Queensland certainly turned it on for what was a massive weekend of athletics as we progress through to the pointy end of the season. This years Queensland State Championships also saw the addition of the Queensland Track Classic and the IPC Grand Prix in what was a unbelievable four days of competition.
Kicking off the championships on Thursday was the 10,000m races with David Sweeney and Clare Geraghty securing state championships in 33:43.22s and 37:28.72s respectively. On the field Matthew Denny fronted up for the start of his big weekend in the Mens Hammer throwing a 68.59m and taking home the Gold Medal.
Friday saw mejority of the preliminary races take place on the track in the lead up to Saturday’s finals with Michelle Jenneke and Brianna Beahan cruising through to the 100m hurdles final tying in 13.41s +1.2. On the field Kobe Donovan lead the charge setting an unofficial World Record in the F40 Women’s Javelin of 20.40m. Madeleine Hogan F46 followed suit posting an IPC World Championship A qualifier of 38.43m.
The stage was set for an afternoon of action at the IPC Grand Prix and Queensland Track Classic where plenty of Queenslanders were on show. The Queensland Discuss trio of Julian Wruck, Matt Denny and Matt Stopel used the crowd’s energy to push to their limits. Wruck took the win with a throw of 63.40m with Denny close behind, securing a new personal best of 61.55m. Stopel was third in 56.71m.
Sally Pearson made her hurdles debut for the season after getting off an international flight just the day before. She ran a 12.74s +0.3 with Michelle Jenneke placing second in 13.18s, edging closer to that illustrious 13 second barrier. Alana Boyd (Pole Vault), Robbie Crowther (Long Jump), Caitlin Sargent (400m), Craig Burns (400m), Brittany McGowan (800m) and Trae Williams also took home victories for Queensland.
It was great to see so many athletes in the IPC Grand Prix securing personal bests and World Championship qualifiers with Torita Isaac T38 running another IPC World Championship A qualifier in the 400m ambulant of 65.00s. Alberto Campbell T20 also posted an A qualifier in the Ambulant 400m of 50.28s. With so many other qualifiers also being achieved it is clear the athletes are starting to gear up ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Sunday dealt another perfect day with the womens High Jump being one of the highlights. Commonwealth Games sixth place getter Hannah Joye secured a personal best in the Women’s High Jump of 1.90m, attempting the IAAF World Championship qualifier of 1.94m. Cassie Purdon pushed Hannah all of the way securing a clearance of 1.85m. Ashy Reid was third with 1.80m.
In the 200m Alexandar Hartmann was pushed right to the end by Craig Burns posting a solid time of 20.81 +2.3, with Burns just 0.01s behind. Will Burns all the way from Victoria was third in 21.20s. In the women’s race Toea Wisil lead the whole way finishing in 23.61s -0.7 with Caitlin Sargant close behind in 24.17s. Kendra Hubbard ran third with 24.28.
Margie Atthow showed her strength after a long weekend of competition taking home her sixth Queensland State Championship and the Dave Stevens memorial trophy in the 1500m in 4:46.91s. In the 5000m walks Dane Bird-Smith continued his solid form posting a 19:58.05 with Jessica Pickles winning the women’s event in 25:05.33s. Western Australian Justine Dawson T54 took home the gold medal 5:58.24s.
There were plenty of IPC qualifiers in the Women’s 200m ambulant. Torita Isaac T38 secured a B qualifier of 29.07s. Brianna Coop T35 a B qualifier of 35.97s, Rachael Dodds T35 a B qualifier 36.74s, Isis Holt T35 A Qualifier 31.45s, Carly Salmon T35 A qualifier T35 34.56s which was awesome to see.
The Mens Javelin was an interstate affair with Matt Outzen of New South Wales winning with a 76.90m. Hamish Peacock of Tasmania was second with 75.57m and Lesley Copeland of Fiji was third in 72.99m. The top three Queenslanders were Jarrod Bannister 72.11m, second Conor Warren 66.08m and third Liam O'Brien 65.80m. It is great to see the men pushing each other to new limits, pushing that illustrious World Championship qualifying distance.
On this home track Mowen Boino won the 400m hurdles in a strong display posting 51.51s. Alexander Schaffer was second in 52.19s and third Peniel Joshua 53.76s. Emily First took a close win in the female event with 59.55s. Donna Koniel pushed right to the end with a 59.66s with Dipna Lim in in third, 61.53s.
Matthew Boyd followed on from his sister’s success the night before taking out the Mens Pole Vault in a solid 5.00m. Peter Hollenbeck was second in 4.80m and third Kyle McCarthy 4.30m. Chelsea Jaensch won the Women’s Long Jump in 6.51m +1.1 from behind the board. In the same event Carlee Beattie F46 jumped an IPC A qualifier of 5.53m.
Perfect weather, in form athletes and excitable crowds set the tone for an awesome weekend at the State Athletics Facility. As always thank you to all of the volunteers and staff who make these events possible and well done to all of the athletes who continue to push the limits. See you all at Nationals in a few weeks!
*Photo thanks to Patrick O’Kane Eye See Images.