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Victorian athletes take honours at Australian Youth Championships

Victorian athletes take honours at Australian Youth Championships
Athletics Australia

25 February 2001 - Victorians Tim Driesen and Heidi Riordan have won the inaugural Athlete of the Meet awards at the Australian Youth Championships in Bendigo this afternoon.

The $500 scholarship awards, sponsored by the Bendigo Bank, are awarded to the male and female athletes with the best individual performance.

Tim Driesen won the male award, the Nathan Deakes Certificate, for his throw of 73.66 metres in the men's under 18 hammer throw.

In doing so, the South Bendigo athlete retained his Australian Youth Championship title in this event from last year, but considerably bettered his throw. He threw 65.11 metres last year.

Derision's throw was also well clear of the World Youth Championships qualifying mark of 65 metres.

Heidi Riordan, from Box Hill in Victoria, won the Tamsyn Lewis Certificate after her performance in the under 18 women's 1500 metres event.

Riordan ran a 4.22.40 time to win ahead of last years winner Lisa Corrigan of NSW. Corrigan finished second in 4.27.14.

Both Riordan, Corrigan and the third placed Ruth McDonnell from Queensland (4.27.14) bettered than the 4.30.00 qualifying standard for the World Youth Championships.

Mohamad Zeed, from Victoria, performaned well in the men's under 18, 110 metre hurdles setting a new Australian youth record with a time of 13.48 seconds. The previous record of 13.72 was held by reigning title holder, Ryan Purcell of Western Australia. Purcell set that time in December 2000.

In all, 10 male and 9 female athletes achieved performances better than the World Youth Championship qualifying standards, which Athletics Australia High Performance Manager Kathryn Lee says shows the strength and depth of Australian athletics.

"It is an important part of Athletics Australia's work to look after our current stars, but also work with the development of our future athletes," Lee said.

"The fact that so many have met the qualifying standard, in many cases far surpassing the mark and in such a variety of events, shows Australia's youth athletes are doing very well and that our future looks bright."

The 2001 World Youth Track and Field Championships are being held in Debrecen, Hungary from 12 - 15 July. The Australian Youth Team will be selected in the next few weeks.