Brodie Cross (VIC, coach: Mark Stewart) will join Liz Parnov and Paris McCathrion in pole vault finals at the IAAF world youth championships this weekend after soaring over 4.80m in qualification this morning.
Entering the competition at 4.60m, Cross easily cleared the bar before making light work of 4.70m on his first attempt. He narrowly missed a 4.80m clearance twice before regrouping and sailing over the mark on his third attempt to ensure his spot in the final 12.
“My first two heights were clean and I got them on first attempt, but at 4.80m I had an issue with my run-up initially before jumping with too short a pole second time round,” Cross said.
“To be honest I actually hit the bar on my third jump at 4.80m but I managed to keep the bar where it should be and just got it.
“Mark (Cross’ coach) said that he was pretty happy but there are always improvements to be made and we’ll do that before the final.”
Cross hopes to improve on his 5.05m career best mark in the final, confident in the knowledge that a jump like that could secure a strong final standing.
“It’s tough to say what I’m looking for in the final, I know that I want to jump well that’s for sure,” Cross said.
“Above 5 metres would be nice, it would almost guarantee me top five or six and if I got to my PB height of 5.05m who knows what could happen.”
Danni McConnell (TAS, coach: Evan Peacock), the Australian under 18 hammer throw record holder, also took to the field this morning looking to qualify for the girl’s hammer throw final. McConnell threw 53.21m to place 13th overall and miss the final by a heartbreaking 20 centimetres.
On track, Youth Olympics representative Monica Brennan (VIC, coach: Chris Brennan) dead heated in her girl’s 200m heat with Jamaican Shericka Jackson. Both stopped the clock at 24.08 (w: -1.0) before the Australian was awarded the victory in the closest photo finish of the championships so far.
Brennan’s time today was just 0.04 seconds slower than her best and her heat time sees the 17-year-old qualify third fastest for the semi-finals.
“Equal first, that’s pretty close isn’t it,” Brennan joked.
“I always knew the first three would go through to semis so my coach and I decided that I should just go for it to get a feel for the track.
“Travelling to Youth Olympics last year has helped ease my nerves I think, and I’ve learnt about things like the call room at internationals and hopefully that will help me achieve my goal of making a final.”
Meanwhile in the boy’s 200m, Brennan’s fellow team captain Hugh Donovan (QLD, coach: Denise Boyd), who yesterday placed 5th (10.62) in the 100m final, eased up in the final stages to win his heat in 21.48 (w: -0.1) and also progress to the next round tomorrow.
In heptathlon action, Melissa Maree-Farrington (NSW, coach: Paul Kennedy) has begun her campaign in a similarly strong fashion to gold medallist in the octathlon Jake Stein.
Opening her account in the 100m hurdles, Farrington clocked 13.95 (w: -0.4) to narrowly miss her personal best before a personal best performance of 1.63m in the high jump. Farrington entered the competition at 1.51m and cleared 1.54m, 1.57m, 1.60m and 1.66m on first attempt before stumbling on 1.66m.
Farrington returns to the track for the shot put and the 200m later today.
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To view full results from day three of the 2011 IAAF world youth championships, please click here.