Home track a huge plus

MANY Bendigo athletes representing Australia capitalised on home-track advantage in Monday's events at the Oceania Masters athletics championships.

Vaulter clears 3.10 metres to equal Oceania record for 50-54 years class set by his dad 32 years ago

Although the host nation has dominated the track and field action, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Nauru and Fiji joined in the medal spree at the La Trobe University Bendigo athletics complex in Flora Hill.

There were many highs on the third day of the nine-day championships.

Pole vaulter Tim McGrath cleared 3.10m to win gold in the 50-54 years class.

McGrath equalled the Oceania record set by his father, Jim McGrath at the Masters titles run 32 years ago.

Nauru's Irving Harris completed the 60m dash in 8.05 seconds to win silver in 45-49 years category.

Harris leapt 4.78m to win silver in the 45-49 years long jump.

David Lobb from Cook Islands leapt 3.70m to win gold in the 60-64 years long jump.

Fiji's Bimlesh Kumar ran a time of 18:58 to win bronze in the 35-39 years 5000m.

Charles Chambers from Bendigo Harriers raced around the track in 18.06 minutes to win gold in the 60-64 years 5000m.

A brilliant performer in triathlons, Bendigo's David Meade achieved the fastest time of 16:16 as he won the 5000m  in the 40-44 years class.

One of the country's best in his age group in triathlons, Meade kicked well clear on a track not far from his home.

It was silver and bronze for Bendigo athletes in the 50-54 years 5000m. Bendigo University's Michael Bieleny was runner-up in 16:45 as Peter Cowell from Bendigo Harriers fought on to take bronze in 17:43.

Ken Bruechert from Bendigo Harriers started his track campaign in the 60m dash.

At 80-years-young, Bruechert sprinted to the line in 10.56 to be silver medallist to Australian team-mate Leo Coffey, 10.45, in the 80-84 years class.

Hunter Gill from Bendigo Harriers clocked 22:10 to win bronze in a seven-runner field in the 65-59 years 5000m.

Two days after a successful campaign at the Daylesford Gift carnival, South Bendigo's Adam Parker won the 30-34 years 5000m in 17:51.

Parker's clubmate Chris Timewell was third in the 35-39 years 60m in 8.38 seconds.

Medallists in the fields action included Eaglehawk's David Chisholm, 5.09m to win gold in the 45-49 years long jump.

Eaglehawk's Rhondda Dundas put the shot 8.35m to win the 65-59 years final.

Bendigo Harriers' Paul Pryse cleared 3.30m at pole vault to win the 45-49 years title.

Eaglehawk's Geoff Major put the shot 5.47m to win silver in the 75-79 years class.

South Bendigo's Norm West hurled the hammer 18.61m to win silver in the 70-74 years division.

South Bendigo's Michael Pickthall reached 3.25m to win silver in the 55-59 long jump.

South Bendigo's Chris Timewell, 8.06m, bronze in the 35-39 years shot put.

New Zealand's stars in the 5km runs were Lois Anderson, Frances Bayler, Ian Calder, Claire Giles, Anne Hore, Barbara Patrick, Margaret Peters, Dalise Sanderson, Derek Shaw, Judith Stewart Jim Tobin, William Twiss, Clasina Van der Veeken, Barry Watson, Michael Wray.

Other medal winners from New Zealand were Stewart Foster, Trevor Guptill, Julia Lile 60m; Patricia Drayton, Mark Flaus, Claire Giles, Liz Hamilton, Laini Inivale, Justine Whitaker shot put; Dennis Langford, long jump.

The Masters have drawn athletes in their 30s to those in their 90s.

Tuesday's track and field action at LUBAC in Retreat Road starts at 8.30am.

Events are 100m, 110m hurdles, 100m hurdles, 80m hurdles, 800m, high jump, javelin, discus, hammer, long jump, and discus.

Full results from the Oceania Masters athletics championships are at www.omabendigo2014.com.au

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