Amazing Ipswich club efforts in atrocious conditions
ATHLETICS: The conditions were so bad, the competitors had to continually use a towel to maintain any grip on their throwing implements.
Other athletes had to compete in puddles of water or deal with the windy hot and humid weather.
However, as proud Ipswich and District Athletic Club coach Vic Pascoe observed, some of the region's best young talents showcased their tenacity at last weekend's Australian All Schools Track and Field Championships in Cairns.
"It was so slippery. For them to come out and do what they did was absolutely marvellous,'' the athletics stalwart said.
"The weather was atrocious for most of the competition and with only one result outside of a top 10 finish, it was a remarkable effort by our youngsters.''
In the final major school competition for the year, a number of Ipswich club athletes excelled, securing three gold and two silver medals.
They include former Ipswich Little Athletics Centre duo Camryn Novinetz and Laylani Va'ai who have continued their tremendous progress in the senior Ipswich club.
Novinetz took nearly 11 seconds off her personal best in the under-16 3km walk.
Despite having to walk wide on the tartan track to dodge the water, she won the gold medal in a time of 14 minutes, 3.52 seconds.
"She did a really fantastic effort,'' Pascoe said.
"Walking events in pouring rain made our athletes work so hard.
"Just to see them going around I believe with the water on the track it was truly an experience.''
Va'ai also impressed in her U16 discus event, winning with a 41.11m throw. That was also a personal best effort - by nearly three metres at the Barlow Park venue.
Va'ai also came eighth in the U16 shot put (11.97m).
Pascoe is working with Laylani, rating her highly.
"I was absolutely stoked with her,'' the experienced coach said.
"She's the makings of a pretty good heptathlete.''
Other club athletes to win medals were Rochelle Vidler, Kyan Paterson and Erin Wright.
Just weeks after representing Australia at the Youth Olympics, Vidler won the U18 hammer with a 61.77m throw.
Paterson collected a silver in the U14 high jump (1.75m). That was also a personal best.
Consistent performer Wright finished second in the U16 200m hurdles (29.27s). She also came fourth in the U16 90m hurdles (13.21s).
Pascoe admired all the club competitors who toiled hard over the weekend.
"Our throwers did exceptionally well trying to dry their implements before competing,'' he said.
"High jumping on to a mat that was waterlogged added to the extreme conditions.
"Landing was awful as the mat became harder from the rain.
"Hurdles was made so much harder with the strong headwinds and our pocket rocket (Wright) did well to medal.''
The Ipswich athletics supremo also praised national championship officials for doing a marvellous job in such adverse conditions.
"The Saturday morning session was the only one without some sort of rain whether it was a drizzle or pouring,'' Pascoe said.
Other key results:
Jessica Rowe: 5th in U14 hammer ( 37.46m) and 8th in U14 javelin (29.89m).
Amazing Grace Raeli: 9th in U18 discus (40.10m PB) and 17th in U/18 shotput (11.24).
Ryan Stewart: 7th U/18 5km walk (30.14.9 hand held).
Alexander Gough: 7th U/18 2000m steeplechase (6.33.4 hand held).
Alex Davies: 8th U/18 3000m (8.55.92).