This weekend will see more than 1100 of the country’s best school aged athletes battle it out in Adelaide for the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships. Western Australia will be represented by a 112-athlete strong team looking to bring home the Small State Trophy for the third consecutive year.
Amongst WA’s strongest competitors will be track star Sophie White who will line up in the U18 100m hurdles, U16 100m and U16 200m. White comes into the Australian All Schools after a quick start to the 2017/18 season, having recently broken WA’s decades old U18 200m record, as well as the U16 and U20 200m record. White has an impressive history at the underage championship having also set national and meet records at last year’s All Schools in Canberra.
"I'd like to think I am going to All Schools strong, I'm heading over with the aim to run a few personal bests." White said.
"The start of the season has definitely given me some confidence. The mental aspect of breaking a record gives you a sense of confidence, but I think to be competitive in you events you have to aim to produce your best, regardless of what you did beforehand."
Sasha Zhoya and Jackson Hamilton will be looking to replicate their outstanding 2017 National results from earlier in the year. Aged just 14 at the time, Zhoya set two under 17 world leads and collected a staggering five national titles. Looking to cement his place at the forefront of junior athletics in Australia, Zhoya will compete in the U18 boys 110m hurdles, U16 pole vault and U16 200m. Hamilton will be looking to capitalise on a stellar lead up to the All Schools, with the F12 thrower having broken the Australian Para U16 Discus, Javelin and Shot Put records multiple times already this season. Hamilton is set to compete in the U16 Para Shot Put, Discus and Long Jump.
One of WA’s new comers Jonathon Garlett will be an athlete to watch in the U18 High Jump competition. The Geraldton athlete will be making his state debut after qualifying for the team in trying conditions at the Go For 2&5 WA All Schools Championships. Battling wet and windy conditions, the Jacko Whitby coached athlete cleared 1.95m in the U18 High Jump competition to become the first indigenous athlete to win a High Jump State championship in Western Australia.
The WA team will be captained by thrower Lara Ilievski and hurdler Nathaniel Bond-Williams. Both athletes have been a staple in the Athletics WA teams for the last few years and will be aiming to leave the school aged competition on top. Ilievski is set to contest the javelin, while Bond-Williams has five events on the cards.
Fellow U18 competitors Caitlin Blackman and MJ Jansen van Rensburg will also be up amongst WA’s top medal contenders. Blackman will be looking to better her 2017 National performance in the Triple and Long Jump, while MJ will lead WA’s strong middle-distance contingent with a run in the 2000m Steeplechase and 1500m.
Finally, Lauren Hyde Cooling will head WA’s ever strong group of pole vaulters with the UWA athlete looking to secure her spot in the Australian U20 World Championship team having jumped the 4.05m qualifier two weeks ago.
To follow all the action from the 2017 Australia All Schools Championships be sure to follow Athletics WA’s Facebook page and keep up to date with all of the results HERE.