Outstanding efforts at Aussie athletics titles

Rachel O'Brien came 19th in the women's open 800m. Photo: Contributed

FIVE Wellington Athletic Club members travelled to Sydney recently to compete in the national athletics championships, pitting themselves against the best athletes across the country.

All junior athletes finished in the top 10 of their respective events, while the club’s first ever open women’s athlete achieved a top 20 national result.

Rachel O’Brien, Debbie Husodo, Finn Staple and Antje Kempff had all qualified for national championships in 2020, but were unable to compete because of the event’s cancellation. They were all keen to make amends for this in 2021.

Elly Fleming participated in her first national event.

Middle distance runner O’Brien placed 19th in her first women’s open 800 metres with a time of 2:13.7 minutes, just outside her personal best time for the season.

This was even more impressive considering O’Brien had spent a month preceding the track season in a moon boot and unable to train.

Long distance competitor and Victorian champion Husodo placed fourth in the under 17 3000m with a personal best time and Wellington club record of 10:07.92 minutes.

Sprinters Kempff and Staple competed in the 400m, with Kempff placing 10th nationally in the under 16s with a personal best time of 58.9. In the under 17s, Staple placed second in his heat, resulting in a nervous wait for the finals, where he placed sixth with a time of 50.95s.

Wellington’s only field competitor, Fleming, placed an incredible eighth in the under 16 triple jump with a distance of 11.02m.