From Friday to Sunday, February 26-28, Mingara Athletics Club hosted the 2021 NSW Country Championships.
Although still awaiting word on the final point tally, the hosts scored many podium places and will fancy their chances at retaining the much longed-for Hoopers Cup.
The event was held at the Mingara Regional Athletics Centre and involved many clubs from NSW Country, both north and south of Sydney.
Also from the Central Coast came Wyong, Gosford and Woy Woy Athletics Clubs, who also found gold on occasions throughout the event.
Although competitors from each club were competing in tandem, with points accumulating over the three days of events, there were many individual successes for both Mingara and Wyong.
From the very first event, Mingara were off to the best possible start, with Noah Rogers taking out the win in the Opens 400m Hurdles, 91.4cm, with a time of 56.00, and soon thereafter in the 400m Hurdles, 76.2cm, Rachael Mortell won with 1:10.74.
Behind her in the Under 18’s race, Ashley Pernecker took out first place with 1:10.97 (also winning the 800m with 2:18.94), then Melissa Blume in the Under 17’s with 1:17.86.
Many more wins came in the race walk events for Mingara through Sienna Pitcher in the 1500m Under 15’s, India Duguid in the 3000m Under 17’s, Allanah Pitcher and Jack McGinniskin the 3000m Under 20’s, Molly O’Neill in the 3000m Opens, Greg Rowe in the 3000m 50-59, Mark Newham in the 3000m 60-69 and Michele Mison in the 3000m 70+ years.
In the 5000m Masters races, Tara Warren, Joasia Zakrzewski, Gary Field and Mark Byfield all won in their respective age groups.
Masters Shot Put wins came for Julia Atilla and Matt Sammons in the 30-39 age group and Gavin Murray in the 60-69’s.
Saturday began with the 400m races at Mingara, where six athletes from the host club excelled to the top.
Alyssa Haremaker won in the Under 14’s with 1:03.40, Jessie Blackwell in the Under 15’s with 1:00.45 (who also won the 800m with 2:24.63), Nicky Kelly in the 40-49’s with 1:06.55 (who also won the 1500m with 5:54.62 and the 3000m run with 12:43.07), Richelle Ingram in the 50-59’s with 1:14.78 (who also won the 100m with 14.36 and the 200m with 29.57), Paul Carr in the 60-69’s with 1:07.32 (who also won the 100m with 13.04, the 100m Hurdles 84cm with 20.56 and the 200m with 29.26), and Kenneth Stubbs in the 70+ with 1:50.50 (who also won the Long Jump with 2.20m, the 800m with 4:49.44, the High Jump with 0.85m and the Discuss with 21.60m).
A lot of excitement was brought to the 100m sprints which ran along the track’s grandstand full of cheery supporters.
Mingara’s Taj Garner won the Under 16’s preliminary before continuing to win the final later in the day with 11.37 (also winning the 200m final with 23.73), as did Bronte Carroll in the Opens with a closely fought finals winning time of 11.83 (also winning the 200m final with 24.33).
Brett Reid won the 100m in the 50-59’s with 13.04, as did John Wall and Robyn Rex in the 70+ with 14.19 and 19.81.
John also later won the 200m with 29.63, as did Robyn with 44.22.
In the 4x100m relays, Mingara took out wins in both the Under 16’s and 30+ division, thanks to Christopher Rae, Liam Coles, Taj Garner, Matthew Potter, Daniel Sammut, Jason Cherry, Steven Smith and Hillary Dube.
A High Jump win went to Hayley Corderoy in the Under 17’s, after clearing 1.55m on her third and final attempt, with Cameron Cheney later winning the Under 18’s Javelin throw with 51.80m.
Competing for Mingara was Lani Withnall, who earned herself a gold medal in the Opens Triple Jump with a national qualifying distance of 11.80m.
Mingara’s George Wells won in the Under 16’s Shot Put with 17.40m, before Daniel Sammut found his second piece of gold in the Long Jump with a 5.20m jump to win the 40-49’s.
The final day of competition started with the 3000m run, which brought success for Margaret Aurisch with a time of 15:58.17 in the 70+ division.
In the Hurdles, Noah Rogers won the 110m, 106.7cm height Opens with 15.86 before Liam Coles won the 100m, 84.0cm height Under 16’s with 14.28, and then Summer Baigent in the 90m, 76.20cm height Under 15’s.
Among the Master of Mingara to win the 800m, was Sally Hunt with a time of 2:59.53 in the 50-59 age group.
In the field events of the final day, Tyler Robson won the Triple Jump Under 15’s with his third jump of 10.92m before a 20.16m Javelin Throw win to Erin Hamilton in the Under 18’s and a 1.95m High Jump win to Liam Bennett with 1.95m.
More Discuss wins came to Mingara’s Masters through Stuart Sutton’s 36.15m and Gavin Murray’s 41.88m throws in the 50-59’s and 60-69’s.
With this extensive list of gold medals alone for Mingara, the home club will fancy their chances of retaining the Hoopers Cup which they have managed to hold since 2015.
However, with many wins going the way of Wyong, the fellow Central Coast club will consider itself in the mix.
Jamie Muscat made the overall number of Wyong competitors appear to be much larger, obtaining for himself and his club four gold medals.
He first won the Opens Discuss with 42.16m as well as the 40-49’s, then Opens, Shot Put with his best throw being 13.00m, and finally the 40-49 Javelin Throw with 34.18m
Kynan Johnson’s 11.87m Triple Jump brought him gold in the Under 17’s to wrap up Day One for Wyong.
On Day Two, Keira Carlson ran a winning 100m with 13.49 in the Under 13’s (also winning the 200m with 27.99), right before Demi Karipidis did the same in the Under 14’s with 13.48.
Ava-Marie Carlson brought Wyong their second Javelin win with a 31.93m throw in the Under 14’s close to the conclusion of Day Two, and Day Three brought with it their third Javelin gold medal through Kiara Riddell’s 30.86m throw in the Under 16’s.
Regardless of who wins, with scores still being counted as of Monday, March 1, both Mingara and Wyong have many wins, further podium placements and fierce efforts to bring pride and honour to the Northern Central Coast athletics scene.
NSW Athletics Live Results, Mar 1