The final curtain will be drawn on the Australian Summer of Track and Field for Youth and Open Athletes when they take to the track for the major meet of the season- the Australian Championships, the top event for the season.
For the first time over 3,500 athletes will contest this major meet bringing together the top junior and senior athletes from all states and territories. Competing at Homebush, the titles will go from 1 to 7 April, and spectators will see the best up and coming juniors and the senior athletes vying for selection for the World Championship. It is one of the biggest and best athletics meets on the calendar and our own local Illawarra Blue Stars athletes will be among them all.
Contesting her first Australian Championships will be high jumper/sprinter Grace Shaw, coached by Ron Thompson/Valmai Loomes who will contest the U18 women’s high jump, after her qualifying effort in the country and state titles. Seasoned performer, Grace Adams, coached by dad Wayne Adams will again contest her favourite event of the short hurdles and has to be a big chance in this event after her gutsy effort in the state titles and also Little A‘s championships. Her sister Ashlyn, also coached by Dad Wayne Adams, will also take to the hurdles in the U16 division, and after her pb at State Little A’s win, has to be a very good chance. Sprinter Emma Matthews has had ups and downs the latter part of the season but is possibly one of the most determined athletes around and will prepare herself mentally to take on the sprinters in the U17 100m and 200m and is determined to be up there in the top bracket.
In the men, U18 walker Jake Attwell, will take to the track in one of the most gruelling events of the lot, the men’s 5km walk. Qualifying through contesting the State open men’s titles, Jake is coached by Sue and Jodie Sundstrom, and has recently recorded a personal best time over this distance. He will be joined by club mates, senior sprinters Lachlan Parry and Kyle Grubnic, both coached by Peter Lawler. Parry qualifying for both 100m and 200m and Grubnic in the 100m. The men’s open 100m is expected to be the draw card of the championships, and the most competitive event on the program, with men aiming to meet qualifying marks for the World titles. To make the semi finals of these events will be a fine result and both men are capable of doing that.
Training partner and also coached by Peter Lawler, Connor Dymond has qualified for the U23/open hurdles and although suffering a back problem for most of the season, this talented young man has earned his spot. What a championship this is expected to be and we wish all our local athletes the very best of luck.