23 November 2011
Mingara break 30 year old National relay record
Thirty years ago at the NSW Relay Championships, a South Coast team of juniors combined to set a NSW and Australian under-20 record. The team of Alan Ozolins, Michael Trinca, Earl and Wheeler, clocked 7:39.5 in the 4x800m relay. Ozolins was one of NSW’s finest half milers. The barrel chested Nowra athlete clocked a best of 1:50.5 as a junior and won the 1983 National junior title. But it was only the start of his career; as a senior athlete he won two national 800m titles (1985 and 1986) and clocked a best of 1:46.90. He also emerged as a talented 400m athlete, winning a silver medal in the 1985 national championships and clocking a best time of 46.10. He represented Oceania on the 4x400m relay in the 1985 World Cup where the team won a bronze medal. Michael Trinca was also in the South Coast team and was a good middle distance runner, clocking 3:53 for 1500m.
Last weekend a team from the Central Coast club, Mingara, took a shot at this record. To give themselves the best chance, they opted to compete against better competition in the open championships. Jesse Beadman got the team underway to a great start clocking 1:52.6 on the opening leg. The next leg was taken over by Robert Dredge, the grandson of NSW official John Smith who little known to many people was one of NSW’s finest race walkers. The modest Smith was winning NSW race walk titles in the ‘70s and represented Australia at the 1979 World Race Walking Cup in the 20km walk. Dredge kept the team on track clocking 1:55.7. Next up was Angus Baldwin, who clocked 1:54.3 to move the team into a strong position to take down the record. The anchor duties were assigned to Craig Cameron, who brought the team home in 1:56.5 as they clocked 7:39.31, just 0.19 seconds under the record.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Image Jesse Beadman in the white uniform of Mingara puts his team in a winning position in the open men’s 4x1500m on Saturday (courtesy of David Tarbotton)