30 June 2019
Impressive international debut for NSW juniors at Oceania Championships
NSW athletes performed well competing out of season as members of a 173-strong Australian junior track and field team, where most were making their international debut competing in the under 18 and 20 events at the Oceania Championships last week in Townsville.
Dozens of NSW athletes were crowned Oceania champions and won medallists but some to really shine were sprinters Kristie Edwards and Rowena Craker, jumpers Zachary Hayward, Tomysha Clark and Desleigh Owusu and middle-distance runner Angus Beer.
NSW junior long jumpers were very strong. In the under-18s Tomysha Clark was languishing with just 5.32m on the board after round three, but she closed in a rush smashing her old PB of 5.76m, with leaps of 6.01m then an extraordinary 6.20m mark to win gold. Favourite for the under-20 event, national junior champion, Sam Dale won with her opening leap of 6.02m.
National senior 200m bronze medallists Kristie Edwards, competing in her own age group the under-20s, claimed the sprint double in times of 11.94 and 23.92. In the under-20 women’s 400m Rowena Craker won in a PB time of 54.37, running quicker than she did when winning the national under-20 in March.
In just his second year in the sport, the rise of Zachary Hayward continued, winning the under-20 Oceania high jump title. He cleared an equal PB height of 2.11m, before making attempts at 2.13m. Desleigh Owusu won the under-20 triple jump with a jump of 12.87m. She also leap 12.86m for a strong backup leap.
Newington’s Angus Beer claimed the under-18 middle-distance double when he added the 800m in 1:52.30 to his 1500m win on Tuesday where he clocked a PB time of 3:52.07 and led home an Australian trifecta. Tiahna Skelton won the under-18 400m hurdles by five seconds in a time of 60.86, just outside her PB of 60.09 set when she won the national under-20 title.
In the under-18 pole vault, NSW’s Ethan Princena-White won with a vault of 4.60m before missing a new PB height of 4.71m. His training partner Nikolai Simmons won the under-20 with a clearance of 4.40m.
There was a terrific competition in the under-18 triple jump between Sydney Pacific’s Ryan Marshall and Victorian Aiden Hinson. Ryan led early with a mark of 14.80m, just short of his 14.88m PB, but on his last attempt Aiden improved from 14.64m to 15.16m to take gold. In the under-20s there was also some impressive jumping by Connor Murphy leaping 15.01m for second.
World junior cross country representative Oli Raimond won the under-20 3000m in a good time of 8:38.78. There was a comfortable half second win for Nicolette Donofrio in the under-18 100m hurdles, clipping 0.01 second from the championships record clocking 13.90 seconds.
There was a see-sawing women’s under-18 javelin competition between Aussies teammates Lianna Davidson (NSW) and Salumi Robberts (SA). By the end of the competition they finished in the same order as the national under-18 championships last March where Lianna won from Salumi. In Townsville Lianna threw 47.92m and Salumi 46.85m.
NSW were strong in the men’s sprints with Christopher Ius winning the under-20 100m in 10.76, while in the under-18 100m Wagga’s Godfrey Okerenyang was a close second in a time of 10.87.
In the under-18 women’s 1500m, NSW athletes claimed a quinella with Imogen Gardiner winning from Nicola Hogg in times of 4:30.81 and 4:33.35 respectively. Hogg later won silver in the 800m in 2:11.85.
Abbey Rockliff (17:25.85) and Ella Heeney (17:33.17) finished second and third in the under-20 5000m. Youth Olympic Games athlete Sally Shokry was fourth in a high quality under-18 discus with a tremendous throw of 47.84m.
There was a very close battle in the U20 discus with NSW’s Callum Sutton prevailing with a mark of 43.47m, just 37cm ahead of his Australian teammate Stephen Fraser (ACT) with 43.10m.
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Zachary Hayward in the high jump (courtesy of David Tarbotton)