Victorian T & F Champs

Held over two full weekends, the championships showcased the best of the best in Victoria. Weekend 1 was scorching hot and our thoughts were with Officials and Helpers who were out in the heat for many hours.

Athletics Essendon was well represented but alas we lost our grip on the HH Hunter Shield. Our club has had a mortgage on the shield over the last few years but lowered our colours to Melbourne Uni, who won it for the first time since 1966.

Thank you to the Helpers who volunteered their time to fulfill the club’s duty roster. A special thanks to Robyn Coyne from the Red & Black group. This group is always helping our club and it would be great to see more athletes and parents step in to help. Arthur Whitchell, at almost 89 years of age put in about 10 hours at the championships, simply because no one else put their hand up. Thanks also to Maria Strong who helped in the Call Room as well as winning gold (it can be done!!) Also thanks to Brian Anderson, Kellie Brodie, and Evelyn Ali for their time.

Now for the positives!

Total count:

Gold 21 Silver 9 Bronze 12

Open Men 1G 4S 3B

Open Women 3G 2S 2B


The Junior medal count was almost double the 2018 tally (27 to 15…well done!)

Some of the stories from the championships include Maria Strong defending her state shot put title with a world B qualifier, while Matthew Cameron grabbed silver in the para 400m.

Charlotte Wilson took out her third consecutive steeple gold with a runaway victory.

The strength of our jumps group was highlighted with Alwyn, Ayo and Ebuka taking the top 3 places in the Men’s Open Triple, while Angus Wood jumped a PB of 14.19m to take bronze in the U/20 triple, then backed it up with a solid long jump of 6.08m.

In the Open Women’s triple, Ellen Pettitt took gold with a jump of 12.97m, from Tierra Exum, 12.77m.

In the junior triple we had one of the stories of the meet; Catherine Mendes taking gold in the U/20 triple. Not only was it Catherine’s first triple for 18 months, she jumped off a short run up and still smashed her PB, with 12.23m.

Ruby Pizzo (U/18) and Emily Portaro (U/17) also took triple jump gold.

More jumping glory was had with the long jump; Montana Djatschenko, at 17 years of age, took out the U/20 event with a PB of 5.83m, then backed up the next day with a third place in the Open women’s event. Montana also competed in the 100m.

Emily Portaro picked up a silver with her PB 5.57m long jump.

Another good story is that of Ilana Grande. Ilana holds the club U/13 100 and 200m records and started making her comeback to athletics just this year after a 12-year break. Despite being under raced she made it through the heats and semis of both the 100 and 200 events to finish 8th in the 100 in 12.53” and 6th in the 200 in 25.84”. She will be better for the racing and will do well under coach Max Warlow’s guidance.

The high jump squad was not to be out done by their horizontal cousins.

Harry Orr picked up gold in the U/14 high jump with a PB of 1.83m, while Jack Walsh also picked up gold in the U/16 HJ, with a PB of 1.85m.

Maeve Rouse collected bronze in the U/18 HJ with a season’s best of 1.63m, while Oscar Cathcart also took bronze in the U/16 HJ with a PB of 1.77m.

Another top performance from a newcomer, came from Josh Tracy. He won gold in the U/15 boys 1500m in a very quick 4:19.65, sitting in 2nd place for most of the race before making his move with 150m to go. Josh also won the 800m in 2:04.15. Watch out…this boy is very good!

Toby O’Brien claimed bronze in the steeple, taking another second off the PB he recorded in Sydney recently. It was a strong run as he was basically running by himself after the first 800m.

Jude Guglielmino took out gold in the U/18 pole vault with 3.50m. The club hopes to see the pole vault slowly become a strong event for us now we have a new run way and a pole vault coach.

Olympian, Chris Erikson took silver in the 5000m walk but the winner, from Sweden broke the Victorian record with a time of 18:32…that’s fast for many runners!

Erin Rayner missed qualifying for the 800m final by just 0.2seconds.

The Women’s open shot put was “replayed” after the Electronic Measuring Device malfunctioned. Unfortunately, Louise Mendes went from a silver to a bronze in the replay; consolation was the silver she picked up in the hammer.

Melvin Monleh coming back from a hamstring injury back in Nov. at the Relay Champs won the U18 100m in a PB of 10.66.
TJ Paea won the U20 100m in a PB time of 10.72. He has only been an Athletics Essendon athlete for about 3 months, having moved with his family from New Zealand some 6 months ago. The family are originally from Samoa.
Vishnu Satish came over the top of some pretty handy runners in the last 40m of a very exciting U20 400m to claim the title.
Nina Lawson ran an equal season’s best in the heats of the Open Women’s 100m.
Bryan Mayengo, our man from South Africa ran 11.36 in the heats of the Men’s Open 100m.
Vishnu & Lachy Robertson, our athlete based in Mildura both made the final of the U20 200m, finishing 6th & 7th respectively. Vishy’s time of 22.54 was a PB, which made for a memorable championships on his behalf.


Open Triple Jump    Ellen Pettitt                     12.97m

Open Triple Jump    Alwyn Jones                    16.24m 

Open 3000m Steeple Charlotte Wilson              10.39.44

Shot Put Para (F 33) Maria Strong                   5.49 (86.18%)

U15 Discus                      Orla McCarthy         34.74m 

U17 Triple Jump              Emily Portaro           11.77m

U18 Triple Jump              Ruby Pizzo               11.92m  

U20 Triple Jump              Catherine Mendes        12.23m 

U14 Discus                      Haunga, Matai         36.73m 

U15 1500m                      Joshua Tracy           4:19.65 

U15 Discus                      Kevin Healy              49.13m 

U18100m                                 Melvin Monleh          10.66

U20100m                                 Tapasu Paea             10.72

U18 Pole Vault                 Jade Guglielmino         3.50m 

U20 400m                        Vishnu Satish         48.18 

U15 Hammer                    Kevin Healy              51.55m

U16 High Jump                Jack Walsh              1.85m

U14 High Jump                Harry Orr                 1.83m

U15 Shot Put                   Kevin Healy              12.95m

U15 800m                        Joshua Tracy           2.04.15

U20 Long Jump                Montana Djatschenko 5.83m


Open Triple Jump            Tierra Exum             12.77m

Open Triple Jump            Ayo Ore                    15.62 m

Open Hammer                  Louise Mendes         52.29m

Open Long Jump              Chris Mitrevski         7.69m

Open 5000m walk            Chris Erickson         22.44.85

U14 Javelin                     Mackenzie Leith         28.37m 

U18 110m Hurdles          Jude Cam                 15.29m

U16 Discus                      Hannah Brodie         35.93m

U20 Long Jump                Emily Portaro           5.57m

400m Para (T F12)            Matthew Cameron        54.25 (89.44%) 


Open Triple Jump            Ebuka Okpala          15.25m 

Open 100m                      Cameron Searle        10.64

Open Shot Put                  Louise Mendes         11.84m

Open Long Jump              Montana Djatschenko 5.77m

Open 3000m Steeple        Toby O’Brien            9.03.93    

U14 Discus                      Mackenzie Leith         31.25m 

U18 High Jump                Maeve Bousie           1.63m

U14 Shot Put                   James Yeager           7.77m

U16 High Jump                Oscar Cathcart         1.77m

U18 400 Meter Hdls         Eliza Connors           1.10.13

U14 High Jump                James Yeager           1.47m