Battle lines have been drawn and the countdown is on to the final of the boy’s under 18 100m at the Australian All Schools Championships.
One of the most hotly contested events at a national championship in recent memory, entry lists confirm the start of more than 10 young charges with personal bests below 11.00, ensuring that the battle for a lane in the round of eight will be fierce.
But how did it come to this?
The road to Adelaide (SA) began way back in September, when Jack Hale (Tas) clocked an impressive 10.44 to break the Australian under 18 national record at an event in his home state. His performance set tongues wagging across the country and since then a bounty of boys have joined the race for gold through their own strong performances.
Two weeks later in Sydney (NSW), Jordan Shelley (NSW) and Rohan Browning (NSW) sent their message of a challenge to Hale by improving their personal bests to 10.61 and 10.62 respectively. Shelley is the national under 16 record holder, while Browning’s performance followed his recent commitment to athletics over the sport of rugby.
Not to be outdone, Hale responded with an even quicker 10.42 performance, while days later Trae Williams (Qld) ensured he would not be forgotten by clocking 10.54 at the Queensland All-Schools Championships just weeks after he won the bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in 10.51.
Browning too had unfinished business ahead of the All Schools, with the 16-year-old closing out his build-up with a wind-assisted 10.37 (w: +2.4) and a legal 10.47 to move to second on the Australian All-Time List.
The aforementioned quartet will all line-up alongside fellow sub-11 speedsters Tremaine Peters (Qld), Zach Holdsworth (NSW), Russell Taib (Tas), Tom Knapper (Vic) and Michael Hansford (Vic) in in the 100m.
The first round of the boy’s under 18 100m will start at 2:35pm AEDST on Saturday 6 April, with the final to be held one hour later, and the questions remains…
Who will be the All Schools champion in 2014?
And who of those eligible will stake their first claim for selection to the Australian team at the IAAF World Youth Championships?
For more information on the statistics around the boy’s under 18 100m, please download the below preview compiled by David Tarbotton.
In other highlights on the track:
- Louis Stenmark (NSW), who has a personal best of 47.58, will start as favourite in the boy’s under 18 400m, with his sight set firmly on a second qualifier for the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships.
- Brandon Herrigan (Qld) will launch from the blocks in the boy’s under 18 110m hurdles, alongside his biggest rival in the race for gold in Matthew Wood (NSW).
- In the girl’s under 18 100m hurdles, Rachel Pace (NSW) will duel with Celeste Mucci (Vic).
- Jessica Thornton (NSW) will start as favourite in both the girl’s under 18 200m and 400m. She won gold in the one-lap event at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (CHN)
- The Australian under 16 champion in the 100m and 200m, James Gallaugher (WA) will start in both short sprints for his age group as a clear favourite.
The Australian All Schools Championships will be held at the South Australia Athletics Stadium on 5-7 December 2015.
It is the first time since 2000 that the event has been held in Adelaide (SA) and more than 1000 athletes will be pitted against each other in under 14, under 16 and under 18 aged events in the race for coveted national crowns.
You can join the conversation across the course of the championship by using the hashtag #SUMMERofATHS on both Twitter and Instagram. The best interactions will be shared across social media and on the Athletics Australia website.
For more information, including entry lists, technical information and a complete timetable, please follow this link to the event sub-site at athletics.com.au.
With thanks to David Tarbotton