With less than one week to go until the 2019 Australian Athletics Championships, we take a closer look at some of WA’s best track and field athletes, who will be competing at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre from the 1-7 of April.
Rising star Kayla van der Linden (Under 18) will have her sights on a national medal after breaking the U16 State 800m record three times. Her latest record was set at the Jandakot Airport Track Classic, where she ran an impressive 3-second personal best of 2:05.56, which will definitely put her in medal contention.
Bernadette Williams will be one to watch in the Open Women’s 800m and 1500m, after continually running faster each race. Bernadette is the Open Women’s State Champion over 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m.
Declan Tingay will be going for gold in the Men’s Open 10,000m Race Walk. Declan holds the State 10,000m Race Walk record and has a World University Qualifier of 1:26.22.
Currently ranked 6th in Australia on the 2019 ranking, Matthew Ramsden will be aiming for a World Championships Qualifier and booking himself a ticket to Doha in September. Matthew currently has a personal best in the 1500m of 3:39.39.
Commonwealth Youth Games representative Melany Smart will be in strong medal contention, after breaking the Under 20 State Record in the Women’s 5,000m in a time of 16:08.30.
Silver medallist from 2018 Australian Junior Athletics Championships, Luke Shaw is currently ranked as number one for the Men’s Under 20 800m. Luke holds impressive personal bests for both the 400m and 800m, with 48.88 and 1:49.80 respectively.
Luke Graves will be racing to claim his National Champion title again, in the Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase. He currently holds an impressive personal best of 8:59.07.
WA’s young star, Brandon Ford is in peak form after breaking the Under 17 3,000m state record earlier this season, in 8:31.63. With a time of 8:31.63, Brandon will be in medal contention.
SPRINTS & HURDLES
In the Men’s 400m Hurdles, Ian Dewhurst will be the one to watch, with his sights set on a World Championship Qualifer. Ian is a World University Games bronze medallist and will be the favourite to top the podium at the Championships.
After recently setting a WA State All-comers Record in the Under 20 100m Hurdles, Isabella Reeves will be looking to go one better than her silver medal from the 2018 Australian Athletic Championships and will have every chance with a personal best of 13.83. Isabella will have her eyes on the WA Under 20 State Record, which is currently 13.6.
Fellow State Record holder and training partner Brianna Beahan is no stranger to the podium at Australian Championships, and this year will surely be no different, with Brianna demonstrating good form leading into the competition. After winning bronze at last year’s Championships, Brianna went on to place 5th at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in a thrilling race.
Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Sophie White is aiming to secure her national title in the Women’s Under 18 100m and 100m Hurdles. At last year’s championships Sophie impressively equalled Sally Pearson’s U18 100m Hurdles with a time of 13.14. Sophie will be looking towards the magic 13 second mark in what will surely be an exciting race.
Taylah Cruttenden will have her sights set on defending her national title, after winning the Women’s Under 16 100m at last year’s Championships. Taylah holds a personal best if 11.86, making her very competitive in her field.
WA State Champion in the 100m and 200m, Aaron Bresland, has showed strong form leading to this year’s Championships. With the men’s sprint event being a hot topic during the domestic season, Aaron will be in for a great weekend of racing in the Men’s 100m and 200m.
Adam Kopp will be stepping up to the Open age group for the Men’s 400m, after representing Australia in the 4x400m at the 2018 IAAF World Under 20 Championships. Adam holds an impressive personal best of 47.53.
Australian 2016 Paralympic Games representative, Ella Pardy (T38) is looking strong leading into the Championships, with a season best of 13.15 in the 100m. Ella already has two World Championships B Qualifiers to her name in the 100m and 200m. Silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Rhiannon Clarke (T38) will also have her eyes set on the podium, competing in the Women’s 100m, 200m and 400m Ambulant races. Rhiannon recently produced a new personal best and Under 20 Australian Record in the 400m, which also was a World Championships B Qualifying performance. Both Ella and Rhiannon will be aiming to secure their spot for the World Championships in Doha.
Reigning National Champion of the Women’s Under 20 Javelin, Lara Ilievski will be looking to defend her title, but also stake her claim in the Open Women’s Javelin too. Lara holds an incredible personal best of 52.08m and was an Australian representative at the World Under 20 Championships last year.
Finishing 4th at the 2018 Australian Athletics Championships, Cruz Hogan will have his sights set on a national medal in the Men’s Open Javelin. Cruz has an impressive personal best of 77.44m.
Courtney Heinze is set to have a great 2019 Championships, after breaking the men’s WA State Record in the Shot Put, where he threw an outstanding 18.41cm, breaking the previous record by 1cm.
Last year’s National Champion, Etienne Rousseau is in strong form, after achieving two personal bests in Discus (1.75kg) and Shot put (6kg), with throws of 45.55kg and 14.21 respectively. Etienne will be aiming to defend his national title at the upcoming Championships and qualify for the Oceania Championships later in the year.
2017 World Championships Bronze Medallist Sarah Edmiston will also have her sights set on the gold medal. Sarah has several World Championships qualifiers to her name already, putting her in great contention for selection for Doha later in the year.
Jackson Hamilton (F12) is in peak form heading into the championships, after breaking two Australian F12 Under 18 Para Records, both in Shot Put and Discus, with throws of 13.34m and 49.64m respectively.
It’s no surprise Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kurtis Marschall is ranked number one in Australia for the Men’s Pole Vault, with a personal best of 5.87m. Training partners Angus Armstrong, Declan Carruthers and Stephen Clough will also battle it out for a podium position in the Men’s Open Pole Vault, after close finishes last year. Another one to watch will be rising star Sasha Zhoya, who recently raised his personal best at the Jandakot Airport Track Classic in the pole vault to 5.40m, breaking the Australia Under 18 record. The record was previously held by one of his coaches, Paul Burgess, who was the 13th man in the world to each the magic 6.00m mark.
Lauren Hyde-Cooling is in strong form leading up to the championships, after achieving a new personal best in the pole vault last weekend, with a jump of 4.15m. Lauren will be aiming secure her national title in the Women’s U20 pole vault before stepping up to the Open Women’s Pole Vault, where she’ll face strong competition from Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist and training partner Nina Kennedy. Nina boasts a personal best of 4.71m, and will have her sights on the World Championships later this year.
Grant Szalek is in top shape after recently set a new personal best in the High Jump, with a jump of 2.21m at the Victorian Athletics Championships. The performance meant Grant now has two World University Games qualifing performances to his name.
Heptathlon star Kiara Reddingius was a silver medallist at the 2018 Athletics Championships, and she will face tough competition from training partner Celeste Mucci in the Open Women’s Heptathlon. Kiara has had an impressive season so far and will be one to watch over the two-day event.
On behalf of Athletics WA, we congratulate all athletes representing Western Australia and wish you all the best for competition. Athletics WA would also like to acknowledge the many WA Officials travelling to Sydney to assist in the delivery of a success 2019 Australian Athletics Championships.