SUAC athletes fire at Sydney Track Classic

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Four Sydney University Athletics Club (SUAC) representatives produced Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying times and a host of others turned in personal best performances at Saturday night’s Sydney Track Classic.

Nicholas Hough, Ella Nelson, Ian Dewhurst and Emily Brichacek boosted their credentials for July’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, after they all recorded Australian Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying times at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre (SOPAC).

Nicholas Hough signalled his return to peak form with a second place finish in the men’s 110m hurdles, pushing US world champion David Oliver to a time of 13.38. Hough surged out of the blocks, setting up a season’s best 13.65 to move to number four in the Australian all-time list. Hough also backed up to finish sixth in the 200m.

“It was definitely very inspiring racing Oliver. He is running in Melbourne so [I’ll have] another fantastic opportunity to line up against him and try and lower my time even more,” Hough said.

Hough’s teammate Ella Nelson was on fire in the 200m, recording a personal best, club record and another Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifier. Nelson only narrowly missed out on defeating Sally Pearson, finishing just 3/100ths of a second behind the 110m hurdling Olympic gold medallist, after she delivered a blistering last 100m.

In the 400 hurdles Ian Dewhurst ran a cracking race to beat the Olympic semi-finalist and national champion Tristan Thomas. Like Nelson, the back half of Dewhurst’s race was phenomenal. Dewhurst ran over the top of Thomas, who himself is renowned as a very strong finisher.

Emily Brichacek ran a massive 5,000m race, narrowly missing out on breaking the SUAC club record as she finished second. Milly Clark was 12th in the same race.

Steeplechaser James Nipperess took out his race, with his time of 8.38 just outside of a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifier (8.35).

Anneliese Rubie ran a seasons best 400m as she finished second to the USA’s Natasha Hastings. Rubie is creeping up on the Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying standard and looked to take ground off the World Championships silver medallist in the final 100m of the race. 

Joshua Ralph stepped down from the 800m (where he is undefeated this season) to contest the 400m. Ralph flashed home in second place, staking his claims for a relay berth in the 4x400m in Glasgow.

Angie Ballard waved the SUAC flag in the 1,500m wheelchair race, where she finished third, recording a time of 3.50.69.

Jarrod Geddes was third in the 200m (20.87), and fourth in the 100m (10.42). In the 200m Geddes came off the bend not too far away from Olympic champion La Shawn Merritt. Jin Jung also ran a personal best of 10.51 in the men’s 100m to finish seventh.

Alix Kennedy was just over a metre short of a recording a Commonwealth Games ‘B’ qualifying throw in the women’s discus. Her 53.98m throw saw her finish fourth. Dry conditions will no doubt assist her in future meets.

This weekend’s action moves to Melbourne for the Melbourne Track Classic where SUAC will once again be heavily represented.

For further information regarding SUAC visit www.facebook.com/SUACinfo or www.suac.org. SUAC is also hosting an End of Season Harbour Cruise on Saturday 12 April, details of which can be found on the clubs website and facebook page.

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