|No. 28 January 2000|
Ansett Australia All Schools Championships
SCT medal winners Jonathan Symonds & Chris Williams
"A-C-T... A-C-T... A-C-T..." came the chant from the crowd at the Ansett Australian All Schools Championships.
It was late on the final day and the ACT team were vocal in the emptying main grandstand. They were supporting Under-16 Javelin thrower Tim Curran, an outside chance at a medal. In the shadow of Stadium Australia (venue for the 2000 Olympic Games), Tim kept the excitement level high. He moved into the bronze medal position with his third throw. It was a big personal best of 62.39 metres - less than 2 metres away from gold. The final two throws produced no improvement and Tim came away with the ACT’s 5th medal for the championships.
On the way home to Canberra the SCT contingent stopped in at BP Marulen for dinner. This also doubled as Teresa’s birthday celebration with an ice-cream cake provided by Jason from McDonalds across the highway. Whilst waiting we chatted about the highs and lows of ‘All-Schools 1999’...
The good stories overwhelmed the disappointments beginning with Jonathan Symonds’ surprise silver medal in the 3000m. It was Jonathan’s third serious run over the distance and in a freak Sydney monsoon the ACT colours were in the front pack of runners. Jonathan survived another competitor’s mid-race fall and chased the break-away leader to the line in 9:05.38 - a 30-plus second improvement from his first 3k in October.
Chris Williams always puts on a show for crowd with his often used ‘come-from-behind’ tactics. It was no different in the Under-14 men’s 800m with Chris entering the home in 5th place - 10 metres away from the medals. With his usual storming finish Chris pulled a bronze medal from the fire running a 5 second PB of 2:06.02. Not bad from a runner who has only just cracked 60 seconds for 400m.
The steeplechase being my favourite track event I had my fingers crossed during the running of the men’s Under-18 2000m race. Craig Core is one of those distance runners possessing rare talent. After a modest start Craig moved into third place with two laps to run. Then, on the second last water jump he made his move and charged into the lead. Were we about to witness the ACT’s first gold medal of the championships? Alas, it was not to be with Craig falling victim to the fast finishing Richard Jeremiah (6:00.10) and William Devjak (6:02.75). A podium finish bronze medal was some consolation for a relieved Craig who, although running a PB, was slightly disappointed with his moderate time of 6:08.54.
The diminutive Anna Neumaier is one determined middle distance runner. Coached by SCT’s Garry McRitchie, Anna (from Woden Harriers) was something of an underdog in the Under-14 1500m after her 800m run of 2:20.69 placed her 5th in the final. Anna left her charge to the final lap, after running mid-field in the early stages. Raising a ‘Williams-like’ roar from the ACT section of the stands, Anna flew home for a well deserved silver medal - her time of 4:50.61 just over 2 seconds adrift of winner Kelli Griffin.
There were numerous other SCT performances worthy of mention:
The ‘All-Schools Hard-luck Award’ went to Dene Davis who suffered a bad stress fracture during his 400m hurdles heat. Dene won comfortably in 56.52 to place himself in medal contention for the final. Mark Shepherd was one place away from making the final of the Under-16 men’s 800m placing 5th in his heat with 2:01.74. Michael Hosking ran a PB in the Under-16 men’s 2k steeplechase running 6:49.49 for 18th place.
SCT Athletic Club Results
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