Illawarra Blue Stars opened the winter track and field series with a bang. Combining a cross country event of 2km and 4km, members then went onto the track to commence the first round. The club played host to three potential Olympians, all vying for a spot in the Para-Olympic Games and it was great to see these three young ladies travelling from Mingara, St George and Sydney to take part and see if they could make the grade. Out of the three, one was very close in the shot, the other not quite on target in the long jump, but it was Mingara Rae Anderson who shone. With full support of our club members pushing and encouraging her, Rae lifted to the occasion and scored another javelin B qualifier with a throw of 25.42m. Supported by the club technical officials, the throw is legal, and will help Rae cement her place on the plane to Rio.
The cross country was an event with a difference, with the finish taking place on the track, after a good event was conducted on the cycle way.
Then onto the track. Along with the club’s visitors, perhaps the star of the 1st round was master’s athlete and father of Emma Matthews, Mark, who waited until the last event to let fly with a javelin throw that would be highly competitive in his age bracket in masters competition.
Reece Gibbins returned to the track and looked very good, over 150m but the explosive 60m saw Reece strain a hamstring. Hopefully he can overcome this injury and have a good winter to progress back to the sport in summer.
The sprinters all looked good for their first round of winter, and using the meet for build up to summer, it was an all round good response.
The second round of winter competition will lead off with the cross country run, this time to be run at Wisemans Park opposite the track and commencing at 10.00 am. Athletes will then return to the track for 60m, 200m, 800m, discus, walk and high jump commencing at 10.30 am on Sunday 26 June.