White Train waves farewell to Olympic Park

2011 Victorian Open Track and Field Championships

33 Melbourne University Athletics Club members took to Olympic Park as the Victorian Open Track and Field Championships were held at the storied venue for the last time. Over three days, from Friday 4th of March to Sunday 6th of March, White Train athletes ran, jumped, walked and threw for glory, competing against the best athletes in Victoria. MUAC’s contingent, the 4th largest at the Championships, performed well with many personal bests, some medals and a top ten place in the HH Hunter Shield, awarded to the Club of the Championships.

Linda Allen won two Championships with impressive performances in both the Long Jump (6.02m) and Triple Jump (13.35m). A personal best and a countback in the Long Jump was necessary to secure the title, with Brooke Stratton also jumping 6.02m. In light of these results Linda’s prospects for the Australian Championships in Melbourne soon are strong.

Irie Hill continued her medal winning ways, with a silver medal in the Pole Vault, clearing 3.70m on the third attempt.

Sophie Barker racked up another significant milestone, dipping under the 17 minute barrier for the first time in the Australian Open 5000m Championship, held on the Saturday evening along with the Victorian Championships. Sophie’s time of 16:56.38 represents a 13 second personal best, and put her only 23 seconds from a national medal.

Saturday night also saw some hotly contested 3000m races with personal bests run by the White Train’s Winter Manager Kate Scarlett (10:43.70) and Hamish Beaumont (8:51.57), who also successfully completed the 3000m steeplechase on Friday night without falling over (9:51.76 pb).

Chris ‘The Animal’ Xu continued his late season good form running personal bests in both the 800m (2:13.41) and 1500m (4:35.51).

The evergreen Paul Kennedy, and his luscious locks, came out for one last hurrah at Olympic Park, taking on the 5000m walk (25:08.72) and not getting disqualified. Carmen Deane easily qualified for the final of the 400m hurdles running 67.38.

Jordan Mayston, fresh from a personal best at the Rawlinson, drew a brutal heat in the 800m, running 1:57.27 to still be 2 seconds from a qualifying spot. Aaron Page tuned up for the National Decathlon Championships, making the final of the 110m hurdles, and taking on several other events as well. Callum James scorched to a 51.47 400m in the heats, whilst Rachel Painter claimed a pb (61.62) in the same event. Kath Clarke ran 57.63 to claim 4th place in the B final of the 400m. Club President Stephen Edwards continued his steady late season form with 4th place in the Triple Jump (13.92m).

MUAC athletes will be back in action soon with Vic Miles Club, Rare Air Club and High Velocity Club meets all on the calendar before the 89th Australian Athletics Championships are held at Olympic Park from the 15th to 17th April.