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An Athletics season to remember

Scotch’s athletes did the school proud during the 2011 Athletics season.

WORDS: MRS MEG ADEM – DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS

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Jack Billings (Year 10)

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Charlie Fay (Year 12)

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Onye Agbarakwe (Year 12)

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Tony Crawford (Year 12)

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Damian Di Donato (Year 10)Fitness and skills prevail

There were many memorable moments in Athletics season 2011. Our Athletics parents committee, ‘On Track’ held many barbecues for the boys at training. Aaron Rouge-Serret spoke at a lunch for the Year 12 athletes earlier in the year. Aaron is currently the fastest man in Australia across 100m and 200m. His interaction with the boys was highly motivating, and likely inspired the open boys to win gold at the State Relay Championships a couple of months later.

Matt Welsh (’94) , Olympic swimmer and Old Boy, spoke to the whole squad at training at the beginning of the season to share his memories of Scotch Athletics – he won Triple Colours in his final year at the school. In addition, we were fortunate to have Kyle van der Kuyp, Olympic hurdler, attend training and run a special hurdles workshop for the boys.

The State Relay Championships were held in September and our open boys won gold in the 4 x 100m: Phil Cascone, James Lucas, Charlie Fay and Onye Agbarakwe (all Year 12). Our under 16 boys won a gold medal in the 4 x 400m relay: Nick Clark, James Clements, Adam Croxford and Andrew Hayes (all Year 9), as well as a silver in the 4 x 100m relay: Dimi Panotis (Year 9), Nick Clark, Adam Croxford and Andrew Hayes. These were outstanding achievements by the boys.

This was followed by Family Day. The Quarter was won by Tom Klemens (Year 10, Davidson House), followed by Michael Holloway (Year 11, Bond) in second place, and Will Meggitt (Year 11, Morrison) third. The Flyer was won by Onye Agbarakwe (Year 12, Selby Smith) – for the second year in a row – followed by Ben Hooper (Year 11, Selby Smith) and Damian Di Donato (Year 10, Lawson).

The APS finals were held at the new Lakeside Stadium at Albert Park, after farewelling the old track at Olympic Park. It was another moment in Athletics history for the school – a real highlight for the boys to be among the first to compete on the new track, amid picturesque surroundings. It was also the first year of under 14 events in the senior programme, a welcome addition enabling Year 7 and 8 boys to be included in the senior squad.

The boys, as always, competed at their best, and with spirit and sportsmanship. We finished fifth, with Caulfield beating us to fourth place by only four points. St Kevin’s College won convincingly, with Melbourne Grammar and Xavier College in second and third places respectively.

Our boys recorded many personal bests. Notable mentions include:

  • Nick Promios (Year 8) – set an APS record for the under 14 shot put (in its inaugural year) with 14.13m
  • James Wiseman (Year 8) – ran an outstanding tactical race in the under 14 800m to finish second
  • Lachlan Byrne-Jones (Year 8) – came third in the under 15 100m and 200m
  • Andrew Hayes – came second in the hurdles as well as the 4 x 400m relay with his teammates, Nick Clark, James Clements and Adam Croxford
  • An injured Dimi Panotis supported his 4 x 100m relay team from the sidelines, with Stewart Bolles (Year 9) stepping in, and the boys finishing a highly commendable third
  • James Clements (Year 9) – came second in the under 16 1500m
  • Damian Di Donato – won the under 17 hurdles
  • Jack Billings (Year 10) – came second and third in the triple jump and long jump respectively. Jack represented the school in five events, finishing in the top four places for all his events – well done Jack!
  • The Under 17 relay teams – came third in both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400m
  • Onye Agbarakwe (Year 12) – excelled, winning the triple jump and finishing second in the long jump and third in the 100m.
  • The 4 x 100m relay team – finished a close third in a hotly-contested race.A comment made by many staff from a number of schools was that the standard of performance by all athletes at the finals was incredibly high. It’s an exciting time for athletics in Victoria.

Damian Di Donato will compete for Victoria in the hurdles and 4 x 100m at the National Championships in Brisbane, after finishing second at the State All Schools. James Clements and Michael Holloway are to be commended for their bronze medals in the 3,000m event.

We wish we could name all the other boys who did Scotch proud – please see the full results at www.apssport.org.au

Finally, a big thank you to all the staff who worked incredibly hard through the whole season, and to the families who supported the sport and the boys in every way possible, especially the Crawfords, Di Donatos, Fays, Klemens, and Websters. A special thank you also to the Old Scotch Athletics Club, which sponsored the R J Grant Prize, awarded to the Captain of Athletics – this year, Tony Crawford (Year 12). Well done also to the Vice-Captains, Charlie Fay and Chris Watts (Year 12).