Look back at a big year in Australian athletics.
Words and images by Tim McGrath unless otherwise noted
We were able to provide photographic coverage from 28 events throughout the year, with big thanks to our eight contributors: Fred Etter, Jeff Wray, Declan Hartley-Brown, Flynn Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Francois Nel (for Getty, courtesy of World Athletics), Luke Hamer (courtesy of Stawell Gift) and Steve Christo (courtesy of Athletics Australia).
Some other highlights for us along the way:
- Coordinating a fundraising appeal with the Athletes Australia Facebook page to raise $9,000 for the Australian junior athletics team
- Conducting Australia’s Most Scenic Track competition, taken out by Morrison Reserve in the Yarra Ranges
- Partnering with the Athletes Australia Facebook page for our annual Photography Competition, with more entries, more prize money and even better winning photos.
- Helping over 2,000 customers with their replacement spikes needs
Here’s what we covered in 2022…
Subscribers can download all of our photos for free in high resolution
The year started off for us on 22 January at the Sally Pearson Shield meet in Brisbane… a warm, wet and windy day. Torrie Lewis sped to an 11.18s 100m with a 3.8 m/s tailwind, just moments before a downfall caused the meet to be temporarily suspended.
A year of two Zatopek:10’s… some remnants of the COVID pandemic affected the year, with the Zatopek meet pushed back from its usual December 2021 time slot to January 2022. Rose Davies defended her 10,000m title, while Jack Rayner claimed his first one (later in the year he would set a new Australian record over the distance).
Big time athletics returned to Adelaide for the first time since 2016, with strong home town performances from Isobel Batt-Doyle just missing the world championships qualifier over 5000m, Michael Roeger setting a T46 5000m world record and junior Aiden Murphy taking out the 200m. We were fortunate to have two great shooters cover the meet for us: Jeff Wray and Declan Hartley-Brown.
We made it out to one of the days of one of the weekends of the Victorian Championships. Here Joel Baden is mid-air during his winning jump in the men’s high jump in a contest with Yual Reath. Both would later qualify for the World Championships based on their world rankings.
Australia’s junior women’s team at the World Race Walking Team Championships in Muscat, Oman finished in second place.
Rose Davies took to the track at the Box Hill Burn in February to make an attempt at the 15:10 world championships qualifying standard. Running from the front after pacemaker Georgia Griffith finished her duties, Davies clocked 15:23.
Abbey Caldwell recorded a convincing victory at the final Victorian Milers Club meet of the season in March 2022, held at Duncan McKinnon Reserve. Caldwell, who would later win nationals followed by recording a world championships qualifier in the USA, was controversially not selected in Australia’s team for the world championships. However, she bounced back to win a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Matt Denny set a new meet record in the discus at the Sydney Track Classic with a big throw of 64.64m, while Jude Thomas and Rose Davies were crowned national 3000m champions. Flynn Hopkins was there to cover the meet for us.
The sprint track was reversed at the Melbourne Track Classic in March to take advantage of the windy conditions at Lakeside Stadium. Ella Connolly rode a 4.0 m/s tailwind to 22.61 seconds for victory in the 200m, while Jacinta Beecher won the B race in 22.96s with a 3.2 m/s tail.
The Box Hill Classic, held at the popular Hagenauer Reserve at Box Hill, was the final tune up for the Australian Championships for some athletes. Here Tess Kirsopp-Cole leads the field on the way to a win the 800m. Kirsopp-Cole would go on to win bronze at the Australian Championships and gained selection for the World Championships off the back of a consistent string of performances gaining a quota spot via her World Ranking.
The Australian Championships were held across 7 days in Sydney. Fred Etter was on hand to capture photos from each day of the meet, which covered Under 14s right through to Opens, who were vying for qualification for the World Championships in Oregon.
- Juniors Shine in Sydney
- 100m meet records while Denny, Hoare and Kennedy book seats to Oregon
- Dubler dominant in Decathlon
- Top 20 performances from Nationals
Looking forward to Nationals in 2023?
The Open and Under 20 age groups will be held in Brisbane for the 100th staging of the Australian Championships, while Under 14 to Under 18 age groups are also in Brisbane.
Check out draft timetables and accomodation options for the biggest events of the year.
- Australian Under 20 & Open Championships – Brisbane – 30 March to 2 April 2023
- Australian Junior (Under 14 to Under 18) Championships – Brisbane – 13 to 16 April 2023
The Brisbane Track Classic ended the domestic season. Conditions at the Queensland Sport & Athletics Centre were less than ideal, dampening performances. But it wasn’t the case for Mackenzie Little, who ended the domestic season undefeated with several wins over world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber, including a new personal best of 62.79m.
Harrison Kerr and Cara Bull were the winners of the 2022 Stawell Gift.
There’s not much break between the summer and winter seasons… here Jack Rayner is in action at the Athletics Victoria Cross Country Relays at Jells Park.
Fred Etter snapped away at the opening race of the Athletics NSW winter season, the ailing Novice Championships at Scarborough Park. The centrepiece of the cross country carnival is the Novice Championship, open to athletes who haven’t won an open state championships medal at a distance of 3000m or longer.
Australia’s junior team, as well as some open age athletes, competed at the Gold Coast Invitational at the end of May in preparation for the Oceania Championships.
The NSW Cross Country Championships were held on Australia’s best cross country course, the Gibbs’ family farm at Willandra, near Nowra, on the NSW south coast. Former local Aaron Spiessberger-Parker claimed the 124th running of the men’s race, while Paige Campbell took out the women’s event.
Around 900 runners took hot laps around Sandown Racecourse for the Athletics Victoria Road Relays in July. Andre Waring showed strong form in a breakout season, anchoring the Box Hill Athletics Club men’s team to victory with the fastest split of the day (17:48 for 6.2km), while Glenhuntly Athletics Club took out the women’s race. Waring would end the year with a silver medal in the Australian 10000m championship held at the Zatopek:10.
The NSW Road Relay Championships were held at Ourimbah on the Central Coast.
The Victorian Cross Country Championships were held at Bundoora, with Melissa Duncan and Seth O’Donnell claiming line honours in cool, wet conditions.
After a two-year break due to the COVID pandemic, the Lakeside:10 returned in August, with Sam McEntee and Georgia Hansen recording victory over the flat 10km course.
Fred Otter captured all of the action of the NSW Short Course Cross Country Championships in August, which doubled as the test event for the 2023 World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst (if you haven’t already done so, mark Saturday 18 February in your calendar).
Thinking of heading to Bathurst? Read all about the course and travel and accommodation options in our event guide.
Back to the track in November, Sarah Billings made the most of her 5000m track debut, kicking home for victory at the Victorian 5000m Championships at Box Hill ahead of Melissa Duncan.
There’s perhaps no event that better captures the spirit of club competition than the NSW Relay Championships. Held this year at Campbelltown, the two-day meet sees clubs field teams from Under 14 through to Open and Masters relays, on the track and in the field.
The Australian Mile Championships returned to the Albie Thomas Mile in December, with Izzy Thornton-Bott and 16-year-old Cameron Myers claiming the titles within NSW dominated fields.
In the second Zatopek:10 of the year – in December – Jack Rayner defended his title in a tactical race while there was a new women’s champion: Leanne Pompeani. She commanded the second half of the women’s race, dropping Rose Davies, who would be overtaken for silver by Isobel Batt-Doyle in the closing stages.
Jack Lunn closed off the year with a new Victorian Milers Club record over 800m at Box Hill, running 1:47.63.
Here’s some of our plans for 2023…
Thanks for your interest and support in 2022. In 2023 we hope to do it all again, including:
- Taking on the role of Photo Chief for the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, to help photographers capture some of the world’s best distance runners in action.
- Covering all the big meets of the domestic season. If you’re interested in having your photography featured on Inside Athletics, please get in touch.
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