A host of emerging talent takes centre stage in Adelaide starting this Friday at the 2017 Australian All Schools Championships. Three days of competition put school pride on the line in the pinnacle of Australian Athletics development pathway at the SA Athletics Stadium for students aged under 14, under 16, and under 18.
Recent years have seen the likes of Riley Day and Jack Hale make national headlines following their performances. At the 2017 championships, 1100 competitors from all states and territories across Australia along with a host of internationals including Fiji, Pakistan, Singapore, NZ, China, Macau, New Caledonia will be aiming to do the same.
Commonwealth Youth Games shot put gold medallist Alexander Kolesnikoff (NSW) gets the action underway on Friday in the Under 18 boys hammer throw. Kolesnikoff will face competition from Athletics Australia’s U17 Development Squad member, Declan Carman (Vic), before going on to also compete in the shot put and hammer throw across the weekend.
Another of the medallists from the Commonwealth Youth Games, held in the Bahamas this past July, Jordan Doris (NSW) will attempt the under 18 400m-800m double. Doris claimed gold as part of the Mixed 4x400m Relay team and a silver medal in the boys 800m. Keegan Bell (NSW) and Mackenzie McIntyre (Qld) are likely challengers to Doris in the 400m on Friday.
Western Australia’s Sophie White will chase the sprint treble across the under 18 100m hurdles, under 16 100m, and under 16 200m.
Another exciting talent from the West, Sasha Zhoya, will compete across the under 18 boys 110m hurdles as well as the under 16 pole vault. Earlier this year and aged just 14, Zhoya set two under 17 world records across the two disciplines and is hopeful of competing for Australia at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018. New South Wales pair Mark Fokas and Albert Swann are also likely contenders in the under 18 hurdles.
With Day sitting out this Australian All Schools Championships to celebrate the end of her final year at high school, a few girls will look to step up in the under 18 100m. Kristie Edwards (NSW) and Tamara Hotten (Qld) are expected to lead the way along with Maisie Stevens (NSW) and Jacqueline Thring (SA), the latter hoping for a hometown advantage.
In the boys under 18 100m event, up-and-coming decathlete Ashley Maloney (Qld) a member of this year’s Under 19 Talent Squad and Edward Nketia (ACT), under 16 record-holder and whose father broke the New Zealand record at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, are expected to push each other to the line.
Commonwealth Youth Games representative Jackson Sharp has already attained world under 20 qualification, while fellow New South Welshman Luke Young, should be within striking distance in the under 18 boys 1500m.
The youngest member of the Australian team at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games, Alexandra Roberts (Qld) will be in action in the under 18 girls javelin, while another Queenslander, Oscar Miers will be eyeing a Youth Olympic Games qualifying mark in the under 18 boys high jump.
Expect a tight finish in the under 18 girls 800m event on Sunday. A strong field won’t see much space between Zoe Brito-Babapulle, Heidi Demeo (Vic), Cara Jardine, Chantelle Yelland (Qld), Sarah McDermott (NSW), and Rose Pittman (SA).
Meantime, Lauren Hyde-Cooling (WA) will be hopeful of edging closer to a World Under 20 qualifying mark in the girls under 18 pole vault, as will ACT pair Annamaria Leszczynska and Riley Proudfoot in the girls under 18 400m hurdles.
What you need to know:
Day One – Friday 8 December 2017: 3.30pm
Day Two – Saturday 9 December 2017: 8.30am
Day Three – Sunday 10 December 2017: 8.00am
Stay tuned to Athletics Australia’s digital channels with daily wraps, features and plenty of content from the competition. Stay in touch by using the hashtag #AusAllSchools and #ThisIsAthletics
2017 Australian All Schools Championships tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. To purchase tickets online follow this link. Merchandise is available at the venue and online.