Athletics NSW’s largest carnival for the year, the NSW Relay Championships, saw over 800 teams compete over the weekend of 18 – 19 Novmber. In an atmosphere fueled by club spirit and friendly rivalry, 10 State Records were broken.
Particularly noteworthy performances were recorded in the Open Men’s division, with records being broken in the 4x1500m and the 4x High Jump.
In the 4x1500m a strong Randwick-Botany Harriers team consisting of Jeff Farrelly, Jeff Hunt, Brad Woods and Jeremy Roff took over two seconds off the previous NSW Record held by Sydney University. The team recorded a time of 15:29.92, lapping all other teams in the race in the process. Particularly strong solo runs were recorded over the last two legs by Brad Woods (3:47) and Commonwealth Games finalist Jeremy Roff (3:45).
The 4x High Jump relay saw Asics Wests produce a winning total of 8.15m, 10 centimetres higher than the previous record held by Sydney Pacific. In a consistent performance where all four members of the team cleared 2 metres or more, Asics Wests won by a margin of 55 centimetres. The highest jump of the day was recorded by Mark Taylor, with a jump of 2.10m.
Winning the Open Women’s 4x1500m was a Randwick-Botany Harriers team which consisted entirely of U18 athletes. A close tussle with the Randwick-Botany Harriers ‘B’ team pushed the younger team of Amy Neville, Alexis McKillop, Selma Kajan and Claire Doyle to break the NSW U18 Record. Their winning time of 18:35.29 was under a second outside the Australian U18 Record.
Although not record breaking performances, exciting races and quality performances were recorded elsewhere on the track and in the field.
A well drilled quartet from Bankstown Sports produced sizzling performances in the short sprint relays. The team, consisting of Kris Neofytou, Ambrose Ezenwa, Isaac Ntimoah and Anthony Alozie dominated the Open Men’s 4x100m. Their winning time of 40.93 saw them finish over a second in front of the University of NSW. Even more impressive was their heat run of 40.2. Unfortunately the team was disqualified after their heat of the 4x200m due to an infringement on the final leg.
A highlight as always were the Medley relays. The event, which consists of legs of 200m, 200m, 400m and 800m produced two close finishes. Coming into the final change of the Mens race, UTS Northern Suburbs held a two stride lead over Sydney University. The final leg was a tactical battle between two of Australia’s finest 800m runners, Nick Bromley (UTS Norths) and Werner Botha (Sydney University). Botha set sail with 300m to go and held on to win by a second, running a sub 1:50 leg in the process.
The Women’s race came down to a close tussle over the 800m leg between Commonwealth Games 4x400m Gold Medallist Rosemary Hayward (Central Coast Region) and Katie French (UTS Northern Suburbs). Hayward proved too strong in the end, holding on to win by less than a second.
In the field the highlight individual performance was a World Youth qualifier in the Discus by Vika Lolo (South Sydney). Lolo threw a personal best of 46.84m. Also throwing in the competition was World Junior Champion Dani Samuels (Westfields), who had the leading throw of the day with 50.55m. The longest throw in the Men’s competition was 49.21m by Stuart Gyngell (Gosford).
A full list of NSW Relay Records broken is below:
Open Men 4x1500m Randwick-Botany Harriers 15:29.92
Open Men 4xHigh Jump Asics Wests 8.15m
U18 Men 4x1500m Walk Nepean 26:38.58
U18 Men 4xJavelin Westfields 174.90m
120+ Men 4x400m University NSW 3:28.00
160+ Men 4x1500m Sydney Striders 17:15.71
Open Women 4xJavelin UTS Norths 148.39m
U18 Women 4x1500m Randwick-Botany Harriers 18:35.29
U14 Women 4xShot Put Westfields 41.86m
120+ Women 4x100m NSW Masters 49.63
120+ Women 4x200m NSW Masters 1:45.45
160+ Women 4x1500m Hills 20:23.98