Well done to our 'Nationals 7' - Josh Phillips, Luke Gorman, Paul Loader, Daniel Francken, Gus Wong, Hannah Gibson and Jess Vernon. For those of you who don't know, these 7 qualified to represent NSW at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships held at SOPAC between 14th and 18th March. For the majority this was their first time ever at a Nationals event. Just qualfying and getting that far is a brilliant acheivement in itself. Junior Sriders are on the map!
To be honest, as might be expected for a first time, we had some ups and downs - literally. However, this is the first time competing at such a level for most, so next year will be even better. Friday's high was Hannah Gibson winning bronze in the 17 girls 2k steeplechase in a time of 7.16.65. She also posted further personal bests of 10.37.67 to finish 5th in the 3k and 4.50.14 to finish 9th in the 1500. So Hannah had a great 'Nationals'. Gus Wong was disqualified (like his mother before him!) in his 2K steeplechase - you will have to ask him for details :) Daniel Franken ran some blistering times as ever with 10th place finishes in the 16 boys 3k in 9.23.62 and 1500 in 4.17.49 (not PBs). Paul Loader ran well in his 2K steeplechase, but Luke Gorman set the fastest time in the club with a 6.52.33 clocking in the 15 boys 2k steeplechase to finish 5th. In the 14 boys, the 'stylish' Josh Phillips (as the commentator calls him) finished 6th in the 800m. He, very unfortunately, fell quite badly in the 2K steeplechase and cut his knee wide open - he left the track in a wheelchair and, very sadly, had to withdraw from the 1500 on the last day and will also miss his Little Athletics state events this weekend - really sorry about that Josh. He is not put off and intends to do the steeplechase again next season. I will not mention names here, but some were caught out by the fact that for Nationals you have to check in 1.5 hours before your event, not the usual 1 hour, so were scratched from the race - we won't do that again!