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  • Some more staffing changes at AA for those with lives so empty that they care about such things:

    Former Sport Australia boss Kate Palmer to head up athletics in Australia after chief executive Darren Gocher quit the sport months out from the Olympics.


    • Despite their amateur failings, at least the oldies like Ron Aitken & Doris Magee were in the game for life. Unlike the fly-by-nighters (fly-by-nitros?) we get these days.
      Last edited by Vault-emort; 02-10-2021, 09:23 PM.


      • Originally posted by El Toro View Post
        Some more staffing changes at AA
        I'm guessing there are no drunks in Australia . . .


        • Originally posted by Vault-emort View Post
          Despite their amateur failings, at least the oldies like Ron Aitken & Doris Magee were in the game for life. Unlike the fly-by-nighters (fly-by-nitros?) we get these days.
          Maybe there's a balance somewhere between sclerotic, multi-decadal administrations and chancers on their way up the sporting administration ladder?

          Anyway, the important thing I've always (unsuccessfully) advocated for is that the expectations applied to athletes and coaches to be hard working, single minded and ever improving on their way to world class performance, also be applied to administrators. Never seen much evidence of that in any era.


          • A nice article on Australia's first sub-10h sprinter, Paul Narracott, in Canberra's local website:

            I was there that night on the QEII stadium training track when QAAA held their first night meet under the feeble floodlights the track had then.

            Some southerners queried the quality of the hand timing because they thought the timers wanted a local boy to do well. However, I was standing right beside the timing stand and could clearly hear the well timed clicks on the smoke and as he hit the line.

            There's no doubt in my mind that the hand timing was good but sadly, there was no chance of auto timing on the training track as even the wet photographic auto in the unlit main stadium was rarely used in those years due to the expense.

            A very rare OG or WC sprint finalist from AUS but unlike the recently deceased Tony Blue, I've never used his professional services.


            • Originally posted by El Toro View Post

              Anyway, the important thing I've always (unsuccessfully) advocated for is that the expectations applied to athletes and coaches to be hard working, single minded and ever improving on their way to world class performance, also be applied to administrators. Never seen much evidence of that in any era.
              Well I guess quite a few did it as athlete/coach/administrator (or at least two of the three). Shirley Strickland, Nell Gould, Scotchy Gordon, Wendy Ey. Marlene Mathews. Chris Wardlaw, Penny Gillies a few I can think of who all repped for Australia before successful coaching and/or administrative roles. Most of them just didn't get paid.


              • Sadly it looks like Ella Connolly is out of the ACT Champs 400m. There goes that low 51.0 we were all hoping for

                Weather looks to be fairly consistent. A warm 26 over the weekend with a chance of showers.


                • ACT champs - Friday 12 Feb

                  The competition is limited to only 500 individuals in the venue due to COVID-19 restrictions, leading to the nomination closing early. I'm not sure if any elite athletes missed out as a result.

                  Competition starts this evening with only a few major finals, the 400H and 800m. There is likely to be increasing rain with the chance of a thunderstorm tonight but these events should be OK.


                  W400 is much more interesting than the men's version with the three big guns Lauren Boden, Sara Klein and Genevieve Cowie. This will be Boden's opener over this distance while Klein and Cowie have already run some relatively modest times. Normally the ACT Champs is when people start to run really well and hopefully we will see at least two of them in the 56s range, though probably high 56.


                  Again, it is the W800 that has all the interest, with AUS NR holder Catriona Bissett and AUS U-18 and U-20 record holder Keely Small going head to head for the first time this year. Bissett ran a very strong 2:02.75 opener at the Zatopek meet a few weeks ago. While strong, she did not look like she had done much speed work, so it will be interesting to see if she is any fresher this time around or if she is waiting a bit longer given there are two months before nationals.

                  Keely Small ran a sensational 1500PB at Zatopek showing she is now a serious contender at both distances. She has already run an 800 in mixed race for 2:03.77 but that was a month ago and before she carved 10 seconds off her 1500PB. While it's unlikely that she will have an equivalent improvement to her 800 PB, I can see a low 2:02 for her even if she is still some way from a peak. If she manages this, then we should be pretty confident of her running sub-2 later this year, given her propensity to drop seconds when peaking.

                  Two AUS sub-2 runners in the same year has occured only thrice, firstly by Charlene Rendina and Judy Pollock in 1976 and then Tamsyn Manou and Margaret Crowley in 2000 and Manou and Madeleine Pape in 2008. Manou/Crowley and Manou/Pape were also run in the same races. I think it's a reasonable prediction to add Bissett/Small to that list at some stage this year.

                  ACT Champs LIve results: http://d1161551-42591.myweb.iinethos...pionships/Web/


                  • I see that there will now be Olympic-style 'pre-qualifying' in the 100s and 200s. The riff-raff will race in pre-qualifying heats and then compete with the top 16 seeds in four heats, an hour or two later, to qualify for the A & B finals.
                    Last edited by Vault-emort; 02-12-2021, 04:39 AM.


                    • ACT champs - Saturday 13 Feb Morning session

                      Rain and possible storms overnight and clearing towards a fine Sunday. Many events struggled with excess winds last year but it looks as though winds may be less this year.

                      Only 500 individuals are allowed at the venue and everybody gets kicked out after the morning session. Only athletes competing in the afternoon and their coaches/family allowed entry to the afternoon session.

                      First up on the track is the sprint hurdles followed by the 100m heats. On the field are the WLJ and MJT.


                      The emergence of Sally Pearson as a world class hurdler has dragged the expectations and standard of hurdlers to a new level, creating a depth not seen before in AUS.
                      This race will have six athletes with seed times at 13.40 or better. The only downside is that all, apart from Celest Mucci are much closer to 30 than 20. However, they are not so old that they are beyond improvement.

                      The proof starts with Liz Clay, age 26, who ran a 12.84 +1.0 PB last week, making her only the third hurdler behind Pearson and Jenneke to surpass Pam Ryan's Munich OG time of 12.93, which stood as the AUS NR for 30+ years.

                      Next stop to No.2 AUS all time is to shave 3 hundreths to reach 12.81 to surpass Jenneke's 12.82 from 2015. After that there are only another 97 faster runs by Pearson to surpass to get to No.1.

                      The even older Brianna Beahan, 30, is in lifetime best form this year over the flat, running a PB of 11.48 +1.9 two weeks ago. I'd say that the relay is her best chance for an OG final but if she is still equally serious about the hurdles, it will be interesting to see if that speed will contribute to any improvement from her 13.26 time so far this season(13.02 +1.4 PB, 2018).

                      Celeste Mucci, 22, also has 13.02 PB +1.7 set in a Götzis heptathlon in 2019, curiously matching Glynnis Nunn's best also set in a heptathlon (LA '84 OG). However, she has not run close to that time in subsequent seasons indicating that she may may be more focused on a relay spot. She ran a 100m PB of 11.58 +1.1 at the Victorian Country Champs three weeks ago compared to a more modest 13.32 +2.3 over the sticks.

                      Hannah Jones, 26, ran 13.11 +2.0 PB on 23 January and was also lucky late last year when she set her 100m PB of 11.86 +2.0! Her hurdles seems to be at a distinctly higher standard than her flat race, so she might be ready for more improvement there. Abbie Taddeo, 27, seed time 13.21 and Michelle Jenneke, 28, seed 13.39 round out the field.


                      I've posted before about how rare it is for AUS to have multiple sub-14 runners and yet the NSW champs last year had three sub-14s in the same race. Unfortunately, the rest of the domestic season was terminated but those three runners are now listed to run their first hurdles this year in Canberra. Can they start off where they left off last season?

                      Nicholas Hough (PB 13.38 -0.3, 2018), ran three races over 110H last year (13.89,14.01,14.33) but has not run one for 2 months. He showed promise last year with a 13.67 +0.8 at the NSW champs for first.

                      Nicholas Andrews (13.76 PB, 2019) hasn't raced since 8 March last year when he finished behind Hough in 13.81, his third fastest time ever.

                      Jacob McCorry, ran 13.91 at last year's NSW champs for third behind Hough and Andrews and has not run since.


                      AA has a preview here

                      While Rohan Browning has been the only stand out so far this season, and probably the only individual rep in the OG 100m, the others should be rounding into form by now and will be keen to put themselves up for relay duties.

                      The men with potential 10.40 form or better are: Jack Hale, Rohan Browning, Jake Doran, Christopher Ius, Michael Romanin, Matthew Rizzo, Jake Penny, Zach Holdsworth, Alex Hartmann and Jin Su Jung.


                      There are only four women with times better than 11.60, all of whom have achieved that in single runs over the distance within the last month. Additionally, all their times are outright PBs or PB equivalent after accounting for wind. Lets hope that a bit of helpful altitude and close competition will push out some more PBs.

                      The athletes are:

                      Hana Basic with her 11.45 +1.4 PB run just last week demonstrated a quality comeback after a few poor seasons and overturned a very old PB.

                      Monique Quirk ran an 11.51 +1.2 PB at Mingara two weeks ago. She is the youngest in the field at 20, so further improvement should be no surprise for her.

                      Bree Masters opened with an 11.58 -0.4 on 16 January, the same day she ran a 23.53 +0.9 over 200m. This time into a headwind is roughly equivalent to her PB from last year of 11.55 +0.9. The ex-beach sprinter seems to have started where she left off in her debut track season last year. Hopefully a complete domestic season can let her demonstrate much more of her potential.

                      Heptathlete/Sprinter/Hurdler, Celeste Mucci ran 11.58 +1.1 PB at the Vic Country Champs three weeks ago. It should be noted that running heats and final of the W100H and heats of the W100 in the morning session before the 100m final may take a toll on her speed, or sharpen her right up. We'll see.


                      Cameron McEntyre, the 22 year old New South Welshman is the only thrower with a PB over 80m (81.51, Oct 2020). His second throw ever over 80m was an 80.83 in December. This year he has thrown only once for a 76.29, recorded two weeks ago.

                      I'd imagine he will still be in reasonably heavy training so probably won't hit 80+ until closer to nationals. He currently sits 2nd behind the 78.12 thrown last week by Queensland's Liam O'Brien.


                      Reasonable depth with seven women with seed marks over 6m in the field.

                      Brooke Stratton, AUS NR holder is the pick of the field here after a few sub-par seasons but Annie McGuire and Samantha Dale are only 20, so some big improvements from them would not be unexpected. Stratton, 28 and Jessie Harper, 25 are the oldest in the field with Delta Amidzovski the youngest at 15. Full list of 6m jumpers:

                      Brooke Stratton, 6.78, Annie McGuire, 6.49, Jessie Harper, 6.45, Samantha Dale, 6.30, Brittany Carroll, 6.10, Bethany Kranendonk, 6.04, Delta Amidzovski, 6.02.


                      • ACT champs - Saturday 13 Feb Afternoon session


                        The field has two 8m jumpers, Christopher Mitrevski (PB 8.05 +2.0, 2019)and Henry Smith (8.06, +1.4, 2019). Smith was a DNS at the recent Zatopek MLJ that looked so promising and Mitrevski jumped a modest 7.72. Fellow Victorian, Darcy Roper (8.20 +1.4, 2020) is not competing after jumping 7.96 at Zatopek and possibly tweaking a muscle.


                        A quality field at the top end with Kelsey-Lee Barber, throwing for the first time since winning the 2019 WC with 66.56. Her PB was set earlier that year with 67.70 in Luzern. Her strength levels have increased increased since then, so expectations are high for further improvements this year.

                        Her best opener was also 2019 when she threw 62.65 at the Qld International Track Classic on 23 March. If she opens close to that, six weeks earlier in the season, then watch out!

                        Mackenzie Little first cracked 60m in Eugene in 2018 when winning the NCAA championships. While winning again in 2019, she did not crack 60m that year and only threw three times in the mid-50s in the 2020 domestic season. However, late in 2020, she had a strong resurgence, competing at the same competition as Cameron McEntyre in the MJT.

                        She set a a new PB of 61.42 in Bankstown in October (McEntyre 81.51 PB) and backed up with another 60m+ in Decemeber at the Crest Athletics Centre 60.29 (McEntryre 80.83). Hopefully she has enough base to push towards 65m when she peaks later this year.


                        Marco Fassinotti (ITA) is entered in the MHJ. He is the ITA indoor co-record holder with Gianmarco Tamberi at 2.35m. They both cleared this height in the same competition back in 2016, although Tamberi cleared it on first try and Fassinotti on his second. Fassinotti is now apparently based in Australia but I'm not sure if it's for work, study or love. He jumped a 2.15 opener at Mingara earlier this year.

                        Sean Szalek (b. 2000) jumped a respectable 2.20 PB back in 2019 but has not come close since with a 2016 last season and only a 2.10 so far this year. Let's hope he can get back on track this year.

                        M100 and W100 finals

                        See Saturday morning post

                        M400 finals

                        Steve Solomon, 2012 Olympian, is expected to dominate this race with Alex Beck to trail.

                        After running his fastest time of 2019 (45.54) in the semi final of the WC, Solomon started 2020 in promising form with 45.66 and 45.37 in January and February respectively. The 45.37 was his 7th fastest time ever, indicating he was on track for a second sub-45 run but that was the end of his season.

                        He started this domestic season with a low key 46.11 just before Christmas 2020 but has not competed in the last two months. According to the AA story on Solomon he should be ready to pick up where he left off twelve months ago.

                        Alex Beck is a year older than Solomon but has never managed to progress to world class after a promising 46.07 way back in 2012. Since then he has fun most years in the low 46s with occasional forays into the high 45s. This is insufficient to even worry an athlete of Solomon's class. Beck is also nominated for the 200m on Sunday morning.

                        W400 finals

                        The class of the field is Bendere Oboya who ran her 51.21 PB in the heats of the 2019 WC in Doha, followed up by a 51.58 in the semif-final. She has since changed her tumultuous coaching relationship to the more sensible John Quinn who appears to have her back on track.

                        While she has not run under 52 since her Doha performances, like most athletes, it's hard to tell where she is given that she probably has not seriously tried to peak. She only turns 21 this year, so has plenty of time to improve.

                        Twenty-nine year old Anneliese Rubie and eighteen year old Ellie Beer cover the age range for the serious (sub-53) 400m runners. Rubie set her PB running in the 2018 CWG but has not been within a second of that time since then.

                        Beer turned 18 at the beginning of the year, so there's no surprises if she improves substantially this year. Her PB is 52.53 from 2019, so she is due for substantial improvement after an interrupted season last year with a best of 52.70. AA has an article focusing on Beer

                        The rest of the field is at least a second back from the top three but it is interesting for their main events rather than this race. We have Catriona Bissett moving down from the 800m and Lauren Boden, Genevieve Cowie and Sarah Carli from the 400H.


                        • DAY ONE - FRI 12 FEB

                          800 Palfrey (b03) 1-48.26 Jeffreson (b04) 1-49.07
                          400H Proudfoot 51.57 Symons 51.89 Fokas 52.45

                          800 Small 2-01.98 Bisset 2-02.16 Kaan 2-05.08
                          400H Boden 56.60 Klein 57.27 Day (b02) 60.63

                          A three second PB to Canberra teenager Tom Palfrey in the 800m. Could it maybe divert El Toro from raving on about (yawn) Keely (old hat) Small for a change? No. You're probably right. It can't.
                          Last edited by Vault-emort; 02-12-2021, 09:02 PM.


                          • Originally posted by Vault-emort View Post
                            DAY ONE - FRI 12 FEB
                            400H Boden 56.60 Klein 57.27 Day (b02) 60.63
                            I said, "two of them in the 56s range, though probably high 56{. Well, almost - Klein now off my gift list.

                            Originally posted by Vault-emort View Post
                            DAY ONE - FRI 12 FEB

                            800 Small 2-01.98 Bisset 2-02.16 Kaan 2-05.
                            I said, " I can see a low 2:02 for her". She keeps making me look bad with my inaccurate predictions! Bissett should be happy as well, assuming she is still just starting her speed work.


                            • Ok, I posted some thoughts on El Toro's predictions but due to some 'technical gremlins' (a polite phrase instead of what I've been screaming here at home), the post has been flagged as 'something' and is 'unapproved'. Hopefully one of the admins can approve...


                              • Originally posted by Vault-emort View Post
                                Ok, I posted some thoughts on El Toro's predictions but due to some 'technical gremlins' (a polite phrase instead of what I've been screaming here at home), the post has been flagged as 'something' and is 'unapproved'. Hopefully one of the admins can approve...
                                Ha! You should just stop calling me a useless female reproductive introitus! That's AS's job.