Illawarra Blue Stars Masters athletes, once again showed they are among the very best in NSW, but it was the combination of “rookie” athletes taking part alongside the more experienced masters’ athletes of IBS and all joining in to support one another.
First day was a great effort but the second day showed the grit and determination our athletes are known for. Sprinter Gianna Mogentale came back the second day after being placed 2nd in the 100m and 200m but turned the tables to take the gold in the 60m and 400m in the women’s 50-54 age bracket. Hanging on was what it was all about with Mick Daly who, on the first day took out 3rd in the 100m, 3rd in the 200m, but hung on in the 400m with sheer determination to take out the 2nd placing in the tough 400m and then took another silver in the 60m.
Walking is a tough event and Rookie State masters competitor, Heidi Smith faced some tough competition in her other events but walked to gold in the 5km event - an event that all athletes agree is one of the hardest. Another Rookie Sarah Doran was a little disappointed when she fell in the 100m on the first day, battling it out for 3rd spot, but falling back into 5th after her fall. This wasn’t going to deter her as she came back on the second day and took out the 3rd placing in the 30-34 women’s 60m. Another club rookie Sarah Guevara admitted she was a little scared to face some of the best athletes in the State but held it together perfectly to bring home her first State medal in the women’s 35-39 long jump on the first day and then backed this up with a close 4th in the 60m and a very good 3rd in the 400m.
Rina Flynn bought home bronze in the women’s 50-54 800m and was a good 4th in the 400m while long time competitor Lynda Douglas came home with 3 bronze medals in the women’s 50-54 bracket, for the 100m, 200m and 60m.
Named Thrower of the Year for NSW Masters Mary Thomas continued on her winning way, taking out all her events in the women’s 70-74 bracket, claiming gold in the shot, discus, javelin, heavy weight and hammer to add to her collection of State medals.
Star of the men’s, John Lamb, competed with a hip problem on the first day and opted out on the second but his runs to take gold in the men’s 65-69 to win gold in the 100m, 300m hurdles and 200m was impressive, but it was his run over the 800m to add another gold to his collection, that turned heads. Lamb is more known for his sprints but his good condition and speed enabled him to add the 800m.
All IBS members who took part brought home at least 1 medal each but it was the fighting spirit and determination of all IBS competitors that places them among the very best.
Mary Thomas, Lynda Douglas and Gianna Mogentale will now head to South Korea to take on the best in the world, but this time it will be the World Masters Indoor Championships. Both Mogentale and Thomas have experienced in indoor competition, but Douglas will make her debut indoors and will move up an age bracket (due to her birthday) to the women’s 55-59 , whilst Mogentale will contest the 50-54 and Thomas the 70-74 age bracket.
Athletes of the club who have qualified for the Open Australian Titles are now gearing up for this important event that will host both youth and Open men’s and women’s event. Masters athletes will have to wait a little longer (June) for their National titles due to be held in Darwin. Our best wishes go to our Little A’s dual registered athletes who have qualified for their State titles.