Track and Field: Illawarra Blue Stars

Our Little A's Dual registered members will take on the best in the state when they contest the NSW State Little/s titles to be held on March 16-17 at Homebush. These young athletes have been through zone, regional to make the state titles, giving them a very hectic season of track and field. Many IBS athletes have made it to this level and we congratulate you all on a great season and wish you call the best for the state titles. Making it to this level is an achievement in itself.

Under 23 and Open State titles were held last weekend at Homebush and it was great to see our under 23 and open men making it to the National titles to be held this year at Homebush on March 31 right through to April 7. Being one of the largest National titles to be held, more than 3500 athletes are expected to take part which will include the under 14, under 15, under 16, under 17, under 18, under 20, under 23 and open male and female.

And what a journey these athletes have had to make it to this level. Qualifying by meeting the standards set by Athletics Australia, then contesting State titles last weekend, then off to Nationals. The nationals are going to be a show of the talent that is within Australia in all ages, and an event that athletic minded people should try and attend.

Blue Stars will have Emma Matthews, Grace Adams, Ashlyn Adams, Grace Shaw, Jake Attwell, in the youth and Lachlan Parry, Kyle Grubnic and Connor Dymond qualifying for the men's Open National titles. We wish them all the best and once again making it to these titles is an achievement as NSW this year has shown that the talent in all ages in most events is very high. Lachlan Parry's run over the 200 metres to take out 8th overall was one of his better runs and he should be pleased with that effort after making the semi-finals the day before in the 100 metres open title.

Jake Attwell

Jake Attwell

Jake Attwell's performance in the open mens 5km walk was a fantastic effort. Jake has now qualified for the national titles but will contest his own age bracket. His personal best time of 25min 21.71sec placed him 7th in the open men and 6th in the under 23 title. Jake could not contest the under 18 state titleswalk due to other commitments, an it is great to see him take on the older athletes and meet the qualifying standard by well under 5 minutes.

Last titles to be held will be the Australian Masters and Blue Stars will be well represented at this event. Like all years our masters athletes have excelled at these titles, and this year looks like heading in the same direction. Our Masters athletes are among the best in the land, an in some cases, among the best in the world for their age brackets. Mary Thomas will jump off the plane after competing in the World Masters Indoors an will virtually step on another plane and head to Melbourne for the Australian Masters that will be held from April 26-29. Not bad for an athlete who recently had major surgery.

Blue Stars will be conducting a full-on winter program and it will be an exciting one with new courses added for cross-country. Conducting cross-country and also the winter track and field series will give all athletes the opportunity to prepare for school meets, international meets and also just to maintain fitness and health. Our first meet will be held on Sunday, April 7, with a cross-country event being held at Wisemans Park, distances being 2km or 4km. This will commence at 10am and athletes are asked to be on time and meet on the grassed oval behind the bowling club. Then over to the track and a morning of sprints and throws will be held with 60 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres and shot, javelin, hammer for all ages from under 8 right through to masters men and women. All athletes are encouraged to attend and visitors are most welcome. A gold coin is the only charge for cross-country whilst the track has only an entry fee through the Leisure Centre. A full program for winter will appear on the club web site www.illawarrabluestars.com.

I cannot thank the officials that help out each week enough, whether it be at club level or at NSW hosted events. Our sport is the most diversified sport around and to have officials to conduct events each week is a must. Our technical officials are always on the go, with the above major meets being not only on one day but days on end.

Conditions are not always good but they remain committed to the athletes and to them all, we say a big thank you. If anyone is interested in becoming an official please let us know and Jodie Sundstrom will certainly guide you in the right direction. It can be very rewarding, and interesting. You don’t have to be connected to athletics at this stage, just interested in becoming an official. We at Blue Stars would love to hear from you.