The second leg of the Australian Athletics Tour will be held in Newcastle (NSW) this Saturday 31 January, and as we gear up for yet another world-class standard event on home soil let's look back on our highlights from the 2014 Hunter Track Classic.
5. Sargent surges
Anneliese Rubie (NSW) entered the home straight with what looked to be a race-winning lead in the women’s 400m at the 2014 Hunter Track Classic. Rubie had gone out hard, quickly gobbling up the runners on the outside of her, and appeared to have the win in the bag. As the athletes entered the home straight at the Hunter Sports Centre, however, the wind started to pick up and so did Caitlin Sargent (Qld). The Commonwealth Games semi-finalist ran over the top of Rubie to take the win in 53.86 in a perfectly timed run.
4. The comeback kid - Madeline Heiner
The women’s 3000m steeplechase featured three of the six fastest Australian women’s steeplechasers of all time. Former national champions Victoria Mitchell (Vic) and Milly Clark (NSW) both lined up in the race but it was Madeline Heiner (NSW) who notched the surprise win. Heiner, who had been on an extended break from the sport since 2006, took out the women steeple in a time of 10:03.94 in a truly remarkable career comeback performance before going on to place fourth in the final of the event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
3. Pocklington’s Pole PB
Joel Pocklington (Vic) thrilled the Newcastle crowd with his performance in the men’s competition at the 2014 Hunter Track Classic. He opened his account with a first-time clearance at 5.05m before going on to t clear 5.35m with ease from there, delivering him a ‘B’ Qualifier for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Pocklington, who had a personal best of 5.36m coming into the competition, then had the bar raised to 5.41m. After missing his opening attempt at a new lifetime best, the Victorian sailed clear on his second try to add 5cm to his career best mark and take the win.
2. Good McKnight for racing
In conditions which Irish champion Sonia O’Sullivan described as 'perfect', the women’s 1500m field took the track at the Hunter Sports Centre. The race had promised to be a highlight due to a quality field and it didn’t fail to live up to the pre-meet hype. Kaila McKnight (Vic) put her injury-marred 2013 season behind her to hold off a strong field and claim victory, crossing the line in 4:09.87 and in the process record a Commonwealth Games B-Qualifier. Underlining the depth of talent on display, fellow Big-V charge Melissa Duncan (Vic) was only just denied the win as she came in second in 4:09.98.
1. Peacock’s Glasgow Preview
Hamish Peacock (Tas) undoubtedly produced the performance of the night at last year's Hunter Track Classic. Competing in the men’s javelin throw, Peacock registered five consecutive Commonwealth Games B-Qualifiers to win the competition. He opened with a throw of 77.61m, before 75.25m in the second round and his winning mark of 79.90m in round three. Peacock closed the competition with 76.98m and 74.39m in round four and five, and a foul on his final attempt.
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The Hunter Track Classic is the second instalment of the Australian Athletics Tour, following the Briggs Athletics Classic this past weekend (results review here) and future legs of the series in Canberra (ACT), Perth (WA), Adelaide (SA), Brisbane (Qld), Sydney (NSW) and Melbourne (Vic).
The event will be held at the Glendale Sports Centre this Saturday 31 January, with complete event details available at the Hunter Track Classic website.
For more information on the Australian Athletics Tour, including entry lists and timetable information, please visit the #SUMMERofATHS hub at athletics.com.au.