Illawarra Blue Stars Masters athletes kept the club’s flag flying when they ventured to Perth for their final summer championship for the season, and what a way to finish the season. In perfect Perth weather, and competing on a track that is worthy of any in Australia, the strong Western Australian team of athletes certainly showed the rest of Australia they are a force in Masters Athletics. Conducting their own State titles in conjunction with the Australian titles was a wise choice by their officials, and athletes certainly responded.
Our own IBS athletes showed once again they are among the best in Australia, with some highly impressive performances. Again athletes competed with injuries such as June Lowe whose result sheet would have been more impressive if she didn’t have to withdraw from her sprints, jumps and hurdles, as with Dave McCann and John Lamb. But these athletes are a determined bunch in Masters and grit and determination are certainly the trade mark of many masters’ athletes.
June Lowe was impressive in her age bracket with gold in shot put, javelin and discus, silver in long jump, hammer and throws penthalon, and bronze in the weight throw where she fell in the throwing circle from pain in her hamstring and glutes. Her whole season has been impressive commencing with the country titles, then onto State and Australian titles.
Returning to the track after a 15 years absence was a challenge to sprinter Dianne O’Toole but to come back the National champion was an added bonus. Dianne handled the situation really well and showed the old form that she is known for, and came back with gold in the 60m, 100m and 200m, and then formed part of the NSW 4 x 100m to take gold also in championship record time and possibly a new NSW record for the age bracket.
Mary Thomas was on the podium more times than she was off, and once again dominated her age bracket . She returned home with gold in shot, hammer, discus, javelin, weight throw and throws pentathlon. She then placed 6th in the overall Champion of Champions weight throw. To add to her impressive performance Mary was awarded thrower of the Year for Australian Masters to add to her World award and Athletics NSW Thrower of the Year (masters) and Multi Awards (masters)
Sarah Guevara was one happy athlete after collecting silver in the high jump in the 35-39 age bracket, one of the most highly contested divisions in masters competition. She also ran well to finish 5th in the 60m, 6th in the 100m, and 6th in the 200m. She was unlucky to miss the medals in the long jump with a 4th placing behind the World Champion in long and triple jump.
Rina Flynn had a good championship taking out 3rd in her 60m dash, and then backed this up with good runs in the 100m (6th) 200m (6th) and 400m (5th) and was placed 7th in the discus. She was also a member of the NSW Relay in the 4 x 100m which took out the gold medal in championship record time and was placed 2nd in the 4 x 400m relay.
IBS Men also shone with David McCann fighting an injury but taking out 3rd in his 60m and 4th in his 100m, two of his least favourite events but then succumbed to injury and was forced to withdraw from his more fancied events over the 200m and 400m. After treatment Dave was able to take his place in the NSW relays to help steer the 4 x 100m to gold, and bronze in the 4 x 400m relay.
John Lamb continued on his winning way taking out gold in the short 100m hurdles and long 300m hurdles showing his great ability to be able to adapt to both distances. He also captured the gold in the 400m and 200m sprint events, showing his all round sprinting and hurdling ability.