Athletics team eyes national medals

IPSWICH regional athletes proved their national quality again by impressing in tough weekend conditions at the Queensland Junior Championships.

Despite the heat at QE2, 15 of the Ipswich and District Athletic Club’s 18 competitors made finals.

Club athletes joined forces to win a gold, four silver and three bronze medals as they prepare for next month’s Australian Junior Championships in Sydney.

“It was an excellent team performance,” Ipswich and District Athletic Club coach Vic Pascoe said.

Rising star Larissa Chambers led the way by winning the under-18 100m in 12.44 seconds.

“The highlight was Larissa winning the gold. She was the youngest competitor in under-18s,” Pascoe said.

“She ran 12.43 in the heat with a tailwind then 12.44 into a headwind . . . that would be her best performance by far.

“She’s got potential to represent Australia in a couple of years time.”

The club’s other medal winners were Ashlee Stieler, Isabelle Harland, Melissa Hamer, Jacqueline Griffin, Rhiana Webber, Kara-Lyn Hodges and Connor McNamara.

Stieler came second in the under-14 80m hurdles (14.44).

Harland’s silver was in the under-16 90 hurdles, with a personal best time of 30.69s.

Hamer added another silver to the Ipswich club’s collection by leaping a personal best 43.55m in the under-18 discus.

Griffin finished second in the under-20 high jump (1.68m).

Webber collected bronze in the under-14 triple jump (9.09m).

In under-20 competition, Hodges won a bronze in the long jump (4.19m).

McNamara completed the bronze tally with a personal-best effort of 11m25s in the 3000m steeplechase.

Pascoe expected a strong club turnout at the Australian Junior Championships from March 11-14.

“Of that group that won medals, everyone bar one has nominated to go,” Pascoe said.

Joshua Kemp, who missed a medal at the weekend, is also to contest the Australian Junior Championships.

Kemp is preparing to compete in Poland with the Ipswich Grammar School at this year’s World All Schools Knockout Track and Field Championships.

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