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Records, Podiums and Qualifiers | Weekend Recap

Published Tue 11 Jun 2024

From national records on home soil by Rhydian Cowley and Rebecca Henderson to podium finishes at the NCAA Championships and a host of Paralympic qualifiers at the Nottwil WPA Grand Prix, the long weekend was packed with Australian athletics action.

The 57th Annual Lake Burley Griffin Walking Carnival in Canberra saw Olympic race walkers Rhydian Cowley (Brent Vallance) and Rebecca Henderson (Simon Baker) build upon their form with a pair of Australian records over 35km, walking further into what looms as a golden year for Australian race walking.

Two-time Olympian Cowley broke the tape in a time of 2:26:25 to obliterate his former record of 2:27:33, carving over one minute off the mark, while Henderson continued her ascension in a time of 2:47:34 – 20 seconds faster than her previous best. While the event is not on the program for the 2024 Olympic Games, it is anticipated to return to major championships at the 2025 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

Australian athletes continued the nation’s strong presence in the NCAA system at the Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, landing a trio of podium finishes at the iconic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

At just 21-years-old, Lianna Davidson (Texas A&M) produced the best throw of her career to land silver in the Women’s Javelin, letting loose on a 60.70m bomb to become just the seventh Australian woman in history to eclipse the 60m barrier in the event and adding close to two-metres to her personal best.

Following suit was 2023 World Championships representative and reigning national 1500m champion Adam Spencer (Wisconsin) who landed on the podium for a third consecutive year, positioning himself prominently in the Men’s 1500m before being overrun in the home straight – claiming bronze in 3:39.80.

2022 World Championships representative Ky Robinson (Stanford) added another bronze to his illustrious collegiate resume over 5000m, racing valiantly to third place in a time of 13:55.00 in a bid to defend his title from 2023. Fellow Australians Toby Gillen (Ole Miss) and Jackson Sharp (Wisconsin) followed in times of 13:59.00 and 14:01.48 for seventh and 10th placings respectively, as Australia posted three athletes in the top-10.

19-year-old Hayley Kitching (Penn State) added to the middle-distance action with a fifth-place finish over 800m in a time of 2:01.05, while experienced campaigner Alexander Kolsenikoff (Georgia) launched to 19.70m to land at sixth place in the Men’s Shot Put.

If there was any doubt about the form of Madison de Rozario (Louise Sauvage), the Paralympic champion piling on five Paralympic ‘A’ qualifiers at the Nottwil WPA Grand Prix and Daniela Jutzeler Memorial proved that she is tracking just fine ahead of Paris 2024.

Leading a small group of Australian wheelchair racers, de Rozario nailed two A-qualifiers in the 800m T53 (1:48.30 and 1:50.97), two A-qualifiers in the 1500m T54 (3:15.60 and 3:16.61), plus one A-qualifier (11:06.93) and one B-qualifier (11:12.51) in the 5000m T54 – all across a blockbuster four days of racing.

Securing his second all-important Paralympic ‘B’ qualifier to steady his Paris bid, Samuel Carter (Fred Periac) delivered under pressure with a push of 14.17 in the 100m T54, tying his seasons best, as Samuel McIntosh (Fred Periac) served up two B-qualifiers of his own with pushes of 17.31 and 17.47 in the 100m T52.

Further qualifiers rolled in for Samuel Rizzo (Richard Colman) in the 1500m T54 (2:55.56), Angela Ballard (Jamie Green) in the 400m T53 (56.99) and Jake Lappin (Jamie Green) who stopped the clock in 1:32.49 in the 800m T53.

Adding to the action on US soil, Paris-bound 10,000m runner Lauren Ryan (Lara Rogers) strengthened her hopes of doubling back in the 5000m, posting her third sub-15 minute reading of the season with a run of 14:59.99 at the Portland Track Festival, placing fourth ahead of fellow Australian Natalie Rule who set a career-best of 15:03.48.  

2024 World Relays representative Alanah Yukich (Rose Monday) continued her breakthrough season with a personal best of 55.67 in the 400m Hurdles at the Last Chance Qualifier meeting in Georgia, carving close to one second off her former mark having returned to her pet event after a stint on the flat which saw her don the green and gold in The Bahamas.

Rounding out the results on international soil, Jesse Hunt (Craig Mottram) raced to a 3:36.17 performance over 1500m as Peter Bol (Justin Rinaldi) made his return to 800m racing in 1:48.41, both at the New York City Grand Prix.

By Lachlan Moorhouse, Athletics Australia
Posted 11/06/2024