9 go off to 2022 NSW Juniors

9 go off to 2022 NSW Juniors

Day 1

The competition got underway on Friday 25th February just after lunch with the sprint hurdles. We had trying conditions in the wet and as you know it can play mind games with the technical events. The warm up presented some stride pattern issues to the first barrier as the rain was falling into the athletes eyes, Lily Stewart was able to adapt to her regular 9 stride to be sure of her footing while Jude Lumley was still caught between 7 or 8 striding as the wind picked up.
Lily was able to run a PB in the 90mH of 14.10s to qualify 6th for the final but it was not the start Jude was looking for as the competition got the better of him and ended up 6.5 striding to the first barrier and even ended up too close that resulted in an awkward jump and stalling on the other side, this affected the entire race and will need to do more work in the coming months as he makes a complete transition to the 90mH and leave the 80mH behind. We had drier conditions for the 90mH and Lily went to the Warm Up track to find an extra yard or two. Success! Got the 8 stride down and confidence was up. The event had to be clash managed between the Long Jump and having an opener of 4.93m before running another PB in the hurdles and going sub 14 seconds for the first time in 13.98s which is also an AA National Qualifier. Lily returned to the Long Jump with a compliment of other girls needing to finish the competition and managed another effort of 4.90m and not able to affected the medals settling in 4th place.

Day 2
The rain continued overnight and almost all day Saturday and some excitement was in the air when Luciana Ranieri took to the circle in his first Juniors competition participating in the Shotput. The boys had some good cheer amongst the group as they shared stories and offered advice as some shots were still being launched over the AA Qualifier of 14.40m. Luci managed a Top 8 finish settling in 5th with a new personal best of 12.30m with the 4kg.
The 100m races took up most of the squad's track day with a single 200mH sandwiched in the middle. 5 out of 6 events acquired personal bests and obtained 2 Silver medals. A couple shaky starts as the usual unsteadiness swept across the starting line up's. Huge potential if we can work on some of those weaknesses out of the blocks through drive phase and into transition, positive outcomes nonetheless as most walked away satisfied in trying conditions. Check out the link to the YouTube Channel for footage of the races.
Back to the pits for the boys u14 Triple Jump and what is looking like the start of a very competitive group if they progress together over the next 4 years.
Kyros had the lead of 11.14m until the last round and took Silver and Jude while not satisfied with his improved average of 9.69m having recently jumped 10.34m is still showing improvement in being more consistent with his jumps.
Competition management made the decision to close all but one single pit as majority were waterlogged at this stage and that pushed out the timetable.
The last event of the day was the girls u16 Triple Jump and Lily had a share of 3rd with a tame opener that was not on the takeoff board of 10.28m.
Round 3 was the decider jumping 10.93m and putting sufficient distance between her and 4th place. Finally! a Bronze medal for all her efforts contesting multiple events and Championships over the years.

Day 3
Forecast still had rain on the radar however the sun was out making for humid conditions. The squad started the day off with 200m heats and wow what a start. Everyone who entered ran personal bests in the heats as we recorded the following results:
u14 - Kyros Ghadiali 26.23s
u16 - Alexandra Smith 28.22s (over 1 second) 22nd
u15 - Hugo Doak 25.66s 13th
u20 - Eliza Da Silva 25.09s

The gap between the heat and finals was longer than the 100m races we had on Friday. That can present cool down and warm up strategies to be incorporated into Championship events like this. Our aim is to keep moving
all the while reducing sitting positions of not more than 5 minutes. Kyros also had to contest his u14 Long Jump with squad mates Kai Zhe Tan and Jude Lumley, both who have recently frequented the 5m mark.
Kyros was perhaps the favourite going into the event and so when we learnt he was in front we managed the number of attempts to save some energy for the 200m Final. Kai Zhe had a good series of take offs from the board
but could just not reproduce his 5m effort from training and other competitions, Kai finished 5th with 4.80m. Jude was reaching a little and both his Rd 1 and 2 attempts were marginly front foot fouled. One of those awfully
close to the 5m. So we decided to move his run up back a foot and try get a legal attempt in and contest for the Top 8. His 3rd of 4.67m was 2cm shy of the extra jump and thus ended his competition. Kyros passed his 4th attempt
having taken the honours with his 2nd round attempt of 5.33m. A short rest and walk over to the Warm Up Track again to refocus from the jumps to the sprint and we were ready to contest the 200m finals.
Kyros drew the lane outside the favourite from Hills District and that made for an exciting bend as 4 athletes came around together before the staggers started to separate. Kyros was holding 3rd position until 30m to go
and then the lack of conditioning got the better of him and experienced required to manage the energy supply for the 200. Still a new personal best but somehow as an athlete 4th is not as sweet when being overtaken.
Eliza also got an outside lane with the World Junior Qualifier in the 400m on her inside. 3 women came around the bend together with the WJQ and the 100m winner just edging ahead of Eliza but in the end did enough to take
bronze in another personal best time:
u14 - Kyros Ghadiali 25.75s 4th
u20 - Eliza Da Silva 24.87s 3rd
9 athletes, 16 events, 9 personal best performances and 6 podiums.

Thank you to everyone for participating in the NSW Juniors and dealing with the transport, parking, weather and timetable changes. Building nicely for the future.
Image taken from Athletics NSW

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