Athletes up with Aussie's finest
TWO tenacious medal successes, 11 personal bests and a standout season performance confirmed Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitors are among Australia's leading achievers.
A club record 14 athletes impressed at the Australian Youth Championships in Sydney last weekend.
"I'm really stoked," club president and respected coach Vic Pascoe said.
"It's good to see such young talent coming through. It's excellent."
Larissa Chambers and Madeline Mcguire led the way, winning a silver and bronze medal respectively.
Chambers finished second in the under-18 200m in 24.80s after a personal best 24.68s dash in her heat.
However, Chambers injured herself in the run and missed her main under-18 100m event.
"Her hamstring actually went 80 metres from the start and she actually slowed down," Pascoe said.
"When she went past me with 50m to go she was running fifth and got back up to run second.
"Then she was laying on the track screaming with the pain and she couldn't run the 100m."
Although the promising sprinter will be unable to train for six weeks, she won't miss any major competition.
Consistent West Moreton Anglican College performer Mcguire produced an exceptional run in the under-16 800m. She won her first national medal in a personal best 2.13.69.
A product of Ipswich Little Athletics, the middle distance runner stayed out of trouble in fourth for most of the two-lap test before unleashing her trademark finishing kick over the final 200m.
Pascoe was also delighted with club athletes Connor O'Leary, Connor McNamara and Josh Stockill.
O'Leary missed winning bronze in the under-18 2000m steeplechase by just 0.03 second. He ran a 19-second personal best time of 6.12.07.
Under-20 steeplechaser McNamara sliced 23 seconds of his previous best to finish ninth in 10.23.85. It was his first national championships.
Stockill was fourth in the U17 400m hurdles in a personal best time of 58.80.
"It was only his fourth or fifth time hurdling," said Pascoe, who sees a huge future for the athlete.
Pascoe said the number of fourth placings augured well for his athletes leading into next year's Australian Youth Championships in Perth.
Other club athletes to narrowly miss medals were Heather Burridge, Erika Berlin and Cassie Purdon.
Burridge threw a season-best 35.59m in the under-16 javelin after struggling with a back injury.
Berlin's personal best came in the under-17 400m hurdles (1.06.66), while high jumper Purdon leapt 1.7m in her under-17 event.
Other athletes to set PBs were Majella Pearl (sixth in U14 80m hurdles and seventh in U14 high jump), Tanika Marshall (14th in U16 90m hurdles), Tegan Haley (eighth in U17 2000m steeplechase) and Maranatha Raeli (ninth in U16 discus).
Pascoe praised club coaches Brad Robinson, Mick Moore and Bailey Pashley for their outstanding efforts bringing the athletes up to national standard.
The Australian Youth Championships was the last major club meeting of the season. The athletics focus switches to school competition and cross country events in coming months.
The annual QT Ipswich Mile Gift foot races on sand at Bundamba racetrack are also being planned for early May. Keep reading your QT for major athletics news.