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Sprinters and hurdlers fire up Blacktown

Sprinters and hurdlers fire up Blacktown

Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Sunday, 29 November 2015/Categories: News

29 November 2015


Sprinters and hurdlers fire up Blacktown


Round five of the Treloar shield, held at Blacktown yesterday, included a large number of sprints and hurdle events, bring the speed merchants out in large numbers. They were joined by a group of our Rio Olympic hopefuls, who had competed two weeks earlier at the State relays but were now making their season debut as individuals.


One of the highlights of the day was the win in the open 400 metres by 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion, Jessica Thornton (ILL) in a world junior qualifier of 53.52. She defeated Molly Blakey (RBH) who ran 54.82, within half a second of a world junior qualifier. Thornton’s time was her third fastest ever and fastest on home soil. It moved her into the top-20 under-18 athletes in the world this year.


In the 100m hurdles, world championships semi-finalist, Michelle Jenneke (SYU) was pushed all the way to the line by national bronze medallist Abbie Taddeo (ILL) as they clocked 13.64 to 13.66 (0.0). In third was talented all round teenager Bella O’Grady (UTN) who ran 14.20 and remains in touch with the world junior standard of 13.85. She also was not far short of a qualifier in the 100m clocking 11.94, chasing the standard of 11.80. This summer O’Grady has also run impressive times of 24.34 (200m) and 55.63 (400m), both near the world junior qualifier. The 100m was won by Taddeo who ran 11.87.


Hayden Kovacic (WES) has made a remarkable comeback to athletes over the last 12 months and that journey continued impressively with a win over World University Games finalists Jin Su Jung (SYU) and Ben Jaworski (CHE). Kovacic ran 10.44 to edge Jung 10.45 with Jaworski this in 10.58. Unfortunately the wind reading of 2.8m/s, was a little over the legal limit, therefore Kovacic personal best remains at his early season run of 10.58.

“To be honest it was a bit messy at the end today. I pulled up with a little cramp,” Kovacic said.

“I’m hoping to run in the 10.3s this season but the hamstring today might set be back a few weeks.”


It was just over 12 months that the previously talented junior athlete remerged in the senior rankings. Prior to last Christmas he ran 10.69 twice and a windy 10.56, but unfortunately he didn’t complete the summer.

“I had some family problems last year,” explained Kovacic who is a third year student studying Primary School teaching.

“I consider my improvement is due to more strength as I have increasing my weight training a lot - from one day a week to three. “


In the junior hurdles, Trinity Grammar’s Byron Hollingworth-Dessent continues to threaten the NSW under-16 100m hurdles record of 12.98 held by Jarrod Twigg (WOL). Hollingworth –Dessent, who ran 12.99 at the NSW All Schools, clocked 13.12 yesterday to defeat Nicholas Dang (CHE) 13.88.

Twigg was also in action yesterday and continued his rivalry with Barker College’s William Lloyd (UTN), taking the under-18 hurdles in 13.99 with Lloyd running 14.08.


Thirteen-year-old Mia Hemsworth (CHE), who steps up and runs the under-16 90m hurdles, ran 12.92 yesterday, quicker than her NSW All Schools times of 13.10 and 13.12. Her training partner, Imogen Breslin (CHE) was a close second in 13.17.


In the 200 metres, Ben Jaworski (CHE) clocked a sharp early season time of 21.18, leading home three teenagers. Second was Mounties sprinter Abu Anas Gabana in a personal best time of 21.44. Third was 2014 world junior representative, James Kermond (CBT) 21.56 and fourth was 2016 world junior aspirant Zach Holdsworth (ILL) 21.92.


In the masters, Kylie Strong (UTN) nailed a double in the 40+ years running times of 13.37 and 27.36. In the men’s 85-year-old Brian Sharpe (MIN) broke the NSW age records with his 200m time of 44.29 and 400m of 1:45.99.


In the distance races, Oliver Hoare (SUT), 18, was the star, winning the 1500m in a personal best of 3:52.74, moving him to within reach of the world junior standard of 3:48.0.


Other highlights were:

  • Men open shot – Liam Speers (UTN) 15.31m

  • Heptathlete Alysha Burnett (CHE) shot 12.53m, long jump  5.41m

  • U16 shot Kevin Yang (CHE) 14.08m

  • U20 men hammer throw Costa Kousparis (HIL) 64.98m

  • Masters sprints Ashley McMahon (UTN) 100m 11.41 and 200m 23.21

  • U18 100m Sara Dougan (AEA) 12.47


David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW

Image: Trinity Grammar’s Byron Hollingworth-Dessent leads Nicholas Dang  (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)




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