Veteran athletes scorch Darwin track

GOLDEN DOUBLE: Peter Cowell won the 50-54 years 5000m and 8km cross country in Darwin. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

GOLDEN DOUBLE: Peter Cowell won the 50-54 years 5000m and 8km cross country in Darwin. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

ATHLETES from Flack Advisory Bendigo Region were in hot form at the recently-run Australian Masters track and field championships in Darwin.

The central Victorian-based athletes impressed against hundreds of athletes from around Australia.

A medal haul of 16 by Bendigo’s masters included seven gold, five silver and four bronze.

Bendigo Harriers, Bendigo University and Eaglehawk athletics clubs were represented among the group of eight as they pitted their skills against more than 700 rivals in the “Top End”.

Geoff Shaw from Bendigo Harriers led the medal spree as he captured four gold medals in the 65-69 years class.

Shaw was victorious in high jump, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault.

He captured silver in the pentathlon.

Clubmate and distance runner Peter Cowell outran rivals in the 50-54 years 5000m and 8km cross country.

Eaglehawk’s David Chisholm showed his all round skill in the 45-49 years division.

Chisholm won the 100m hurdles, was runner-up in the 400m hurdles, and finalist in the 60m, 100mm and 200m duels.

He also captured a silver medal in the 4 x 400m relay.

A great campaign by Anne Buckley, from Bendigo Harriers, included breaking the Bendigo residential record for the 5000m in the 50-plus age group.

Buckley joined the 50-plus division just days before the Masters Games and earned silver in the 1500m and 5000m on the track as well as the 8km cross country.

University’s Craig Green tackled the four longest distances in the 45-49 age group.

Athletics Bendigo’s general manager earned bronze in the 10,000m and the 8km cross country.

A busy schedule in Darwin included the 1500m and 5000m on the track.

Eaglehawk’s Terry Hicks faced two world champions in the 60-64 years 800m.

Hicks put in a spirited fight to be third after he led the contest on the home straight.

Long-time secretary for Athletics Bendigo, Hicks was fourth in the individual 400m, but struck gold in the 4 x 400m relay.

The sole race walker from Bendigo at the Games was Annette Major from Eaglehawk.

A bronze medal in the 50-54 years 1500m walk capped a great comeback.

Sharon Barr from Bendigo Harriers achieved a season-best of 22.08m  as she finished fifth in the 50-54 years discus.

It was hot competition for Barr as she was fifth in the hammer throw.

Hurdles ace Toni Phillips and Merrin Cowell made the trek to Darwin to lead Bendigo’s fan club.