Young stars shine at track

ATHLETICS Bendigo's rising stars shone in many events at the weekend's Bendigo International Madison carnival.

Those to achieve home-track victories in the Victorian Athletics League or Athletics Bendigo finals included Kaitlyn Bryce and Ben Powell.

Highlights at Women's Night on Saturday included Bryce's victory in the Sportzbiz novice 400m.

Runners from the John Knott and Steve Hocking-trained team were in hot form at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.

The heats were won by Kaitlyn Bryce, Kyle Hilson from White Hills, Strathfieldsaye's Caitlyn Hocking and Bendigo's Dane Heiden.

A previous winner of the Sally Conroy Memorial 200m, Bryce celebrated a superb victory.

Meanwhile, 13-year-old Ben Powell became one of the youngest winners of the Sally Conroy Memorial 200m on Sunday afternoon.

The rising star from Bendigo Harriers competed at the madison for the first time.

Powell's campaign in the Hilson Builders-sponsored classic began by winning the third and final heat on Saturday.

A field of six contested the final.

Racing off the 24m mark, Powell led on to the straight with South Bendigo's Rhys Lias (17) and Josh Pickthall (scratch) in hot pursuit.

It was an extremely close finish as Powell won in 22.6 seconds, two-hundredths of a second in front of Lias.

Pickthall fought on to be third in 23.3 ahead of Andrew Bruce (4m) 23.8, Louis Schenker (5) 24.3, and Caleb Spruce (6) 24.7.

The race winner said he could hear Lias and Pickthall getting closer in the last 15 metres.

"Once I was at the top of the straight I just tried to push as hard as I could," said Powell.

Among the hundreds at the track were parents Darren and Robyn.

Ben's siblings Josh, 17, and Aimee, 15, also compete in athetics.

Trained by Neil Macdonald, Ben Powell said his favourite distances were 400m and 800m.

The talented teen started in Little Athletics when he was six.

Ben Powell holds the Bendigo Little Athletics Centre's under-13s 800m record of 2:15.9.

The year 8 student at Creek Street Christian College has more records in sight as the track season nears its end.

He will contest  the under-13s 400m and 800m at the Little Athletics Victoria in Melbourne later this month.

Hilson Builders Sally Conroy Memorial 200m - Heat 1: Josh Pickthall (SB, scratch) 23.1, Caleb Spruce (BH, 6) 23.7, Roger Astall (Eh, 21) 24.1, Ella Farnell (SB, 34) 24.3, Nathan Green (BH, 26) 25.3. 

Heat 2: Rhys Lias (SB, 17) 22.6, Andrew Bruce (BH, 4) 23.4, Niah Langtree (Eh, 32) 24.3. 

Heat 3: Ben Powell (BH, 24) 23.0, Louis Schenker (BH, 5) 23.9, Keely Farnell (SB, 30) 24.8, Deanne Hocking (SB, 33) 25.2. 


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