Nowra Athletics juniors performed exceptionally well at the 2018 NSW Junior Championships held at SOPAC on February 9-11. Nowra had 21 competitors in the black and gold.
Lauren Percival was a stand-out bagging three State medals. Lauren won silver in the Under 15 long jump with a distance of 4.98m. She started off conservatively with a jump of 4.11m and left her best to last; jumping 4.98m on her final jump to take the silver medal in front of Hills District athlete Jorja Wilson whose best jump was conversely her first jump of 4.90m.
Lauren also claimed silver in the Under 15 200m. After finishing third in her heat in a time of 26.21 seconds, Lauren went on to improve on this time in the final, running in 2nd in 25.77 seconds just marginally behind Jessica Wardrobe from Sutherland who clocked 25.73 seconds.
In the 100m Lauren won her heat in 13.02 seconds. In what was a finals photo finish Lauren was edged out of silver by just 0.002 seconds, finishing third in 12.978 seconds behind Georgia Fichardt from UTS North who clocked 12.976 seconds. Congratulations Lauren on a fantastic Juniors competition.
Sam Taylor was impressive when he won gold in the Under 18 long jump with a massive jump of 6.48 metres. Sam also placed 5th in his 100m heat.
Cooper Thomson added another State medal to his collection with silver in the Under 18 pole vault, clearing 3.70metres.
Nowra had a big representation in the steeplechase events with 7 competitors earning a total of 4 medals.
Max Buckham continues to improve his time and placing in this tough event and this time he came away with a silver for his persistence in the Under 16 event in a time of 6min 44.28sec. Alex O'Brien ran in 4th in the same event in a time of 7.03.72.
Chelsea Pascoe also won silver in the Under 16 event - another great reward for her determination and perseverance - in a time of 8.16.98.
Experienced steeplechaser Victoria Kennedy took home bronze in the Under 18 event clocking 8.36.56. Meanwhile newcomer Alexis Charalambous claimed a silver medal for her run in the Under 15 steeplechase with 8.42.54.
Sam Maher competed in the Under 15 event and ran well to finish 5th in 7.59.35 minutes whilst Jesse Buckham finished 7th in the Under 18 event in 6.42.77.
In the field Lara Check was unlucky to miss out on a medal in the Under 16 high jump finishing 4th on a countback after clearing an equal height of 1.60 metres with 3rd placegetter. In long jump Lara finished 15th with a jump of 4.66 metres.
Lily Wheeler placed 13th in the under 16 long jump with a jump of 4.75 metres and ran in 9th in her 100m heat in 13.93 seconds.
Hannah Brian performed well on the track finishing 5th in the Under 14 200m heat in 28.86 seconds and 8th in the 100m heat with 14.39 seconds. Meanwhile big brother Emerson Brian finished 9th in his 100m heat in the very competitive U20 category with a time of 11.56 seconds and 7th in his 200m heat.
Lachlan Kaszonyi ran in 4th in his heats in both the Under 18 100m and 200m. In the 400m hurdles Lachlan narrowly missed out on a medal as he ran through in 59.58 seconds; a personal best, behind 3rd placegetter who clocked 59.33 seconds.
Blake Hartnett clocked a PB in the Under 18 400m. Blake ran in 4th in his heat in 51.63 seconds then bettered this in the final, finishing 5th in 51.26 seconds, just marginally slower than the National qualifier time of 51.14 seconds.
Alistair Clark also competed in the Under 18 400m finishing 5th in his heat in 52.48 seconds whilst Jade Mustapic continued her return to competition athletics with a 5th place in the Under 18 400m in 62.76 seconds; a slightly faster time than the recent Country Championships she competed in.
William Dyball ran strongly to finish 14th in the Under 14 1500m in 5.15.12 minutes whilst Alec Dobson ran in 11th in the Under 15 3000m in 10.38.07 minutes.
Hugh Dobson claimed a NSW silver medal in the Under 20 3000m after running across the line in 4th place in 9.31.00 minutes. First and second runners were athletes from Japan which means they don't receive the State medals and third was an athlete from Camden.
Well done to all these athletes who are sure to be some of Australia's 'next generation' of track and field stars.