It was a big weekend for the University of Sydney Athletic Club with a number of strong performances headlined by the National Championship victory and Commonwealth Games selection for Lachlan Renshaw.
Renshaw took out the Men’s 800m on Saturday in what was widely considered the deepest 800m field assembled for the past ten years.
It showed as well , with the winning time being the fastest time run by an Australian at the championships since 2000. Renshaw ran a tactically brilliant race, sitting off the shoulder of James Gurr and taking the lead with 50m to go. The victory earned Renshaw automatic selection for the Commonwealth Games where he will face one of the strongest lineups for any track event at the games.
Sydney University’s Mark Abercromby celebrated his return to form with a 6th place finish in the race.
Lara Tamsett ran bravely for 2nd place in the Women’s 5000m, recording a Commonwealth Games B’ qualifying performance. Tamsett led most of the race chasing an A’ qualifier but could not hold off the fast finishing burst of Eloise Wellings.
Tamsett was not automatically selected in the Commonwealth Games but will have further chances to qualify for the games when she races in the USA and Europe in the next few weeks.
World Uni Games finalist Justin Merlino and defending champion in the Men’s 110 hurdles managed to finish a gutsy 5th.
Merlino was far from disappointed with this result considering he had not run a step for four weeks leading into the event due to a stress fracture in his ankle.
“I was just happy to be out there out all, I will have other chances in Europe to make the Commonwealth Games team this year, hopefully I will have a little more luck with my body before then.” said a very positive Merlino.
Australian Paralympic representative Angela Ballard crossed the line 1st in no fewer than 3 events, the 200m, 400m, and 1500m,winning the T53 class. Ballard also finished 2nd in the 100m.
Russel Dessaix-Chin, the NSW Champion at 5,000m and 10,000m, finished 6th in the Men’s 5000m. His highest placing at this level and a solid performance considering he took up the lead for a good portion of the middle of the race when the pace slowed markedly. Chin will look to defend his NSW 10k road title in two weeks time at the Adidas 10k Road Race at Homebush.
Other finalists at the Championships included James Nipperess and Annabel Davies. Nipperess finished 7th in the men’s 1500m, a placing he will no doubt improve on in years to come, with Davies putting in a great performance to finish 4th in Womens Javelin.