The Australian U20 Championships were held last weekend in conjunction with the 100th edition of the Australian Championships, with some impressive performances from the next generation of Australian athletes.
Photos by Fred Etter
Australian athletics has never been short of a junior prodigy or two, but the transition into open ranks can be a tough one. As such, we don’t like to overplay performances at junior level. But credit where credit’s due… there were some very impressive performances at the Australian U20 Championships. In no particular order, the following athletes’ performances caught our eyes.
Queensland’s Georgia Harris lowered her personal best to 11.46 seconds in winning the U20 100m in a deep field which saw 7th place finish in 11.81 seconds. The 2022 World Junior representative was also second in the 200m in 23.61.
The Matt Beckenham trained 400m hurdler took out the event in 58.10 seconds.
18-year-old Victorian sprinter Jessica Milat had a breakthrough season, lowering her personal bests from 11.98/24.09 last year to 11.54s and 23.26s this year. Both performances came at Nationals, winning a silver in the 100m and gold in the 200m.
The Australian U18 100m record holder captured the U20 sprint double with runs of 10.35 seconds (+0.6) and 20.79s (-0.3). His 200m mark, a personal best, was the fastest 200m performance of the meet, with the open title being won by Jake Doran in 20.81.
Victoria’s Mia Scerri took out the Heptathlon with a score of 5537 points, which would have won bronze in the open event. Her marks were:
- 100m H: 14.61
- High Jump: 1.71m
- Shot Put: 13.08m
- 200m: 25.56
- Long Jump: 5.92m
- Javelin: 35.91m
- 800m: 2:22.28
After a 17th place finish in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships, Noakes had a light schedule in the U20 championships, winning the 3000m in 8:09.63. He backed up later in the meet to finish 11th in the open 5000m in 14:14.66.
Victoria’s Amy Bunnage concluded an exceptional summer season with front running efforts to win the 3000m and 5000m. Her winning time in the 3000m was 9:00.33, while her 5000m win was a debut over the distance on the track. Her 15:31.96 run saw her lap the entire field in a performance that would have been competitive for a medal in the open race.
Lightly raced over the summer season (but with an impressive 1500m personal best of 4:07.69 behind Abbey Caldwell at the final Victorian Milers Club meet of the season) Claudia Hollingsworth was dominant in the junior 800m and 1500m, winning in 2:04.24 and 4:19.17 respectively.
South Australia’s backward-cap-wearing Darcy Miller took out the discus in 59.18m. For comparison with the 1.75kg discus:
- Olympic fourth placegetter Matt Denny threw 66.81m as a junior
- Olympian, world junior bronze medallist and NCAA champion Julian Wruck threw 62.61m as a junior
We also shouldn’t forget juniors who excelled in the open events, Torrie Lewis (capturing the open 100m & 200m double) and Cameron Myers (second in open 1500m).
Check out over 2500 photos from the Australian Open & U20 Championships.