Des Johnston steps down as QLD Athletics President
At the 2020 Queensland Athletics Annual General Meeting, long standing President, Des Johnston announced he would be standing down from the role immediately after the AGM, he will remain on the Board as a Director until the end of his current term in 2022.
Des started as President of Queensland Athletics in February 2012 and had presided over a very successful period for the organisation. In 2012 the membership of Queensland Athletics was at 4400, in 2020 the number is 14300. We have also seen significant increases in participation in Shield Meets and Championships. QA is in a sound finical position and leads the country in the Recreational Running space with the innovative Qrun program. Significantly, the once fractured relationship with Athletics North Queensland has now become a partnership based on trust and common goals for our sport. Always approachable Des could be seen on the track officiating most weekends in the summer and at Cross Country during the winter.
“It’s been a great honour to work with this Board to improve athletics in Queensland Des said, the Board have been very dedicated and a great support, I believe that QA is in many ways now the leading State body in Australia, after nearly 10 years it’s time to pass the baton on and spend a bit more time with my family.”
On behalf of the board and all the Members I thank Des for his sound leadership over the past nine and a half years.
The Board of Queensland Athletics announced Yvonne Papadimos as the new President starting on the 11 June 2021. Yvonne in one of the most respected athletics administrators in the country. Currently the Executive Director of Oceania Athletics, Yvonne was one of the founders of Athletics North Queensland and President of that organisation for 23 years. Her diverse roles give her extensive experience from the grass roots to the international level. Yvonne is a regular official and volunteer at events in both the south and north of Queensland.
On behalf of the Board and the Members, I welcome Yvonne to the position of President of Queensland Athletics.
Yvonne said “It's difficult to put into a few sentences the impact that Des Johnson has had on sport over the past 10 years. Des fell into the role of President of Queensland athletics, when our dear friend Reg Brandis passed away in early 2012. We went from being a state divided to an organisation that Finally sat together at the one table and, to be honest, it could’ve gone all wrong.”
“But with Des' leadership we were able to work together to ensure that we had a stable and strong association that put athletes front and centre. Des, on behalf of the board, the staff, the clubs and again most importantly the athletes here in Queensland, thank you for your service to our sport... you are gentlemen and a scholar, and we look forward to continuing to work with you as a member of the QA board through to your retirement in 2022.”
12 Queenslanders selected to the World u20 Australian team
Athletics Australia (AA) is pleased to announce a 49-strong team of junior athletes to represent Australia at the Oceania Athletics Invitational series on the Gold Coast next month.
Following the announcement that AA will not send a team to the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya this August, athletes will instead travel to compete in the two-part competition series as they continue their development pathway towards the Olympic Games.
For some athletes selected, this will be their first taste of what it means to represent their nation at an international level, while all athletes will benefit from the team camp and competition experience from June 2 – 13.
Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer Peter Bromley said despite the team not travelling overseas, the selection of an athlete to an Australian team holds much significance and should be recognised accordingly.
“The 49 athletes we have selected are some of the most impressive athletes from our next generation, and some of them will no doubt become household names in the years to come as we look ahead to Birmingham 2022, the World Championships next year and of course, Paris 2024,” Bromley said.
“Despite not sending a team overseas, we felt each of them deserved due recognition for their hard work and determination to excel in our sport, with each reaching international qualifying standards and winning coveted medals at our Australian Track and Field Championships last month.
“I’d like to congratulate each of them on their selection, and I look forward to seeing each athlete compete for their nation next month and experience the next step on their journey as they strive towards representing Australia at a senior level.”
Athletes will compete against the New Zealand Under 20 representative team, athletes from the Oceania region, as well as Australian athletes who will continue their quest towards Tokyo. The camp held around the two competitions is proudly supported by the City of Gold Coast.
2021 Australian Under 20 Athletics Team:
- Calab Law (Andrew Iselin) – 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay
- Taylah Cruttenden (Brayden Clarke) – 100m and 4 x 100m relay
- Torrie Lewis (Gerrard Keating) – 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay
- Caitlyn Ferrier (Marilyn Pearson) – 200m, 4 x 400m relay and mixed relay
- Reece Holder (Sharon Dale)– 400m, 4 x 400m relay and mixed relay
- Joshua Atkinson (Graham Garnett) – 400m, 800m, 4 x 400m relay and mixed relay
- Jasmin Guthrie (Angus McIntyre) – 400m, 4 x 400m relay and mixed relay
- Ellie Beer (Brett Robinson) – 400m, 4 x 400m relay and mixed relay
- Charlie Jefferson (Penny Gillies) – 800m, 4 x 400m relay
- Matilda Ryan (Penny Gillies) – 800m, 4 x 400m relay
- Claudia Hollingsworth (Craig Mottram) – 800m
- Jude Thomas (Peter Reeves) – 1500m, 3000m, 5000m
- Tom Palfrey (Lee Bobbin) – 1500m
- Jaylah Hancock-Cameron (Andae Kalemusic) – 1500m
- Nicola Hogg (Ben Liddy) – 1500m
- Adam Goddard (Adam Didyk) – 3000m
- Amy Bunnage (Tim O’Shaughnessy) – 3000m
- Imogen Stewart (Owen Stewart)– 3000m
- Ky Robinson (Ricardo Santos)– 5000m and 3000m Steeplechase
- Tayleb Willis (Peter Benifer) – 110m hurdles
- Colby Eddowes (Mike Barber) – 110m hurdles
- Erin Shaw (Jack McArdle) – high jump
- Rosie Tozer (Michael Hamlyn Harris) – high jump
- Elyssia Kenshole (Bill Georgantis) – pole vault
- Olivia Gross (Hamish Nelson) – pole vault
- Mietta Russell (Lloyd Knight) – long jump and 4 x 100m relay
- Tomysha Clark (Renee Clark) – long jump
- Aiden Hinson (Chloe Stevens) – triple jump
- Tiana Boras (Nick Hodgson) – triple jump
- Lyvante Su-emai (Junior Su’emai)– shot put and discus throw
- Marley Raikiwasa (Diane Ferguson) – discus throw
- Jett Carlin (Paul Carlin)– hammer throw
- Mackenzie Mielczarek (Steve Cain) – javelin throw
- Mia Gordon (Morgan Ward) – javelin throw
- Liam Gilbert (Brendan Peeters)– heptathlon / decathlon
- Will Thompson (Brent Vallance) – 10,000m race walk
- Corey Dickson (Donna Dickson) – 10,000m race walk
- Olivia Sandery (Bob Cruise)– 10,000m race walk
- Alana Peart (Wayne Peart) – 10,000m race walk
- Jai Gordon (Jackie Gallagher) – 4 x 100m relay
- Rashid Kabba (Dan Suchy) – 4 x 100m relay
- Ashley Wong (Travis Venema)– 4 x 100m relay
- Tyson Bonney (Mark Ladbrook)– 4 x 100m relay, 4 x 400m relay
- Aleksandra Stoilova (Daniel Suchy) – 4 x 100m relay
- Tierney Dunne (Rob Marks) – 4 x 100m relay
- Olivia Matzer (Brett Robinson) – 4 x 100m relay
- Jack Boulton (Jason Boulton) – 4 x 400m relay and mixed relay
- Alexander Creak (Liz Gray) – 4 x 400m relay
- Sidney Burrell (Graham Garnett)– 4 x 400m relay
By Sascha Ryner, Athletics Australia
Men's 100m Preview - Queensland Track Classic
Look, we get it. Canberra is fast and everything and people like going there and it’s a Mondo surface and blah blah blah, but if you look a little deeper, you’ll find a cosy little 48,000 seat stadium and its warm-up track on the southside of Brisbane might have something to say about that.
Home of the equal fastest 100m performances by Australians in Australia, QSAC stadium has a rich history of speed and this weekend should be no different.
You could throw it back to the dual performances from Paul Narracott in the early days of the stadium. In 1978, as a 19yr old, he stopped the clock at 10.0 and again in 1984 with a phenomenal 9.9. I understand hand timing is foreign concept these days, but back then it was everything and the officials on the clock were some of the sharpest minds in the sport.
Shooting forward into the future, and the 2007 Australian Athletics Championships, Joshua Ross rolled through the semi-finals in 10.10 and then backed it up with a 10.08 in the final. Making him the third fastest Australian of all-time.
Twelve years later at the 2019 QLD Track Classic, Rohan Browning went toe to toe with Yoshihide Kiryu as they both clocked 10.08, with the nod being given to the Japanese cult hero.
Now in 2021, with limited international presence, the Men’s 100 will still be a feature event of the QLD Track Classic, with our domestic stars building up to something special tomorrow night.
Leading the field again will be Rohan Browning who hasn’t been beaten since February in 2020 over the 100m. In January he became the second ever Australian to run sub 10s with a 9.96 at Kerryn McCann Athletics Centre (a new addition to the fastest track in Aus debate?) and has since moved his seasons best to 10.20 whilst winning the NSW Championships.
Browning has a history with running PBs in Queensland, having set his last two bests at this track and, funnily enough, in odd years. Late 2017 he sped to 10.19 and the aforementioned 2019 performance of 10.08.
Well, its 2021, Rohan is in QLD. I think the maths say we’re in store for something special.
This is not just the Browning show though, with an incredible line-up of stars in the blocks, with Browning longest serving track rival Jack Hale fired up for a win. Coming into the race with a season’s best of 10.21, Hale’s last trip to QLD came at the 2019 Track Classic where he set a then personal best of 10.19. He’s since then trimmed that down to 10.12s and sits as the sixth fastest Australian of all-time.
Making his way out of the New Zealand bubble and into Australia is Edward Osei-Nketia. The youngster who won the Australian 100m championships in 2019 has already run 10.28 in Hamilton in Feb and always steps up the meet the field thrown at him.
The depth doesn’t end there though, with consistent top 3 finisher and 10.35 man Jake Penny having a career year, Joshua Azzopardi having a brilliant transition into the senior ranks, Dhruv Rodrigues-Chico stepping out for his Track Classic debut (how has this taken so long?!), Zach Holdsworth, Jacob Despard, Jake Doran…it never ends.
Heat’s tomorrow night will give the athletes two bites of the cherry and the forecast for QSAC is high 20s and tailwinds. Can’t wait!
Full start lists, timetable and tickets can be found here
Women's 100m Hurdle preview - Queensland Track Classic
If you had to think of an event that is absolutely on fire right now, hopefully, you came to the same conclusion as us, the women’s 100m hurdles.
Spurred on by the exploits of the absolute legend that is Sally Pearson, 2021 has rearranged the women’s Australian all-time list like no other event.
This year we welcomed two more athletes to the sub-13 club, and we have a few more potential members knocking on the door. Leading the charge is Gold Coast based Liz Clay, who, on her season debut over the sticks, clocked a 12.84 and hit the Tokyo Olympic qualifier spot on. This wasn’t her first trip into 12s territory, as she dipped under the barrier for the first time back at the 2020 Melbourne Track Classic, winning the race in 12.94s. Clay has since gone on a tear, running four times in 2021 and winning all four race all under 13 seconds. In fact, Clay hasn’t lost a hurdles since the 23rd of March 2019 at that year’s edition of the Queensland Track Classic. A streak of 9 wins over the distance.
Could this Saturday be her 10th? She currently sits second all-time (12.72) now behind the aforementioned Pearson, but she’s not the only athlete sitting on the all-time list who’ll feature this weekend. A total of six of Australia’s top 10 female hurdlers will feature on the 27th of March.
New sub club member Celeste Mucci dipped under 13 at the ACT Championships, running 12.98, becoming just the fifth Australian to do so.
Next in line is Hannah Jones, who’s been peppering the 13s barrier with runs of 13.03 at the Canberra Summer Series and 13.01 at the Sydney Track Classic. Next off the line is Abbie Taddeo, who took a bunch of scalps on route to victory at the Canberra Track Classic and has run 13.05 and 13.06 this season. It’s only a matter of time before they’re let into the club. We’ve never had more than two Australian athletes go under 13s in the same race before, and we think is Saturday is the day.
The field just gets deeper and deeper, with Oceania Champion Brianna Beahan running her fastest flat 100s of her career and sits the highest on the world rankings out of the Australian’s not already qualified.
Michelle Jenneke has been slowly working her way back from injury, with only a handful of races under her belt since the 2019 Doha World Championships. This race is where she set her 12.82 personal best back in 2015 and she’ll be hoping some of that magic is still out there this weekend.
To grab your tickets to the Queensland Track Classic, click here
Full field for the Women’s 100m hurdles this weekend
Men's 800m Preview - Queensland Track Classic
One of the hottest events right now in Australian Track and Field is the Men’s 800m and the Queensland Track Classic will host a star-studded line-up on the 27th of March. The field includes 8 of the 10 fastest athletes in Oceania for 2021. The two in the field that don’t currently feature in that 10 are the Australian record holder Joseph Deng and 1:46 man Mason Cohen.
Not only is the current depth mouth-watering, but the all-time depth is staggering, with four of the top eight fastest men in Australian history toeing the line.
The venue itself has a soft spot for 800m running, when 39 years ago at the 1982 Australian Championships, Peter Bourke stormed home to clock 1:44.78, the fastest time on Australian soil by an Australian soil.
Lately though, the event has been dominate by one man, Peter Bol. Three wins from three starts, including a 1:45.23 in Canberra put Bol head and shoulders above the rest. His Canberra run made Bol the third fastest Aussie on home soil and left him 0.03s off the Tokyo qualifying mark, but there’s a feeling they’ll be targeting something much fastest than just a qualifier.
Australian record holder Joseph Deng returns to his home state to race for the first time since the 2018 Commonwealth Games final after taking on pacing duties for stablemate Bol in Canberra and Sydney.
Youngster Jack Lunn will be looking to continue his meteoric rise in the 800m ranks, cutting his best by almost 8 seconds between 2019 and 2021. I’m not sure how many times and athlete can have a breakthrough race, but I feel like Lunn has already had multiple already and isn’t slowing down.
The Queensland Track Classic meet record is a swift 1:45.16 set in 2000 by Algerian 2003 800m World Champion and Sydney Olympics Bronze medallist Djabir Saïd-Guerni.
Full 800m field below (as of March 20th)
Coles Athletics Community Hero Awards
Athletics Australia is delighted to announce the launch of the Coles Athletics Community Hero Awards – an award designed in collaboration with Coles to bring the unsung heroes of our great sport into the spotlight.
The award provides a platform to celebrate those in the athletics community who often work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure athletics in Australia is the success that it is.
Nominations are now open HERE and will be received on a state-based system, with a short list of five candidates per state produced before voting via social media will determine which member from each state will proceed to the national final as a ‘Local Coles Athletics Community Hero’.
The winner from each state will receive a $500 gift voucher along with a hamper courtesy of Coles, with the individual crowned the 2021 Coles Athletics Community Hero to accept $1,000 at Athletics Australia’s Awards night.
Coles' General Manager of Corporate Affairs Sally Fielke says "Coles is extremely proud to support the 2021 Coles Community Athletics Hero Awards. We’re excited to recognise and reward the unsung heroes in the athletics community who give so much time and energy to help Aussie athletes lead healthier, happier lives."
Athletics Australia’s Marketing and Commercial Manager Michael Angus says the initiative provides a strong opportunity for athletics in Australia to move forward in unison.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for us to bring all states and territories together and utilise their support to push the sport forward on a truly national level,” he said.
“Thanks to the support of our major partner Coles, we will be able to achieve our common goal of recognising the unsung heroes in the athletics community.”
Queensland Athletics CEO David Gynther encourages you to get behind the campaign by nominating those who have played an influential role in your athletics community.
Nominations are now open and close on April 4, with the short list of five candidates per state to be voted on between April 5-18. The Athletics Australia Special Awards Committee will then appoint a successful candidate and recognise them as the inaugural Coles Athletics Community Hero at the Athletics Australia Awards night to be held at the Australian Track and Field Championships.
A run down memory lane
Age might have wearied them just a bit - although to be fair it was 35 years ago - but that didn't stop five former elite Queensland track runners getting back together to recreate a famous photo of the 1986 State 5000 metres title at QSAC on Sunday (Feb 14).
The photo appeared in The Courier-Mail the day after the race (February 16, 1986) and captured the early stages of the race showing the bunched lead pack of Michael Inwood (gold medallist 14 mins 34 secs -Mt Gravatt club), Ian Eckersley (silver medallist 14.44 - Mitchelton club), Gary Mayor (bronze medallist 14.59 - Thompson Estate club), Don Campbell (Nundah club) and Bill Hunter (Thompson Estate).
What started as a bit of good-natured social media banter in late 2019 between friends when the 1986 black and white photo was posted online, resulted in plans for the five runners - who all still live in Brisbane and have kept in contact - in reuniting for the photo, almost 35 years to the day.
Inwood and Eckersley went on to run for Australia while all five runners represented Queensland in track, road and cross country events in the 1980s and 90s.
Four of the five athletes have been lifelong runners with Mayor running two sub-2:50 marathons in 2018-19 and Eckersley running the Boston Marathon twice in 2016 and 2018. Hunter (a grandfather of six) still regularly does Parkrun.
All runners agreed that they were honoured and felt lucky to have run in such a golden era for Australian distance running, inspired by the international feats of Rob de Castella and Steve Moneghetti.
"Running was such a massive part of our formative years in our late teens and early 20s. We loved training hard and racing against each other and just trying to be better every week and seeing how far that would take us to national and international events," said Ian Eckersley.
"I think we all agree that athletics has been an important part of forming our characters and personalities throughout our lives. It was a lot of fun back then and continued to be fun for several decades after that as we kept running. And it was great for the five of us to get back together today to recreate the photo."
The five runners had to dig through old running attire to come up with original club singlets and some of them even managed to find their old racing spikes. Much to everyone's amusement, Eckersley even donned his moustachioed look from 1986 with a dodgy costume shop moustache that struggled to stay in place!!
There's now even talk of a 50 year reunion!!
By Ian Eckersley
Photo Captions (race photos - old and new)
Left to right:Michael Inwood, Ian Eckersley, Gary Mayor, Don Campbell, Bill Hunter
Left ro right: Gary Mayor, Ian Eckersley, Bill Hunter, Don Campbell, Michael Inwood
Photo Credit: Tertius Pickhard (2021 Images).
Steve Rippon announced as QLD State Performance Advisor
Queensland Athletics and the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) are pleased to announce experienced sports administrator and coach, Steve Rippon will step in the role of State Performance Advisor for Queensland’s high performance track and field athletes.
An integral part of the Athletics Australia (AA) High Performance structure, this role will provide advice and leadership to the AA High Performance program in Queensland through a joint partnership with AA, QAS and Queensland Athletics. In this role, Rippon will provide support to the daily training environment of Queensland’s NASS athletes working closely with their personal coaches and the QAS Performance Service team.
With a history of success as a high performance coach and sports administrator both in Australia and abroad, Rippon will re-join the Australian Athletics Community, after spending over two decades overseas, his most recent role being with Finnish Athletics as the National Event Coach for Pole Vault for nine years.
Prior to his stint in Finland, Rippon worked as the high performance Manager for UK Athletics at the number one sports university in Great Britain, Loughborough University. Before working in the UK, Steve was a high performance coach at the West Australian Institute of Sport.
AA’s General Manager of high performance Andrew Faichney said he was thrilled to welcome Rippon back to the Australian athletics community.
“Steve has such rich experience in our sport and has fostered talent from the junior level through to the Olympics, and we’re looking forward to him bringing his wealth of experience to bolster the success of Queensland’s NASS athletes both on and off the track and field,” he said.
“Steve’s experience both as a coach and managing coaches will also mean he is able to help further develop Queensland’s top coaches, which will no doubt help improve the trajectory of athletes rising up the ranks.
“As the lead High Performance Advisor in Queensland – a state that hosts one of our biggest cohorts of NASS athletes – we’re looking forward to him making a serious impact on the performance results of our athletes.”
Rippon commenced in his role on Monday, 3rd February.
QLD Track Classic and State championships 2021
Notice in regard to 2021 Queensland Athletics State Championships and Queensland Track Classic.
We have taken some time to consider the best options for these events in 2021.
Taking into account the requirements of World Athletics and Oceania Athletics for the QTC, best outcomes for Queensland athletes of all ages and, modelling back up plans to deal with any increased restrictions due to COVID.
Were pleased to announce that the Queensland Athletics State Championships, U14 to Open will be held on the 11th to 14th March 2021.
The 2021 Queensland Track Classic will be a World Athletics Silver Permit Meet and will be held on the evening of Saturday the 27th March.
We will be adding a new Shield Meet to the Calendar, the Darren Thrupp Shield and this will be held as a pre meet to the Queensland Track Classic on the afternoon of the Saturday the 27th March.
With the Australian Athletics Championships starting on 12th of April we also see the opportunity to announce an additional competition on Wednesday that 31st March to assist athletes in preparations for Nationals.
Athlete Chats - Alex Beck
This time we sit down with Doha 4x400m representative Alex Beck. Fresh off a personal best during the 2020 domestic season, we discuss the feeling of breaking a long standing pb, his secret to consistency at the top level and his all time 4x400m relay teams.
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Athlete Chats - Ella Connolly
This week we sat down with sprinter Ella Conolly.
Ella re-wrote her Pb's in a flourish of fast running late 2019 and early 2020 but came up against some injuries. We chat the path she's taking to get back on track during isolation as well as her journey representing Australia.
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