Athletics Australia’s Under 19 Talent Squad are today recovering after a bumper four-day camp in Melbourne.
The camp saw the 35-strong squad arrive on Thursday for training and education seminars as a group and with their respective National Youth Event Coaches, before a competition opportunity at the Victorian Track & Field Championships.
It, also, proved to be a successful breeding ground for results, with 11 squad athletes adding additional or recording new qualifiers for the 2012 IAAF world junior championships in Barcelona.
Two of these athletes were Luke Cann (javelin) and Damien Birkinhead (shot put).
Cann said: “I’ve thrown a 2.5 metre personal best here and couldn’t be happier. I’m really excited about the Olympic Trial next weekend, competing there will be great, and then the Australian Juniors to get my spot for Barcelona.
“There are four boys with world juniors qualifiers so it is going to come down to who is the best on the day in Sydney.
“I’m really enjoying working with Dion too, he and my coach Iain Simmons are working well together and hopefully that helps me in the long run.”
Birkinhead added: “Coming back from injury and getting that result of 19.70m is fantastic.
“Having the qualifiers like I do now means that I can focus on getting it right for Australian Juniors with my coach and then in Barcelona I’d love to see a throw somewhere out near 21 metres.”
To the following athletes who achieved qualifying performances as part of the Under 19 Talent Squad camp we say congratulations:
Taryn Gollshewsky (discus, 52.80m)
Keshia McGrath-Volau (discus, 50.04m)
Luke Cann (javelin, 75.21m)
William White (javelin, 73.57m)
Brooke Stratton (long jump, 6.32m)
Damien Birkinhead (shot put, 19.70m & hammer throw, 69.30m)
Jake Stein (discus, 55.49m)
Hugh Donovan (100m, 10.50 & 200m, 21.19)
Brandon Starc (high jump, 2.15m)
Danni McConnell (hammer throw, 56.13m)
Excitingly for the prospective Australian Spark team bound for the IAAF world championships, five other athletes, including three of whom are members of the Under 17 Development Squad, also achieved qualifying marks across the weekend.
Paris McCathrion (pole vault, 4.15m)
Taylah Sengul (discus, 50.02m)
Ash Whittaker (100m, 11.78)
Monica Brennan (100m, 11.79 & 200m, 23.93)
Margaret Gayen (long jump, 6.26m)
Melissa-Maree Farrington (heptathlon)
Congratulations to all the athletes from the Under 19 Talent Squad, and we wish all those preparing for the Australian Junior Athletics Championships the best of luck as they prepare for Sydney 2012.