qualifier of 4:07.50. A late surge by Andrew Buchanan saw him win gold in the Men’s event (3:45.40). The Women’s 100m was won by 19-year-old Maddison Coates (11.67), with Christopher Mitrevski seizing the win in a photo finish Men’s 100m (10.62). A fast finishing Will Johns (47.29) claimed victory in the Men’s 400m over Nitro Athletics star Luke Stevens (47.34), with Abbey De La Motte taking a commanding victory in the Women’s 400m (54.05). Ben Buckingham (8:54.14) and Charlotte Wilson (10:10.83) asserted themselves as 3000m Steeplechase state champions. Weekend Two of the competition commences on Friday.
The New South Wales State Championships ran over three days and also featured the Sydney Track and Field Classic on Saturday evening. In-form Lora Storey cemented herself as state 800m champion (2:06.92) over silver medallist Anneliese Rubie (2:07.10). The Women’s and Men’s 400m were won by Bendere Obaya (53.30) and Jackson Collett (47.52) respectively. In the Women’s 1500m, Rio Olympian Jenny Blundell comfortably claimed gold in 4:13.97, with Charles Hunter of Asics Wests taking out the Men’s event in 3:52.12. The 3000m Steeplechase saw an array of impressive performances, with Men’s winner James Nipperess clocking 8:54.94, and Victoria Mitchell (9:49.55) taking honours in the Women’s event. Victorian Stella Radford finished after Mitchell in 10:02.92, posting a World University Games qualifier. Brianna Beahan edged out in the Women’s 100m Hurdles to claim the state title (13.32) over Michelle Jenneke (13.57). Dani Stevens (nee Samuels), was crowned state champion in the discus once again, throwing 66.78m.
Up north at the Queensland State Championships, Moroochy’s Sally Pearson made her Australian season debut following a European indoor stint. Pearson won the 100m hurdles in 13.57. The Men’s 110m Hurdles race was won by Jack Conway in 14.13. Lillian Price (4:31.45) and Sam Blake (3:52.01) were victorious in the 1500m events. In the Men’s 200m, Maroochy’s Alexander Hartmann ran 21.30 to claim the gold medal. Toea Wisil continued her impressive season and won the Women’s 100m in 11.54. Queensland Hammer Throw record holder Matthew Denny produced a throw of 70.00m to attain the gold medal.
It’s been a trying week for my body to even step foot out on the track today time of 13.57 is not a reflection of what sort of shape I am in
— Sally Pearson OAM (@sallypearson) February 26, 2017
The Western Australia State Championships saw Nina Kennedy reach the 2017 World Championship qualifying mark in the Pole Vault. Kennedy equalled the qualifying distance of 4.55m. Kennedy’s training partner Elizabeth Parnov finished second in 4.40m. Matthew Ramsden (3:48.85) and Jemima Crosby (4:28.63) were victorious in the 1500m events. Aaron Bresland achieved a double victory in both the 100m (10.53) and 200m (21.09). Western Australian 800m Rio Olympian Peter Bol, who currently resides in Victoria, demonstrated his form over the 400m, taking the win in 48.08.
Friday saw the announcement of the first four race walk selections for the London’s 2017 World Championships. Australian champion Regan Lamble was selected, alongside Rhydian Cowley, Beki Smith, and Rio bronze medallist Dane Bird-Smith. The Australian Athletics Championships in March will double as a selection trial for the remaining race walkers in contention. The complete team will be finalised in July.
2017 Auckland Track Challenge Results: http://www.athletics.org.nz/Portals/24/Files/Events/ATC/atc%202017%20full%20results.pdf
2017 Victorian State Championships Weekend 1 Results: http://athsvic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Vic-Champs-Weekend-1-Results-2.pdf
2017 NSW State Championships Results: http://www.nswathletics.org.au/Portals/18/Results/2016-17%20Summer/2017%20NSW%20Open%20Compiled%20Results.pdf
2017 WA State Championships Results: http://results.athletics.org.au/results/WA/2017/StateD3/
2017 QLD State Championships Results: http://qldathletics.org.au/Portals/50/Results/2016-17%20Summer/results-170223-26_full.pdf