It was balmy conditions for the final competition of 2018 and with a record number of entrants (296) registered to compete, the stage was set for a great night of athletics.
A record-attempt opened the competition, with Etienne Rousseau using the Invitational Men’s Shot Put to have one last crack at the U16 State Shot Put Record, just 11 days before he moves up to the Under 17/18 weight. It was a stellar display of sportsmanship at the Shot Put site, as Rousseau was encouraged and cheered on by fellow junior competitors Jackson Hamilton and Jacob Matteo, alongside senior athletes Matthew Cowie and Courtney Heinze. It came down to the final throw, and Rousseau showed he saved the best until last, producing a 19.53m throw to break the 32-year-old State Record by 9cm (find us on Facebook/Instagram for the video). Fondly dubbed ‘Rockstar Rousseau’ by our volunteer commentator Travis, he backed up his performance with 51.74m in the Hammer Throw and a personal best of 67.24m in the Discus.
Records continued to fall throughout the night, with Robert Marchesi-Scott throwing the 3kg Hammer a whopping 46.29m on his first throw to break the U14 State Hammer Throw Record.
No doubt inspired by his training partner’s efforts, Jackson Hamilton arrived at the records party with a 62.02m throw in the Ambulant Discus to break his own Australian Para Record.
On the track there was excitement in the Women’s 100m with Commonwealth Games representative Brianna Beahan competing locally for the first time this season. Beahan ran 11.56 to edge out Taylah Cruttenden in 11.69, which would have been an Under 16 State Record had it not been for an illegal tail wind of 3.1m/s.
In the 1500m, Kayla van der Linden powered away from the women’s field to finish in 4:30.86 for a 4-second personal best, whilst a close battle in the men’s event saw Luke Graves take the victory from Alain Dutton in 3:52.30 and 3:52.52 respectively.
The final track event of the night saw an all-star trio battle down the home straight, with World Junior representative Adam Kopp taking the win in 47.57 over Commonwealth Games representative Ian Dewhurst and former New Zealand 400mH Record Holder Michael Cochrane.
In the Pole Vault, IAAF Continental Cup representative Stephen Clough vaulted 5.25m, whilst World Junior representative Lauren-Hyde Cooling achieved an ‘8-step’ personal best with 3.80m.
Congratulations to all athletes and their coaches and we look forward to seeing you back for competition on the 5th of January (entries now open).
A reminder that the Athletics WA office will be closed from the 21st of December, reopening on the 3rd of January. We would like to wish our members and the broader athletics community a safe and happy festive season.