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117th NSW State Championships Preview

117th NSW State Championships Preview

Author: Athletics NSW Administrator/Thursday, 27 February 2014/Categories: News

The 117th NSW Track and Field Championships will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre this weekend. First held in 1888, there is no doubt more history will be written at the 2014 edition of the championships which start on Friday at 6pm. A few events of particular interest are:

Women 100m hurdles

This event has it all. A host of rising talent, a Commonwealth Games prospect, and another looking for redemption with Commonwealth Games selection. The 2010 national champion Hayley Butler (Westfields) is on the comeback trail and already has impressed with a 24.13 200m. In 2010 she was selected for the Commonwealth Games, but had to withdraw with injury. Can she qualify again in 2014? One athlete standing in her way is World Junior Championship finalist Michelle Jenneke (Cherrybrook) who has been in top form this season and last week in Perth clocked a personal best of 13.34, just 0.01 seconds outside the Commonwealth Games B qualifier. A host of junior athletes will be after qualifiers to press their World Junior Championship claims including Katrina Hunt (UTS NorthsN), Liz Clay (UTS Norths), Hannah Jones (Cherrybrook), Alysha Burnett (Cherrybrook) and Queenslander Taneille Crase. We also see 2012 World Junior Championship representative, Abbie Taddeo (Illawarra Blue Stars) making the transition into the senior ranks. Queenslander Virginia Trad (13.69) rounds out the field.

Men 800m

With 32 entered the heats will be cutthroat with only the heat winners likely to be automatic qualifiers for the final. There is a strong lineup of NSW and Australia’s finest half milers. Chasing World Junior qualifiers will be Cameron Griffith (Trinity) and Mason Cohen (St Joseph’s). Leading seniors entered include: national 1500m bronze medallist Josh Wright (Mingara); national junior 800m bronze medallist Jordan Guzman (UTS Norths); and national 800m bronze medallist Jared West (Sydney Pacific) who last weekend ran a personal best of 1:47.74.

Men High Jump

A re-match between Perth Track Classic duo Chris Dodd (Mingara) and Brandon Starc (Parramatta) who both climbed over 2.23m, their second Commonwealth Games B qualifiers.

Women AWD Long Jump

Jodi Elkington (Hills), a finalist in the 400m at the London Paralympics, turns her attention to the long jump to seek selection for the Commonwealth Games. She already has two A qualifiers, but is being pursued by Central Coast’s Rae Anderson (Mingara) who has B qualifiers. Also competing are dual Paralympic Games medallist Kathryn Proudfoot (Macquarie Hunter) and international Sarah Walsh (Sutherland), who last month competed in an indoor competition in Glasgow.

Women 1500m

A large field of 28 athletes requires preliminary rounds in an event which is brisling with talent including: Anna Laman (Parramatta) 4:15.23 last week in Perth; Nat Archer (Sydney Uni) a World Junior qualifier over 5000m; Jenny Blundell (Sydney Uni) who clocked a personal best time of 4:16.45; Milly Clark (Sydney Uni) former national 3000m steeplechase champion; Jessica Hull (Kembla Joggers), a World Junior 3000m qualifier; Kate Spencer (Ryde) NSW 5000m champion; Georgia Wassall (Asics West), a World Youth  800m championships finalist; and Kelly Young (Sydney Uni) a 4:14 athlete.

Women Discus Throw

Australia’s three leading discus throwers and leading junior all enter the discus circle for a great clash. Former World Champion Dani Samuels (Westfields) should win comfortably from her training partner and new No 2 in national rankings, Christie Chamberlain (Westfields), who will have a great battle with current national champion Alix Kennedy (Sydney Uni). Kennedy will be looking to join the others on the Commonwealth Games qualifiers list, falling just 10cm short in Adelaide two weeks ago. The nation’s No 2 junior Tai Denicaucau (Hills) will be looking to enhance her World Junior team prospects.

Men 400m

A most intriguing race, with form among a number of the leading athletes uncertain.  In the mix are: Olympian Joel Milburn (Asics West) 47.59 last month; World Championships representative Kurt Mulcahy (Sutherland) 47.31 this month;  World University Games representative Matt Lynch (Mingara) and NSW leader (with 46.76); and teenager James Kermond (Campbelltown).

Men Javelin

A repeat of his seasonal best of 78.05m will ensure Matt Outzen (Westfields) is tough to beat. He will be pushing for a Commonwealth Games A qualifier of 81.00m. Also currently sitting on a B qualifier is mid-north coast’s Ben Baker (Asics West). Interest will surround whether Rhys Stein (Asics West) can add just 9cm to his seasonal best of 68.41m and nail a World Junior qualifier. His next target is his brother Jake’s personal best of 69.61m. Jake will also line up in the javelin on Saturday.

The blue ribbon event - Men’s 100m

This will be a classic showdown between the nation’s leading sprinters Jarrod Geddes (Sydney Uni), Josh Clarke (UTS Norths) and Jake Hammond (Illawong). In the last few weeks they have clocked personal best times of 10.30, 10.36 and 10.38 respectively.

Recent winners

98        Paul Henderson (Asics West)         10.51

99        Paul Henderson (Reebok)               10.70

00        Augustine Nketia (NZ)                       10.37w

             Dean Capobianco (Homebush)     10.41w

01        Troy Davies (Illawarra Blue Stars) 11.04 (-4.4)

02        David Baxter (Vic)                                10.86 (-2.6)

03        Matt Shirvington (Asics West)       10.60 (-2.8)

04        Adam Miller                                           10.56 (-0.5)

05        Ambrose Ezenwa                                10.41 (0.1)

06        Josh Ross (Vic)                                      10.48 (-1.3)

             Daniel Batman (St George)              10.50

07        Ambrose Ezenwa                                10.52 (0.4)          

08        Matt Shirvington (Asics West)       10.51 (-1.7)

09        Ambler (NZ)                                           10.47 (-0.6)

             Keith Sheehy (Maquarie Hunter) 10.55

10        Isaac Ntiamoah (Bankstown)                         10.46 (0.3)

11        Anthony Alozie (Asics West)                          10.48 (0.0)

12        Josh Ross (Vic)                                      10.41(-0.4)

             Tim Leathart (Sydney Pacific)         10.43

13        Tim Leathart (Sydney Pacific)         10.61 (-1.1)

Most Wins

7              Fred Martin (Asics West)             

5              Bob Lay (Asics West) and Andrew Ratcliffe (Sutherland/Uni NSW/St George)

4              Tim Jackson (UTS Norths)

Fastest Times

10.41 (-0.4)         Josh Ross (Vic)

10.41 (0.1)           Ambrose Ezenwa (NSW)

History of the NSW Championships

The championships hold a long and prestigious history. Grand Prix style competitions have become popular in recent years, but history will document and record the state champion annually.

The championships have only been missed on a few occasions, since the inaugural championships in 1888. Championships were not held in 1891 and 1894, and then continued until two four-year suspensions due to World Wars as follows:  World War I 1917 to 1920, World War II 1941-1944.


First Men’s Championships

After the NSW Amateur Athletics Association was formed in 1887, the first NSW Track and Field Championship were held on the Saturday September 8, 1888.

Conducted at the ninth annual Ashfield Amateur Athletics Club Annual Sports meeting just one championship event was held - the men’s 100 yards. The meet, held on the Recreation Ground in Ashfield, included a number of other track events: half-mile Ashfield Club Championship, one mile open walk handicap, 200 yards ladies bracelet handicap, 150 yards maiden race, 120 yards hurdles, 130 yards handicap, 400 yards steeplechase, 400 yards handicap, one mile walk handicap, 200 yards All Schools and one mile handicap.

There were four competitors in the 100 yards championship of NSW, won by William (Billy Mac) Macpherson (Ashfield Amateur Athletic Club) in a time of 10.4 seconds (equal to about 11.3 for 100m). Second was G Maiden jr (Ashfield AAC), third H Schwartzkoff (Eastern Suburbs AAC) and fourth CT Morath (ES AAC). The race was conducted on a newly laid cinders track.

First Women’s Championships

The women’s association was formed in 1932 however the men’s association conducted a few women’s state championships, starting on Saturday March 13, 1926. Held in conjunction with the men’s championships at Manly Oval, three events were held: 75 yards, 100 yards and 440 yards relay. Twenty-three women entered the 100 yards and five heats were conducted. The winner was Australia’s first female Olympian Edie Robinson, who clocked 12.3 (equal to about 13.3 for 100m). In this era, the women competed for companies including the Vice Regal Club, David Jones, Hordernian, D and W Murray and Swords Club.

David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall Athletics NSW

Image: hurdler Hayley Butler (courtesy of David Tarbotton)


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