Sale wins Little Aths shield

The Sale and District Little Athletics Centre won the prestigious Gippsland Track and Field Champions Shield at the recent region championships at Newborough.

Sale, with a contingent of 16 boys and 22 girls in the under nine to under 15 age groups, was one of 10 Gippsland centres which competed for the shield with points weighted by the amount of athletes per centre competing against the amount of registrations at that centre.

Each placing and in particular each new region record accounts for points towards the shield.

A tally of 23 gold, 25 silver and 21 bronze medals and a massive six new region records gave Sale enough points to bring home the shield.

Four of the six new records were set in the very first events on the first day of competition.

Lachlan Craft who broke the first region record in the very first track event on the first day, broke Bairnsdale’s R. Halford’s 2008 mark of 47.84 seconds in the under 13 boys’ 300 metres hurdles by clocking 45.76s.

Amber Ross also began the first field event on the first day with a record breaking performance, launching a 9.98m shot put and with that broke the 14-year-old under 11 girl’s record of Sale athlete E. Murray by 28 centimetres. An hour later Amber also managed to break an even longer standing record in the javelin event, throw 20.66m, 81cm past the previous record set in 1995 by Moe athlete D. Siddle.

Jenna Ross also broke a record at her first field event on the first day. The under nine girls’ shot put record of 6.42m, set by Sale athlete M. Brack back in 1985, was broken when Ross launched the 2kg steel put another 9cm further.

Jenna had an ideal weekend, winning a gold medal for all of her four events. A gold medal automatically qualified an athlete for in the state championships to be held in Bendigo in March 24 and 25.

Sharna Warry set the new standard for the under 14 girl’s javelin event with a staggering 29.59m throw. The under 14 girls’ javelin weight was changed only this season from 600g to 400g.

On the second day of the championships, under 13 girl Ashley Jans ran a fantastic race in the under 13 girls’ 800m, smashing the region record by nearly seven seconds, covering the distance in 2:33.14 minutes to take the honours away from Leongatha athlete Kaila McKnight, who held the record since 1999 and has gone on to represent Australia.

It was successful day for Sale athletes where at least 50 per cent of events they participated in resulted in medals.

Twenty-one athletes accepted their qualifications for the state championships, while another 27 Sale athletes remain in contention for a state spot.

For full results from the region championships and the regular weekly meet, read Friday’s Gippsland Times.