24 February 2015
NSW Masters Championships Review
NSW masters athletes battled heat, rain and wind at the state championships held at Sydney Olympic Park last weekend.
With the recent news that the World Masters Association (WMA) have secured two masters events at the IAAF world championships, the men’s 50 years plus 800m and women’s 50 years plus 400m events, athletes were in pursuit of quick times to secure an invitation from performances submitted by 30 March 2015.
In the women’s events one of the best hopes of selection is Wollongong’s Gianna Mogentale (IBS) but it was her teammate Julie Forster who shone on the weekend with an impressive 65.19. She had warmed up with a win over Mogentale in the 200m 27.76 to 28.48.
Wollongong’s Christine Shaw (WOL) is one of the most impressive Australian masters athletes in both track and field events. Over the weekend she won seven events, the 60m, 200m, high jump, long jump, triple jump, discus and javelin. But she meet top competition in the 100m and shot from team mate, Marie Kay, who recorded very impressive marks of 13.44 and 11.44m respectively.
The fastest women’s 400 metres of the meet was clocked by former NSW open 800m champion, Janelle Delaney (SYP) clocking 60.18 to win the 45-49 years age. She also won the 200m in 26.74. Her club mate, Kriszta Kovacs won the 40-44 years 400m, 800m and 1500m treble. Two of her wins were thrilling finishes over Mingara’s Nicky Kelly. In the 400m she won by just 0.01 seconds 63.88 to 63.89, while in the 800m it was a three-way battle with Sydney University’s Anne Harrison taking the bronze as a little over one second separated the medallists. Kovacs and Harrison have strong connections to Athletics NSW, as Kovacs was a former competitions manager and Harrison’s dad, John, was a marketing board director.
Another of Australia’s finest masters athletes, Kimberley Fletcher (MAI), won medals across the 35-39 years age group. Fletcher won six events, the 400m, 800m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, long jump and triple jump. Particularly impressive were her marks in the 800m (2:24.07) and long jump (4.74m).
In the 40-44 years there were quality marks in the field events by two athletes who won doubles. Lynette Smith (GIR) won the high jump (1.54m) and javelin (33.00), while Alice Bohdan (BAL) took the long jump (4.44m) and triple jump (10.21m). Also in this age group, St George’s Samantha Latanis won four throws, the shot, discus, hammer and weight throw.
Always impressive is former NSW open thrower Gabrielle Watts (NEP) who won the shot, discus, hammer and weight throw. She threw 34.40m in the discus and putt 11.09m in the shot. Another leading thrower at the meet was Wallsend’s Melissa Holahan with a very impressive hammer throw of 49.36m in the 30-34 years age. She swept the throws.
June Lowe (IBS) dominated the 60-64 year age division winning the 60m, 100m, 80m hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot, discus, hammer throw, javelin and weight throw. Legend and former national open javelin champion Mary Thomas (IBS), competing in the 70-74 age division won the discus, hammer throw, weight throw and of courses javelin with a throw of 21.23m.
A number of former open NSW champions lined up in the younger age divisions. One was Chris Clegg (HIL) who cleared 4.40m to win the 30-34 years pole vault. Hurdler Greg Eyears (BAN) took out the 30-34 years 400m in 55.38. There was some quick running on the track in the 35-39 age with Armidale’s Jay Stone taking the long sprint double (200m 22.95, 400m 51.18) and Sydney Uni’s Brett Hall the 800m (1:57.59). Most impressive was Jamie Muscat (ILL) with a putt of 14.42m in the shot. He clean swept the throws and also had time to claim the high jump title.
Also quick was Greg Smith (MOU) in the 100m with 11.39, he also won the 60m in 7.32 – fastest time of the day. Woolgoolga’s Rodney Watson swept the five throws in the 40-44 years age division with a throw of 30.23m in the discus his most impressive.
There was some very competitive races across the 40-44 years sprints, with Mounties Chris Brack the winner in every event from club mate Krzysztof Wardecki in times of 7.61, 11.94, 24.21 and 53.55. Competing in the 45-49 age division, Athletics NSW board member, Andrew Watson (BAL), had a good meet, claiming eight medals and three titles in the triple jump, shot and discus.
One of the athletes of the meet was Mounties sprinter Darren Hughes. He won the sprint double in the 50-54 years age in very impressive times of 11.98, 24.05 and 53.94.
Former international athlete, Stuart Gyngell (WOL) was untroubled in the 50-54 years winning the shot (16.44m), discus (45.83m), hammer (45.03m) and weight throw (17.01m). Nepean’s 60-64 years athlete Ken Porter won the sprint treble, while former NSW decathlon champion, Clay Thompkins (UTN) taking the long jump, high jump and triple jump. Former Tasmanian and national junior triple jump medallist, Gavin Murray (NMA) won four throwing events with his best result in the hammer (41.18m) and discus (42.63m). Wollongong’s John Lamb (IBS) won the four sprints and two hurdles on offer in the 65-69 years age, while in the 70-74 years Neville McIntyre won the 60m, 100m, 200m and 400m and Donald Mathewson (HIL) swept the distance events 800m, 1500m and 5000m. The oldest athlete competing was Central Coast 84-year-old Brian Sharpe (MIN) who has a long association in the sport from his days in Orange. He won silvers in the 200m and javelin.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image: Kriszta Kovacs and Nicky Kelly (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)