HAPPIER TIMES: Lockyer District Athletics Club athlete Hayley Reynolds and coach Bailey Pashley before the latest national events were cancelled. Picture: Dominic Elsome
HAPPIER TIMES: Lockyer District Athletics Club athlete Hayley Reynolds and coach Bailey Pashley before the latest national events were cancelled. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Country athletes like Annie, Hayley hit hard

ATHLETICS: Lockyer Club athletes are disappointed and frustrated that the National Track and Field Championships were cancelled by Athletics Australia due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For Annie McGuire, Hayley Reynolds and Aden Cowdroy the action taken was not unexpected as they were aware of the recommendations made by Australian health authorities to control the spread of the virus.

"This was just another bitter disappointment for long jumper Annie who seems to be dogged by cancellation of milestone events over the past few years,'' coach Bailey Pashley said.

"When she was all set to pack her bags for the World Youth Championships three years ago the IAAF terminated this event.

"She then missed the World Youth Olympics despite qualifying numerous times when Athletics Australia decided not to include long jump in the small team.''

 

Lockyer District Athletic Club achiever Annie McGuire.
Lockyer District Athletic Club achiever Annie McGuire.

Now training with the Queensland Academy of Sport, McGuire is uncertain if she will get the opportunity to represent her country in the World Under 20 Championships in Niarobe later this year. Under 20 and Open athletes have been advised to continue training in case this event goes ahead.

Under-18 athlete Hayley Reynolds was on the threshold of a good nationals when the news came through that she would not be competing in Sydney.

Reynolds and McGuire were having a final hit-out that evening at Runaway Bay.

McGuire had just performed an Under 20 qualifying long jump leap of 6.16m.

Reynolds also stamped her readiness for the nationals with a strong long jump of 5.69m and a brilliant 100m run of 12.03 seconds, beating a strong field with international sprinters.

"Just after these performances the girls heard the fate of this week's titles,'' Pashley said.

"Although deflated by the cancellation, their common sense response was 'with up to 5000 people attending including athletes, parents, coaches, officials and other support personnel the health of all involved was the priority'.''

 

Cowdroy, 16, also expressed his bitter disappointment.

After placing in the medals at the nationals last year, he was all set for another good performance.

He was hopeful of improving his state championships result of 1.93m.

Cowdroy was further disappointed when the State Little Athletic titles were cancelled as well.

While McGuire continues training with QAS, Reynolds, Cowdroy and other Lockyer club athletes will resume training after a mini break to prepare for the school season.

"The emphasis will be on more speed drills and strength development,'' Pashley said.

Following a successful clinic last December for local and Toowoomba LAs athletes, the club is going to hold a follow-up clinic on May 31 to give other runners and jumpers the opportunity to develop their track and field skills.