Athletics Essendon has enjoyed a big opening weekend of the Victorian Track and Field Championships at Albert Park with an impressive haul of 30 medals.
The first edition of the combined open and junior event saw Essendon athletes pick up a total of 12 gold, eight silver, and 10 bronze medals across the opening three days of competition at Lakeside Stadium.
Christopher Mitrevski provided one of the most thrilling moments of the first weekend in tying for gold with St Kevin’s athlete Joel Bee in the open men’s 100m, the photo finish judges unable to separate the pair after both clocked 10.62sec.
In stark contrast, Rio Olympic semi-finalist Linden Hall had nothing to race but the clock as she powered clear of the field through the first lap of the open women’s 1500m, ultimately falling just short of a World Championships qualifying mark in posting 4min 8.98sec.
Charlotte Wilson also produced a dominant display of distance running in the open women’s 3000m steeplechase to win by almost a minute in setting a big personal best of 10min 10.83sec, while Meggan O’Reilly (13.03m) and Nneka Okpala (12.97m) claimed an Essendon quinella after a tight tussle in the open women’s triple jump.
Among the top junior performers were Emily Portaro, Catherine Mendes and Ruby Pizzo, who claimed one gold each in their combined haul of six medals.
The results also have Essendon well placed to claim yet another HH Hunter Shield title, awarded to the champion club across the Victorian Championships. The club currently sits atop the standings with 132 points, well clear of second-placed Melbourne University on 84.
The 2017 Victorian Track and Field Championships will conclude this weekend.