In conditions that would deter any athlete of competing, with continual heat of high temperatures, athletes of IBS toughed it out to be among the States leading Youth competitors. Having competed in tiring, telling heat in the Country titles only a couple of weeks ago, athletes backed up on the Homebush track to be confronted by yet again tiring conditions.
But we have to give recognition to our officials who braced themselves and braved the heat to be out on the track for three continual days, Jodie Sundstrom, Ann Grimm, Neville Fenn and Janet and John Munro to allow Athletics NSW to conduct one of the most successful Youth championships. I believe we have not had such tiring conditions for a long time as we have had this summer of track and field.
Our athletes are indeed among the best and to be out in the heat contesting an event that does go for a long time in the high jump, is another credit to our athletes. The men’s U18 high jump was a real dual with the winner clearing 1.95m followed by our own Jye Shumack and Nicholas Horton both clearing 1.90m, but Jye taking the silver on a countback. Unless you are a field games exponent, other athletes do not relate to how these athletes have to control their minds over such things as heat, the competition and the intense pressure that such a competition can place in young people. What a result for both athletes, with both now qualifying for National titles. Nicholas added another silver medal to his tally with a great 2nd in the U18 men’s hurdles. His time of 14.96 broke his time created at country (15.16) another qualifying mark for Nationals.
Young U14 athlete Ashlyn Adams surprised herselfwith a very close 4th in the girls U14 80m hurdles in a very good time of 14.14, she too breaking her Country time of 14.48. Older Sister Grace also bought home 4th in the U16 girls 200m hurdles recording a time to qualify for Nationals along with the 90m hurdles she has also qualified in.
Emma Matthews may not have been as happy with her performances as she was at Country but she has backed up well in a number of events and this young athlete has a lot of talent in a variety of events. Good to see she is trying so many events to later decide as she gets older which ones she will seriously target.
Meanwhile at club level, again athletes had to cope with severe heat temperatures but it was good to see a number of Dapto Little A’s of dual registration take advantage of extra competition prior to travelling to Wagga next week for the zone titles. Find of the year has to be Dapto’s flying sprinter Jonty Faulkner who is showing the makings of a fine male sprinter. His time over the 100m of 11.9 was excellent in the conditions, but his ability to run quick over the 100m, 200m and 400m at age 14 is his greatest trait. He will head to Wagga as a strong contender. Now he has moved into a senior athletic club, he will be able to move forward in any of these distances, with the ability to be able to excel in any of the three sprints.
Our best wishes go to all our athletes travelling to Wagga to see if they can move forward to the next round - the State titles.
Meanwhile open athletes are preparing for their State titles coming up later in the month and it is good to see a number already have qualified for the National titles.
On seniors - what did we all think about the concept that Usain Bolt has bought to Australia. Many liked it, some didn’t like it, and some hated it. Regardless, it is a change in direction a little for athletics, and having a go at such events can only bring the media on board like it has.
February and March will be all about State and National titles but we have to remind coaches and athletes that the Kerryn McCann Athletic Centre will be closed as from the 1 march till May. We are thrilled that the track will be blue, and that in May we will see a completely new resurfaced ground in time for the first round of the club’s winter track and field program.