Photos by Jeff Wray
The domestic season proper kicked off in Adelaide, with Matt Denny and Ben Buckingham recording the best ever marks set at the SA Athletics Stadium.
Denny bettered his own discus venue record of 62.15m set back in 2016 with a throw of 64.39m.
“I have gone through a lot of changes over the last two months, so to know that I am in that kind of nick is really nice,” the Commonwealth champion said.
“I have my auto qualifier from last year, so for me it’s more about having a really good go in Melbourne and then putting focus on the back end of the year for Worlds and attacking that 70m line.”
Ben Buckingham surpassed the 20-year-old track record in the 3000m steeplechase of 8:32.69 set by Peter Nowill by seven seconds, recording a fast season opener of 8:25.80. Local favourite Matthew Clarke was second in 8:29.97.
In the field Kayla Cuba consolidated her position at number three on the Australian all-time list in the triple jump with a new personal best of 13.82m into a 0.1 m/s headwind. The jump improved on her 13.56m personal best set in Mackay in June and sees the 23-year-old closing in on the 14 metre mark. National record holder Nicole Mladenis (14.04m in 2002) and Linda Leverton (13.93m in 2014) sit ahead of Cuba on the all-time rankings.
Olivia McTaggert from New Zealand added some international flavour to the meet, taking out the pole vault in 4.55m.
Aiden Hinson continued his emergence from the junior ranks, leaping to a new personal best of 16.42m in the triple jump. The performance moves him to equal 16th on the Australian all-time list.
Also making a breakthrough was 25-year-old Ellie Sanford, who set a new personal best of 2:01.18 in the 800m, beating Olympian Georgia Griffith to the line in the process. Griffith set the early pace after a rough first lap and finished in a solid season opener of 2:01.71.
“I know I’m in good shape, but I wanted to make sure my training transitioned and I’m happy with that,” Sanford said.
“I got home from Europe in August and had a bit of a break after that, and then went into training and gym work, which I think is translating nicely into my strength at the end of the race,.
“I’d really love to make my first Australian senior team but I’m honestly just stoked with a PB. That’s the best I can do.”
The men’s 800m was previewed as a contest between emerging Australian talents and 2016 Olympic 1500m champion, Matthew Centrowicz. Half of that equation featured in the results, with Lachlan Raper winning in 1:47.73 from Riley McGown (1:47.88). Centrowicz trailed home in last place in 1:56.
“Australia has been on the come up in the middle-distance races, it’s been exciting to watch,” 33-year-old Centrowicz said.
“These guys take on the Africans who have been dominating for years, so I am happy to be a part of it and hopefully I can put on a better show in Melbourne.”
In the sprints Rohan Browning showed a clean pair of heels to his compatriots, winning the 100m in 10.25 seconds (1.3 m/s). Behind him Jake Doran and Jacob Despard were split by the photo finish for second, each clocking 10.37 seconds. Doran backed up to take victory in the 200m in 21.11 seconds into a 1.8 m/s headwind, with Despard (21.18) and Aidan Murphy (21.26) filling the minor places.
Naa Anang ran a promising 11.39 seconds into a 2.4 m/s headwind to win the women’s 100m from junior Torrie Lewis (11.46) and Bree Masters (11.48). Masters returned later in the night to win the 200m in 23.56 seconds (-0.8 m/s) from Kristie Edwards, who clocked 23.62 seconds.
Check out the updated SA Athletics Stadium track records at aths.au
A gallery of over 200 photos is available from the meet, courtesy of Jeff Wray.
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