BENDIGO athletes embraced the Olympic motto of “higher, faster, stronger” at the Victorian All Schools Track and Field Championships, bringing home a swag of medals.
Pole vaulters – including high-flying siblings Jemuel and Blake Pryse and the equally talented Madeline Lawson – dominated their events at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park.
Representing Creek Street Secondary College, Jemuel soared to a new Bendigo under-14 residential record height of 3.10m, also eclipsing the Victorian country record of 3.01m that had stood since 1981.
The Bendigo Harriers athlete easily claimed the gold medal, raising the bar a full metre higher than his nearest rival.
Brother Blake, from Girton Grammar, cleared 4.20m in the under-17 pole vault to win by 50cm and later raced to a silver medal in the 110m hurdles.
Jumps specialist Lawson again proved her class, leaping 3.75m and taking out the women’s under-17 event by 1.05m – the biggest winning margin of all the pole vault divisions.
The Eaglehawk club athlete and Bendigo Senior Secondary College Stadum was just 1cm shy of a Bendigo residential record in her long jump, with a gold-medal-winning effort of 5.60m.
The trio were among many stand-out performances at the three-day event.
South Bendigo club middle-distance runner Matthew Cindric set a Bendigo residential record of 50.47s in the under-17 400m as he ran into third place, but suffered an injury while leading the field in his pet 800m event and finished in 8th place.
Sprint queen Sophie Taylor was pipped on the finish line into the silver medal position in her under-18 100m, but the Catholic College Bendigo student rebounded strongly to be first past the post in the 200m.
Also from CCB, thrower Christopher Browne had a superb meet, recording huge personal best distances as he claimed silver in the under-15 shot put, discus and hammer, and adding a silver in the javelin for good measure.
His training partner, Tavish Eenjes from Girton, also registered best-ever throws and picked up a bronze in the under-15 discus.
Alice Schenker, from Bendigo Senior Secondary College, was another thrower to earn a podium finish, coming third in the under-18 hammer.
And sprinter Luke Rowlatt earned himself a berth on his first state track and field team with a blistering run into second place in the under-16 400m final in a time of 52.08s. Rowlatt has peeled 2.5s off his personal best time in the event since the start of the season.
The state meet doubled as a selection trial for the Australian All Schools Championships in Hobart at the end of the month, and a qualifying event for the national junior track and field titles in Perth next March.
The first two placegetters in under-14, under-16 and under-18 age groups, along the winners in under-15 and under-17, can nominate to represent Athletics Victoria at the premier schools competition, while the three medallists in all age groups are eligible to compete in Perth.
There were many superb performances from central Victorian athletes who live outside of Bendigo, but are registered with local clubs.
They included Rochester sisters Teleah and Zahra Hayes in the long distances and race walk, Charlton long-distance runner Kye Jenkyn, and Goulburn Valley quartet Emily Lawson in the sprints, Liam Schreck in the jumps and Zoe Boldiston and Amanda Heard in the race walk.
Results of central Victorian athletes from the meet:
Kate Salvador, Bendigo South East Secondary College, under-14: 6th 100m, 11th 1500m
Madeline Lawson, Bendigo Senior Secondary College, under-17: 1st pole vault, 1st long jump
Alice Schenker, Bendigo Senior SC, under-18: 3rd hammer
Kaitlyn Bryce, Crusoe College, Kangaroo Flat, under-16: 8th 200m heat, 7th 400m heat
Keely Haig, Girton Grammar, under-16: 15th long jump, 11th triple jump, 8th shot put
Sophie Taylor, Catholic College Bendigo, under-18: 2nd 100m final, 1st 200m final
Zahra Hayes, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Elmore, under-14: 2nd 3000m race walk
Teleah Hayes, Rochester SC, under-16: 3rd 1500m, 1st 3000m
Emily Lawson, Kyabram Secondary College, under-17: 3rd 200m final, 1st 400m final
Zoe Boldiston, Notre Dame College, Shepparton, under-18: 1st 5000m race walk
Amanda Heard, Goulburn Valley Grammar, under-18: 2nd 5000m race walk
Rochelle Kennedy, Braemar College, under-18: 2nd 800m; 1st 1500m
Luke Rowlatt, Bendigo South East, under-16: 2nd 400m, 6th 200m final
Tom Savage, Bendigo Senior SC, under-18: 4th 2000m steeplechase
Matthew Cindric, Weeroona College, White Hills, under-17: 3rd 400m final, 8th 800m final
Tavish Eenjes, Girton Grammar, under-15: 3rd discus, 4th shot put
Blake Pryse, Girton Grammar, under-17: 2nd 110mH, 4th high jump, 1st pole vault, 5th long jump
Daniel Bish, Creek Street Christian College, under-18: 6th 100m heat, 8th 200m final, 8th 400m final
Jemuel Pryse, Creek Street Christian College, under-14: 5th 90mH heat, 4th high jump, 1st pole vault
Josh Powell, Creek Street Christian College, under-16: 5th 400m heat
Christopher Browne, Catholic College Bendigo, under-15: 2nd discus, 2nd shot put, 2nd hammer, 2nd javelin
Joshua Henthorn, Catholic College Bendigo, under-17: 4th 100m heat, 5th 200m heat, 10th long jump, 6th triple jump
Lewis Cain, Maryborough Education Centre, under-16: 6th 200m heat, 5th 400m heat, 7th 100mH, 11th high jump, 12th long jump, 10th triple jump, 8th discus
Liam Schreck, Goulburn Valley Grammar, under-14: 3rd long jump, 2nd triple jump
Kye Jenkyn, Charlton College, under-15: 2nd 3000m, 7th 800m final, 5th 1500m.