Illawarra Blue Stars athletes had some of the best performances for some time when they took on the might of the state in the NSW State relay titles.
Held at Homebush in wintery, raining conditions on the first day, the club’s open men’s 4 x 100m defied all the odds of a place when they ran the fourth fastest time in their heat to progress to the final.
A gutsy, determined team of Connor Dymond Lachlan Parry, Chris Devery and Kyle Grubnik pushed reputations aside to take out a much deserved third placing in the final – an achievement the club has not had for many years.
They were not content with the 4 x 100m and backed up on the Sunday to advance to the final of teh 4 x 200m, again in 4th spot, but were just run down for by Sydney University for the silver medal. The team was the same except for Cameron Chisolm for Kyle Grubnik, again bringing home a bronze medal for their fabulous efforts.
The club has never had placings like this in open men’s for a long time and it was a joy to see five of the club’s leading male athletes combine for such a mighty effort.
Our under 18 men’s high jump team of Nicholas Horton and Jye Shumack combined with two athletes from Athletics Wollongong, Austen Lantry and female jumper Rossie Tozzer, to bring home the gold medal.
This was one place up from last year’s silver and was a tense event for our athletes as they duelled away in trying conditions . This gold medal performance was a great achievement for the talented group of jumpers.
The club’s masters men’s were superb in the 200 division, taking out 2nd in the 4 x 800m on the first day with Colin Clarson, Darren James, David McCann and Geoff Hynoski all running great legs.
The same team also took 4th in the 4 x 200m.
It was a gold medal performance in the 4 x 400m with Clarson, James, McCann combining with John Lamb to not only win the gold but winning the race by a commanding and dominating distance.
They also took out 5th in the 4 x 100m.
Our masters women again came through with two thirds in the women’s 4 x 100m and 4 x 200m with Rina Flynn, Diane O’Toole, Sarah Guevara and Gianne Mogentale combining in both teams
What can we say about the team of Jessica Hogg, Kaitlyn Neto, Kaisha Edwards and Toyah Edwards taking on the might of some of the state’s leading open women.
They did it proudly and were pleased with their efforts, a platform they set for the under 16 women of Ashlyn Adams, Grace Adams, Emma Matthews,Eve Way, Nathasha Hynoski and Charlotte Smith who all showed outstanding sportsmanship in all their events.
The under 16 women was one of the toughest and most competitive on the program and IBS athletes performed well. The same is said for the women’s under 14 team who again showed the sportsmanship and courage the club is known for. The under 14 squad of Charlotte Smith, Ashlyn Adams and Arian Lopreitato combined with Athletics Wollongong’s Elenor Tozzer to finish in the top 6 of the 4 x 200m, 4 x shot and 4 x long jump.
What a great weekend for the club – both result wise and also for courage and sheer determination and sportsmanship.