Ipswich athletes chase national times on valuable trip north
SEVENTEEN of the region's best athletes have extra reasons to be excited and focused over the next three days.
After months without major competition, the Ipswich and District Athletic Club contingent are on their way to Mackay, or are already in the city, for this weekend's North Queensland Championships.
However, the titles provide more than a valuable meeting to test recent training progress following the COVID-19 restrictions.
The North Queensland championships give the club athletes a chance to secure a spot at next year's national titles.
Club president and coach Vic Pascoe said the athletes were bubbling with anticipation.
"They are all pumped up, keen as mustard,'' Pascoe said.
"The opportunity now is to qualify for next year's nationals.''
The Ipswich club team features a mix of established competitors and an injection of fresh talent from Ipswich's successful Little Athletics Centre.
Far from being daunted, 12 years competitors like Mackenzie Crowley, Indiana Platen, Catherine Tamate and Isabella Willshire have already displayed promising athletic careers.
"I reckon they will perform,'' Pascoe said, having seen them transition into the senior club.
"Out of the 17 that's coming up, I reckon more than half will come back with a medal.''
They include all-rounder Charlize Goody who has current Australian rankings for under 18, under 20 and open discus, despite being 14.
Past state and national level athletes like Madison Wells, Mikaela Doneley, Hayley Webber, Ashlee Stieler and Elizabeth Melrose will up against quality opponents.
"Basically the 100 yards and 100 metres open competition is very close to national title final (standard),'' the highly credentialed Ipswich coach said.
The athletes have been able to train normally in recent weeks after stage 3 restrictions were eased. Prior to that, it was one-one-one coaching during the shutdown.
However, they haven't been challenged at a major competition since the Queensland titles in early March.
The annual tradition-rich Ipswich Winter Carnival was also called off this year, denying the athletes an extra opportunity to launch into a new season.
Recent smaller competitions under strict COVID-19 restrictions at QSAC gave the athletes important opportunities to hone their skills.
A number of the club athletes are headed to Mackay in car pools, or went up earlier to enjoy an extended holiday while in the northern centre.
The Ipswich and District Athletic Club team contesting the North Queensland Championships in Mackay from Friday to Sunday.
Mackenzie Crowley: 12yrs hammer throw, javelin, shot put, discus.
Indiana Platen: 12yrs long jump, 100m, high jump, 200m.
Catherine Tamate: 12yrs long jump, triple jump, 200m, 80m hurdles.
Isabella Willshire: 12yrs long jump, 1500m, high jump, 200m, 800m.
Hayley Condon:13yrs shot put, discus, javelin.
Tiana McKimmon: 13yrs high jump, long jump, pole vault.
Abbie Severinsen: 13yrs 200m hurdles, 80m hurdles; U16yrs heptathlon.
Charlize Goody: 14yrs hammer throw, javelin, discus, shot put; U16 heptathlon.
Mikaela Doneley: 15yrs 200m hurdles; U18 400m hurdles, heptathlon.
Mickeelie Johnson: U18 100m.
Sebastion Sills: 11yrs shot put.
Hemi Rakuita: 12yrs 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump, shot put.
Ethan Platen: 14yrs long jump, 400m, 100m, 200m.
Madison Wells: U20 heptathlon.
Haley Webber: U20 long jump, triple jump.
Ashlee Stieler: Open 100 yards, javelin, 200m.
Elizabeth Melrose: Open 100m, 400m, 200m.