Wow, what a weekend for our junior athletes! With just over 60 athletes representing the club at the Victorian Track & Field Championships (U14-U18), it was a sea of red and black across numerous events. A big congratulations to every single one of our athletes on competing at one of the biggest events on the calendar.
The excitement at kicked off on Friday night with the scorching sun beating down on Lakeside Stadium as Ela Uzun and Havana Ali made their way through a gruelling 3000m walk. Ela and Havanna not only both finished in the top three, but they were also our first female walkers at a Victorian Championship in many, many years. Congratulations to Ela on breaking Jemima Montag’s Victorian record with an unbelievable 13:45.73 walk.
Madigan Carroll and Lara Sacaner had the Essendon crew up out of their seats as they both fended off strong opposition to secure bronze medals in their 1500m finals. Charles Barrett kicked off his hat-trick of gold medals by securing a win in the 1500m then following up with gold in his 2000m steeplechase and 3000m run.
With nine Essendon athletes entered into the 2000m steeplechase on Saturday, it was quite an impressive site to watch. A big congratulations to Charles Barrett, Charlotte Wilson, Jonathan Neethling, Oscar Lichter, Noah Tarallo, Lucas Harris, Harry Osman, Jude Barrett and Molly Bremner on taking on one of the most exhausting events on the program. Congratulations to Jonathan Neethling on setting a new U15 record with a time of 6:10.11. Despite being beaten by a whisker on the finish line, a big congratulations must go to Noah Tarallo. Having only been competing for a few months it was inspiring to watch Noah lead courageously from the front for the entire race and execute all his jumps flawlessly. Molly Bremner is another athlete who needs a special mention. Running up an age, Molly dominated the field of more experienced runners to execute a perfect race in a time of 7:31.13 to finish first with a six second PB. Congratulations to Lucas Harris and Oscar Lichter on also securing national qualifying times.
Mason Hambling showed unbelievable skill across the discus, shot put and hammer throw, resulting in placing second in the state in all three events. With this being Mason’s first season, it is an exciting way to begin his athletics journey.
The Victorian Track & Field Championships marked a very special occasion for Avery Hutchison as she made her club debut. Avery celebrated her very first senior competition with a silver medal, after a 10.28m jump in the triple jump.
As the rain began pelting down on Saturday afternoon Sukhnoor and Khushnoor had one of the most difficult tasks of the competition. Doing pole vault in the rain. With a slippery runway and difficulty keeping the pole grips dry it made what is an already challenging and dangerous event even more so. Both stayed calm and focussed during the challenging conditions and both finished on the podium.
Well done to the following athletes on their PB/SB: 3000m walk: Ela Uzun (U14) 13:45 PB; Havana Ali (U14) 17:39 PB; 3000m: Rosa Barbanti (U16) 11:48.19 PB; 1500m: Chase Jardine (U15) 5:19.12 PB; Sam Meehan (U15) 4:25.87 PB; Lara Sacaner (18) 4:36.73 PB; 800m: Mark Asllanaj (U18) 2:20.0 PB; 2000m steeplechase: Molly Bremner (U15) 7:31.13 PB; Jonathan Neethling (U15) 6:10.11 PB; Charlotte Jackson (U18) 7:31.43 PB; Oscar Lichter (U16) 6:39.62 PB NQ; Lucas Harris (U15) 7:01.37 PB NQ; Harry Osman (U15) 7:20.43 PB; 400m: Darcy Parker (U14) 55.79 PB NQ; Tarik Bello (U17) 54.41; Alexis Shead (U15) 61.60; PB; Jayme-Lee Cobain (U16) 61.46 PB; 200m: Robert Asllanaj (U17) 29.43 PB; Triple Jump: Cailin Walker (U15) 10.79m PB, Tesia Haggai (U18) 11.53m SB; *National qualifier
All our athletes should be incredibly proud of all their performances over the weekend. A big congratulations to the following: Anna-Marie Petrovic, Lara Sacaner, Charlotte Jackson, Tesia Haggai, Lily-Bella Hilli, Amelia Ashton, Sukhnoor Rangi, Khushnoor Rangi, Kyeesha Downs, Sasha Jurson, Jayme-Lee Cobain, Alicia Gec, Harriet Gray, Rosa Barbanti, Imogen Makin, Jamison Towers, Ella Duncan, Armani Mauriohooho, Alexis Shead, Madigan Carroll, Molly Bremner, Cailin Walker, Lillian Micallef Annabelle Thomas, Heidi Duncan, Ella Leith, Avery Hutchison, Hannah Gec, Sienna Gec, Ela Uzun, Havana Ali, Mackenzie Leith, Mark Asllanaj, Sebastian Weickhardt, RaveenAlwis, Imani Olukhale, Robert Asllanaj, Tarik Bello, Jordy Walsh, Charles Barrett, Arden Stevens, William Hurt, Lachlan Hicks, Jesse Lumby, Vobbama Gunalan, Aiden Davis, Jonathan Neethling, Oscar Lichter, Owen Adams, Sam Meehan, Chase Jardine, Jude Barrett, Noah Tarallo, Lucas Harris, Harry Osman, Alexander Carroll, Darcy Parker, Mackinlee Carroll, Xavier Walsh, Mason Hambling and Leon Adams. Full results can be viewed on ResultsHub.
Of course, our competition can’t go ahead without our wonderful officials and club helpers. Thanks to officials Neil Lawson, Doreen Giannini, Maz Strong and the following club helpers: Sarah Mullens, Paul Meehan, Colin Davis, Arthur Whitchell, Daniel Duncan, Mark Hambling, Stephanie Thomas, Kristen Towers, Chris Bremner, Sandra Schultze, Bec Lawler, Stephen Haggai, Philip Barrett, Manpreet Rangi, Kaye Carroll, Robin Walker, Anna Neethling, Claire Weber and Justine Carroll. Thanks to Victoria Entwislte-Hardeman and Joanna Margiolis for their photos.
2023 Victorian Track & Field U14-U18 Medallists