It was a day for the fast athletes with the sprint events taking centre stage on Saturday at the 2017 Australian All Schools Championship at SA Athletics Stadium.
Sasha Zhoya (WA) enjoyed a huge day of competition, setting a new national record in the under 18 boys 110m hurdles. Zhoya (14.02) was a clear fastest qualifier in the morning preliminary rounds, ahead of NSW pair Mark Fokas and Albert Swann.
In the final, Zhoya’s time of 13.24 bettered the previous national record held by Sam Baines (Vic) in 2008, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the West Australian.
Nicholas Gilbert (NSW) broke early from the blocks, causing a few nervous moments for Zhoya.
“I heard the second gun and you never like to hear the second gun,” he explained. “It didn’t affect me as much as it could have so my start was not bad. Better than it’s been before.”
Zhoya was faultless into his transition and started to put some space into his opposition.
“I came off a bit shaky on my last hurdle but still managed to go through the line,” he said.
Seeing that he’d taken .04 off the previous mark, Zhoya was relieved.
“I was chasing it,” he admitted. “At the start of the season I had a couple of good shots at it and it didn’t manage to happen but I’m happy that I got it today.”
Following the medal presentation, Zhoya was straight back into the call room ahead of the under 16 boys pole vault. Eying a Youth Olympic Games qualifying mark (4.85), he waited an hour and a half before entering the competition at 4.20m.
“A bit of a break helped, definitely,” Zhoya said, with a relay event still to run before the end of the day where his strong final leg earned WA a silver medal in the under 16 boys 4x100m.
Comfortably clearing 4.20, Zhoya then cleared 4.35 on this third attempt before comfortably getting over 4.50 and then 4.60, his best for the day earning another gold medal, but short the of qualifying mark he’d hoped for, his three attempt at 4.70 collecting the bar. The West Australian doesn’t think it’s far off though.
“I’m on a short approach, six steps, so it’s good for my technique,” he explained. “When I move back to eight I will definitely get that qualifier. My coach Alex Parnov said I have to hit 4.75 to go to back to eight so hopefully I can get it soon.”
Riley Higgins (Qld) finished in the silver medal position with 4.15 while a countback earned South Australia’s Eddie Debenham bronze after 3.95m.
The under 18 girls hurdles delivered plenty of excitement with three Youth Olympic Games qualifying marks set in the preliminaries with Sophie White (WA) 13.55, Emily Britton (NSW) 13.59 and Isabella Reeves (WA) 13.61.
In the final, Reeves pushed White all the way but settled for silver with the latter too good in 13.35 and just .21 from Sally Pearson’s national record from 2003. Britton took bronze.
“I thought I’m just going to aim for a PB to be able to get the times that I’m looking for to hopefully get a place or even a gold medal,” White said. “I’m happy though, it’s just so close.”
In the under 18 boys 100m, Edward Nketia (ACT) ensured he repeated his success of 2016 where he won the under 16 title a year ago.
“I’ve got the double now so I’m glad to defend my title,” he said.
Nketia was too strong in the final, finishing with .41 of an advantage over Christopher Ius and Nabill Khan, both of NSW.
In other highlights –
- Tamsin Colley (NSW) set an unofficial world record in the under 16 T36 girls 800m.
- South Australia’s Kodi Parkinson fell short of his targeted state record in the under 14 boys 1500m but was impressive, crossing the line in 4:19.23.
- Mietta Russell (Vic) held off Sophie White by just .03 to win gold in the under 16 girls 100m.
- Olivia Gross (Vic) claimed a PB of 3.80m under 16 girls pole vault.
- Rose Pittman (SA) just edged out Queensland’s Cara Jardine in the under 18 girls 400m.