Oceania Championships, Mackay

Our athletes shined brighter than the Queensland sun during last week’s Oceania Athletics Championships in Mackay. Thirteen Essendon athletes competed across nine different events. They all made the final in their respective events. With all athletes picking up at least one medal, we had a conversion rate of 100%. Two gold, nine silver and eight bronze was the final medal tally for a total of nineteen medals.

Our gold medallists were Chris Mitrevski in the long jump and Brodie Hicks in the 4x400m relay for the Australia ‘A’ team. Mitrevski jumped a solid 7.90m continuing his fine form from the Australian Track & Field Championships as he continues to strive toward a qualifying spot on the Commonwealth Games squad and a trip to Oregon for the World Championships.

The men’s 100m saw our two Tasmanian natives, Jack Hale and Jacob Despard go head to head. In what was a highly competitive field both navigated the heats successfully and met in the final. Ultimately this battle of the Taswegian’s went to Despard, who clocked a PB time of 10.24 to secure 3rd, whilst Hale finished 5th in 10.41. Both Despard and Hale were part of the men’s 4x100m team which unfortunately ended in a DQ following a mistimed second changeover, the incoming runner couldn’t catch Jacob in the box, lunged, fell and that was it.

Jacob Despard- Photo by Athletics Australia
Jack Hale- Photo by Athletics Australia

Our Open athlete success continued with Ilana Grandine and Cameron Searle both working their way through the heats of the 400m. Running in gusty conditions both made their way to the finals, with Searle securing a position on the podium. After a big hop, skip and jump, Ayo Ore secured himself a second place finish with 16.71m in the men’s triple jump.

Ayo Ore- Photo by Casey Sims/Oceania Athletics Association

But our success didn’t end there. Our juniors came out to make a statement and did so by collecting some nice shiny souvenirs to bring home. The Weickhardt brothers Andreas and Sebastian, made a name for themselves in the orange uniform of the Regional Australia team. Brodie Hicks (400m and 4x400m relay) and Ryan Tarrant (100m and 200) continued their preparation for the World U20 Championships with excellent performances and both secured multiple places on the podium. Zoe Edwards continued her fine form from earlier in the season and produced a fantastic 12.33m in the triple jump to conclude out junior success with a silver medal.

Andreas Weickhardt- Photo by Regional Australia Athletics

Fantastic performances by club secretary John Cooper (M65) in the masters completion, knocking back father time at every turn to collect a trio of bronze medals in the long jump, 400m and 800m. Mark Giglio (M45) looked in fine form as he polished off his preparation ahead of the Masters World Championships in Tampere, Finland next month, picking up two silvers across the 100m and 200m.

Great achievements all around by our athletes at the Oceania Championships. The club and its members are mightily proud of you all.