Athletics Wollongong athletes shine at Nationals

Twenty-one athletes representing Athletics Wollongong contested the Australian Athletics Championships at SOPAC from April 1-7. This squad was the largest we have seen compete at this elite level from our club.

To get to this level takes a lot of sacrifice, training and preparation. A total of 16 medals were won, 12 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. There were a number of standout performances of the meet:

Chelsea Ezeoke GU14. 400m. Last year as a 12-year-old, Chelsea took out the Australian GU14 400m crown against quite a respected field. This year the expectation was a lot higher. Commentators not wanting to jinx her chances were clearly trying to avoid stating the obvious. Once the final had started it was pretty obvious by 150 metres that the race was Chelsea's to lose.

At the beginning of the 100m straight the lead was close to 30 metres. By the time she hit the 50m the lead was at least 40 metres. - a lead she kept right to the end, winning in race record time of 56.45sec. Tayissa Buchanan from Albion Park was 3rd in 59.24sec.

The 200m final was billed as the great match race pitting Chelsea, the 400m champion, against the great Tasmanian sprinter Chelsea Scolyer, the 100m champion. The race was quite a nail-biting affair. It was never clear at any stage as to who would win. Finally the finish cameras gave it to Chelsea by a margin of 1/100th of a sec in a time of 25.32sec.

Delta Amidzovski GU14 is a jumps powerhouse who could go a long way in the future. In the 80m hurdles she was the fastest qualifier in 12.27sec and then came out guns blazing and fired a very quick 12.09sec winning quite comfortably. The 200m hurdles weren't available in her age group, so she contested the next level up, coming second in that division in 29.03sec.

This was then followed by two amazing jumps performances with a gold winning 1.72m in the high jump and another gold winning the long jump in 5.64m. Delta and Chelsea combined together in the 4X100m relay winning gold and almost equalling the state record in 48.47sec.

Karlee Symonds Para U20. This brave little para athlete put in a huge performance - 100m 1st 15.34sec, 200m 1st 30.94sec and the 400m 1st 1min 13.77sec.

Rosie Tozer GU18 won her age group high jump with 1.79m and backed up in open class with a 7th at 1.74m.

Tierney Dunne GU18, did quite well against large fields in the 100m and 200m. In the 100m was second fastest qualifier 12.49sec and came 3rd in the final 12.15sec. In the 200m blitzed her heat in 24.61 seconds and won bronze in the final in 24.53sec.

James Turner. Gold in open para 400m 53.67sec.

Jamed Gorham MU18 Pole Vault Silver 4.35 metres.

Other top 10 results:

Charlize Colwell Para U16 100m 8th 17.55sec, long jump 6th 2.69m.

Jackie Lenartowicz. GU16 Hammer 7th 34.76m.

Karen Clarke Open Women. Discus 9th 42.89m, Javelin 7th 48.89m. Karen has been a long time supporter of the club and we are very grateful for the effort she puts into open tournaments.

Kirra Lockett Para U20 Discus U20 4th 21.59m Discus Open class 6th 23.28m Shot U20 5th 6.82m.

Lara Check GU17 Long jump 6th 5.44m. Lara also competed in the 100m and High jump.

Tegan Berry GU18 100m Final 8th 12.81 sec.

(See more photos at www.advertiserlaketimes.com.au)