Quality performances were recorded by middle distance athletes on the weekend, with the NSW Rankings for the season being dramatically rewritten after Invitation 800m events held at a lightning disrupted Australian Institute of Mathematics Allcomers Meet on Saturday night at SOPAC.
Recording the first and third quickest times in Australia this season were Lachlan Renshaw (Sydney University) and Matthew Hammond (Athletics East), who were part of the highest quality 800m race in Australia this season with five runners breaking 1:50.
Renshaw, who was Australia’s quickest 800m runner in 2006 with his 1:47.00 clocking at the World Junior Championships, was running in only his second race of the season after returning from injury. He and Hammond, along with third place getter on Saturday night, Mark Abercromby (Sydney University), and NSW Champion, Nick Bromley (UTS Norths), will provide a stiff challenge to the star performer in the event this season, Victoria’s Jeff Riseley when they race next at the National Championships in a fortnights time.
In years to come the above mentioned runners may have to watch out for 16 year old James Kaan (Hills Athletics) who impressed many keen observers when taking out the Victorian Open 800m title in Melbourne. Due to the depth in Victorian middle distance running, three rounds of the 800m needed to be held. The heavy schedule didn’t deter Kaan as he ran quicker each round against more fancied rivals such as 3:39 1500m runner Paul Hoffman (Woolgoolga). Kaan clocked his fourth World Youth qualifying standard in the semi final by running 1:52.37 before winning the final in by almost a second in a big personal best of 1:50.33.
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts at the Allcomers Meet, in the women’s event NSW Champion Alicia Bromley (UTS Norths) clocked a PB and the quickest time of the season by a NSW athlete this season with a run of 2:07.44, ahead of 15 year old Selma Kajan (Randwick-Botany Harriers) who clocked her second World Youth qualifier with a run of 2:08.46.
Recording his first World Youth qualifier was Blake Lucas (Campbelltown Collegians), who easily cleared a height of 4.75m in winning the Pole Vault. Lucas had encouraging attempts at 4.85m, which suggests that the NSW Record of 4.90m may be within reach this season.
Video of Blake Lucas' 4.75m clearance
Courtesy of Craig Schulstad
Unfortunately a number of events had to be cancelled on Saturday night under the Athletics NSW Lightning Policy. This was done to ensure the safety of athletes and officials. To ensure that athletes have sufficient competition for the remainder of the season, Athletics NSW is planning to reschedule some of the cancelled events within the next 10 days. Full details will be promulgated via the Athletics NSW website and eATHLETE by the close of business on Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of Photos In A Flash