The girl’s under 18 400m Hurdles lived up to expectations to highlight the Australian All Schools Championships which ended on Sunday (4), as Sarah Carli and Tessa Consedine both posted World Junior Championship qualifiers in winning gold and silver respectively.
The silver medallist at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France, earlier this year, Carli’s winning time of 58.79 was better than even she had expected. It was a season best and within striking distance of her personal best of 58.05.
“That was so good, I can’t believe I ran a time so close to what I did in Lille,” an excited Carli said.
“I know I can run that fast again this summer and I know that I will need to if I want to go to the World juniors. There are honestly six girls in with a chance and I can’t wait to race together at Australian Juniors next year.
“World youths was an awesome experience and I really hope I get the chance again in Barcelona next year. That’s up to how I run though so it will be a tough season of training.”
Consedine, who is a member of the Athletics Australia Under 17 Development Squad, also ran remarkably, with her time of 59.45 a personal best. It is her second World Junior Championship qualifier after a strong performance at the Target Talent 400m Hurdles camp two weeks ago.
“I had to run my own race out there in lane six. There was no one on the outside of me and I swear it has happened that way every time this season,” Consedine said.
“I’m starting to like it, it gives me a chance to setup my own race and do what I need to for a good result.
“Sarah and I both know that there are plenty of girls chasing us. Having the qualifiers doesn’t really mean that we are any better a chance to win at the trial for world juniors but it’s a bit of a confidence booster.”
Sara Klein won the bronze medal in a time of 1:00.73.
The major highlight from Saturday's (3) opening day of competition was delivered by Anna Laman, Jenny Blundell and Katelyn Simpson in the girls under 18 1500m.
Crossing the line in 4:20.55, 4:21.06 and 4:21.80 respectively, the trio all posted World Junior Championship qualifiers in the process. Laman’s winning time was also a meet record.
“I led out from the beginning, at what was a pretty slow pace to start to be honest, but the girls out front stuck together and it felt really strong,” Laman said.
“I need to stay injury free and just keep building on this time to keep myself in the mix for world juniors next year. Jenny, Katelyn and I all now have qualifiers and it’s going to be a great battle across the summer.”
Equally impressed was Athletics Australia Junior High Performance Manager Sara Mulkearns.
“It was just great to see kids race like that,” Mulkearns added.
“You don’t always see such a competitive event at junior age nationals and all the girls will benefit from it.”
Athletics Australia for the IAAF