Twenty seven Tasmanian athletes are heading to the Gold Coast this week for the 2018 Australian Athletics Championships.
Carrara Stadium will host some of the best track and field athletes from around the country in the event which doubles as both the Australian titles and the 2018 Commonwealth Games selection trials.
Events begin on Thursday 15 February and run until Sunday.
The Athletics Tasmania team is spearheaded by Jack Hale (100m), Stewart McSweyn (3,000m and 3,000m Steeple) and Hamish Peacock (Javelin).
Hale’s recent 10.228-second 100m and equal second place at the ACT Championships will have him hungry to go one better in the trials.
While McSweyn has already been selected in the Commonwealth Games team, he’ll look to use the event to consolidate a serious training block at the prestigious Falls Creek.
Peacock’s recent outings have been back on home soil at the Athletics Tasmania Local Athletics Series (ATLAS) meets, which saw him send the spear 83.63m at Meet #2 earlier on in 2018.
Excitingly for the sport in Tasmania, a strong contingent of local athletes will also compete on the Gold Coast.
Morgan Gaffney (100m, 200m), Nicole Perry (800m), Daniel Reeves (400m), Jordan Tyler (1500m), Brandon Clark (Long Jump), Jarred Gilroy (400m), Jacob Despard (100m, 200m) and Kiara Chambers (100m, 200m) will use strong fields to consolidate already successful seasons.
Following in their footsteps are some of Tasmania’s best junior athletes including Emily Canham (Hammer, Javelin), Lachlan Chambers (3,000m Steeple), Harvey Chilcott (3,000m Steeple), Sam Walker (100m, 200m Para), Rachel Hosie (Hammer) and Ralph Corney (Pole Vault).
Joining Corney taking to the skies will be Matthew Hosie (Pole Vault, Long Jump). The training partners are under the guidance of coach James Fitzpatrick who has lead a resurgence of the discipline in the state.
Distance running has also awoken from a slumber, inspired by Abbey De La Motte (800m) and James Hansen (1500m). Both De La Motte and Hansen had impressive runs at the ACT championships clocking 2:03.14 and 3:39.39 respectively, with Hansen’s time seeing him in contention with some of the best runners in Australia.
The resurgence in middle distance has inspired the likes of Douglas Hamerlock (1500m), Dylan Evans (5,000m), Inessa Corney (3,000m Steeple), Deon Kenzie (800m, 1500m Para) and Mitchell Cashion (1500m) to also make the most of an event in the Australian Championships.
In the field, a return from studies in America will see Danielle McConnell (Hammer) as an athlete to watch, joined by 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games participant Huw Peacock (Hammer). Huw joined brother Hamish through regulars appearances at the ATLAS Meets with the Hammer fields bolstered by the appearance of national competitors.
We wish our Athletics Tasmania members the best of luck over the following days of competition, before they turn their attention towards the Tasmanian Open and Masters Track and Field Championships on the 23-25th March 2018.
For more information on the Championships, visit http://athletics.com.au/Compete/Events/2018-australian-athletics-championships-nomination-trials-1
Watch our Tassie athletes via the live stream at http://www.athletics.com.au/Summer1718/LiveStream
Written by Athletics Tasmania Social Media Team
Photos by James Tucker