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2022 in review

Look back at a big year in Australian athletics.

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:

Photo Competition Winners

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Here’s what we covered in 2022…

Subscribers can download all of our photos for free in high resolution

Torrie Lewis in full flight

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.

Recap: Torrie Lewis speeds to windy 11.18 100m

Sally Pearson Shield Photo Gallery

Rose Davies (centre) biding her time at the (2021) Zatopek:10 in January 2022

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).

Recap: Davies defends Zatopek title, Rayner claims first

(2021) Zatopek:10 photo gallery

Isobel Batt-Doyle in action in Adelaide (Photo by Jeff Wray)

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.

Recap: Home crowds spur on Batt-Doyle, Roeger and Murphy at Adelaide Invitational

Adelaide Invitational Photo Gallery

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Joel Baden in action at the Victorian Championships

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.

Recap: Top 20 performances across the State Championships

Victorian Championships Photo Gallery

Australia’s junior women on the podium at the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships (Photo by Francois Nel for Getty Images, courtesy of World Athletics)

Australia’s junior women’s team at the World Race Walking Team Championships in Muscat, Oman finished in second place.

World Race Walking Team Championships Photo Gallery

Georgia Griffith paces Rose Davies at the Box Hill Burn

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.

Recap: Davies 15:23 at Box Hill Burn

Box Hill Burn Photo Gallery

Abbey Caldwell

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.

Victorian Milers Club Meet 5 2022 Photo Gallery

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Matt Denny in action at the Sydney Track Classic (Photo by Flynn Hopkins)

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.

Recap: Denny 64.64m as Thomas, Davies claim National Titles

Sydney Track Classic Photo Gallery

Ella Connolly leading the field home in the 200m at the Melbourne Track Classic

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.

Recap: Windy sprint times at Melbourne Track Classic

Melbourne Track Classic Photo Gallery

Tess Kirsopp-Cole

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.

Box Hill Classic Photo Gallery

Abbey Caldwell

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.


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Australian Championships Photo Galleries

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.

Mackenzie Little topped off a sensational domestic season in Brisbane (Photo by Michael Thomas)

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.

Recap: Little highlights Brisbane Track Classic

Brisbane Track Classic Photo Gallery

Harrison Kerr won the 2022 Stawell Gift (Photo by Luke Hemer courtesy of Stawell Gift)

Harrison Kerr and Cara Bull were the winners of the 2022 Stawell Gift.


Stawell Gift Photo Gallery

Jack Rayner at Jells Park

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.

Recap: Bendigo, Box Hill take out cross country relays at Jells Park

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Jells Park Relays Photo Gallery

Olympic steeplechaser, Georgia Winkcup, was fourth across the line (second female) in the 5km race in a time of 16:48. Jaylah Hancock-Cameron was the first female in 16:41. (Photo by Fred Etter)

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.

Recap: NSW Novice Championships: A clash of contemporary and tradition

NSW Novice Championships Photo Gallery

Katie Gunn in action in the long jump (Photo by Fred Etter)

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.

Gold Coast Invitational Photo Gallery

Paige Campbell (left) and Aynslee Van Graan climb one of many hills on the Willandra course (Photo by Fred Etter).

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.

Recap: Aaron Spiessberger-Parker and Paige Campbell claim NSW cross country titles

NSW Cross Country Championships Photo Gallery

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Andre Waring anchoring Box Hill at Sandown

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.

Recap: Glenhuntly, Box Hill winners at Sandown

Sandown Road Relays Photo Gallery

Men’s pack at the NSW Road Relay Championships (Photo by Fred Etter)

The NSW Road Relay Championships were held at Ourimbah on the Central Coast.

NSW Road Relay Championships Photo Gallery

Melissa Duncan

The Victorian Cross Country Championships were held at Bundoora, with Melissa Duncan and Seth O’Donnell claiming line honours in cool, wet conditions.

Recap: Victorian cross country titles decided at Bundoora

Victorian Cross Country Championships Photo Gallery

Qambar Ali Akhteyari in action at the Lakeside:10

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.

Recap: Lakeside:10 returns with wins to McEntee and Hansen

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Lakeside:10 Photo Gallery

Holly Campbell leads Aynslee Van Graan at the NSW Short Course Cross Country Championships in Bathurst (Photo by Fred Etter)

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.

NSW Short Course Cross Country Photo Gallery

Sarah Billings crosses the line for victory at the Victorian 5000m titles

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.

Recap: Billings, Herd claim Victorian 5000m titles

Victorian 5000m Championships Photo Gallery

Michelle Jenneke in action for Sydney University Athletics Club (Photo by Fred Etter)

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.

NSW Relay Championships Photo Gallery

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Izzy Thornton-Bott wins her first national title

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.

Recap: Thornton-Bott and Myers win national mile titles

Albie Thomas Mile Photo Gallery

Leanne Pompeani leads Rose Davies and Isobel Batt-Doyle in the Zatopek:10 (Photo by Fred Etter)

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.

Recap: Rayner repeats as Pompeani claims maiden national title at Zatopek:10

Zatopek:10 Photo Gallery

Jack Lunn at Box Hill

Jack Lunn closed off the year with a new Victorian Milers Club record over 800m at Box Hill, running 1:47.63.

Recap: Lunn sets Victorian Milers Club record

Victorian Milers Club Photo Gallery

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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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