Athlete of the Week – Alana Boyd (Pole Vault)

AlanaBoydIt’s hard to imagine not seeing Alana Boyd included in some type of headline across the Australian domestic season. On Thursday night at the Sunshine Coast we were again witness to world class pole vaulting – with Boyd clearing an exceptional 4.71m. The performance:

  • was the 2nd best performance of her career (behind her PB of 4.76m set back in 2012)
  • would have ranked her at no.10 on the world ranking list for 2015
  • is only the second time she has cleared 4.70m or above in her career
  • now has her placed in contention to better her World Indoor placing of 9th back in 2012. Boyd joins five other women who have cleared 4.71m or above (all indoor performances) in 2016

Boyd turns 32 in 2016, but there is clearly no sign that her performances are starting to diminish. Everything currently points to a tilt at something special both at the World Indoor Championships (March 17-20) and the Rio Olympics (August 12-21).

Note: Boyd went onto also clear 4.35m at the Denise Boyd meeting on January 17, placing second to New Zealand teenage sensation, Eliza McCartney (who set a NR of 4.65m). At the Sunshine Coast meeting Boyd had a first time clearance at 4.71m, and went onto have 3 failed attempts at a new PB of 4.81m.

Mitchell Continues on Path to Rio

Mitchell02It just looks to be a matter of time before Morgan Mitchell records an Olympic qualifier in her ‘pet’ event. On Saturday Mitchell recorded a 52.29s performance in the 400m at AV Shield Competition in Melbourne – going onto run 53.37s less than 6 hours later at the same meeting.

It was yet another sign of how far Mitchell has come since her breakthrough run at the 2014 National Championships (when she set her current PB of 52.22s). It showcased her strength and knowledge of an event that is built around both strength and speed – that hasn’t always been evident over the past 2 years. Physically the changes are clear for all to see – and now the times are suggesting that she will surely push Australia’s no.1 400m runner, Anneliese Rubie, all the way at the upcoming AA Tour Meetings.

In the same event in which Mitchell ran 52.22s, we also saw the impressive newcomer to 400m running Monica Brennan in action. Although she was a long way back in a time of 53.94s, Brennan will surely learn a lot from the race (in which she went sub 24 seconds for the first 200m).

In other action from the AV Shield Meeting in Melbourne – Round 9:

  • Josh Ross returned to the track with an easy 10.83s (+0.3). Joel Bee also ran and recorded a 10.85s, while up and coming sprint star in Will Johns ran 10.84s.
  • Daniela Roman continues to record string performances in both the 100m and 100m hurdles – this time with a sprint double of 11.92s (-1.1) and 13.76s (+0.9)
  • Charlotte Wilson came away with an excellent (and very large PB) in the women’s 3000m steeplechase of 10.01.50.  The 23 year-old who has spent time in the US (University of Cincinatti), had 7 days earlier run a 82:32 half marathon in Hobart and previously had a PB of 10.13.10 for the 3000m steeplechase.
  • In the field there was another world class effort from Brooke Stratton in the women’s long jump – starting her season with a very tidy 6.50m. We come to expect so much of Stratton after her world class performances of 6.70m+ over the past 2 years, but even in saying this her 6.50m was a very good start to what should be a very exciting 2016.
  • In other quick results Ashleigh Whittaker returned from training with Sally Pearson with a 11.99s 100m opener for 2016, while Tamsyn Manou ran 54.72s over the 400m.
  • In the men’s pole vault Kurtis Marschall cleared 5.35m

Illawarra Track Classic – Taddeo Flying

Abbie Taddeo (photo courtesy of David Tarbotton)
Abbie Taddeo (photo courtesy of David Tarbotton)

Watch out everybody there just could be another super fast sprint hurdler on the horizon. Well if her 60m speed has anything to do with it the Abbie Taddeo should be in for an excellent season over the 100m hurdles.

Taddeo recorded a very swift 7.44s (+0.0) over the 60m over the weekend. To put this into some perspective the Australian record (indoors) is 7.30s – set by Sally Pearson in 2009. The fastest World outdoor performance recorded in 2015 was recorded by none other than Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce (7.13s).

Taddeo has a best over the 100m hurdles of 13.32s, but we think that this be overhauled very quickly in 2016. (ed. We are certainly looking forward to seeing Taddeo go head to head with Pearson, Jenneke and Beahan over this coming summer – the women’s 100m hurdles should be a great event in 2016).

Taddeo went onto place 2nd behind Jess Thornton in the 100m, with Thornton producing a 12.05s into a stiff headwind of -1.4m/s.

In other results from the meeting:

  • Madeline Hills (Heiner) opened her track year with a 2.06.13 800m performance in a mixed race. Place just behind her was Jenny Blundell (2.06.66).
  • Molly Blakey recorded a 54.80s 400m
  • Bridey Delaney took out the women’s mile in 4.40.63, defeating home Rio bound Victoria Mitchell (4.41.30)

In other flash results from Australia and overseas:

  • Craig Huffer placed 3rd (1.50.62) behind Nick Willis in the 800m at the Potts Classic in New Zealand.
  • At the same meeting Christie Wearne set a PB in the women’s 100m of 11.70s, while Amelia Mazza-Downie won the 3000m in 9.38.22.
  • In Hobart Hamish Peacock opened his season with a 79.12m javelin throw
  • At the Denise Boyd meeting in QLD, Aaron Stubbs recorded a 10.68s (-4.6m/s) 100m, which roughly equates to a 10.31s with no wind.
  • At the same meeting Craig Burns opened his season with a 47.77s 400m
  • On Friday night in Perth Brianna Beahan ran 11.63s (=PB) in the 100m and is another quality 100m hurlder to keep a close eye out for in 2016.