The alternate date for the 2016 athletics carnival proved to be a fantastic day for racing. As usual Ashley Oval was respendent in a mass of colour as the 8 houses looked to outdo each other in voice, accessories and athletic ability over six solid hours.
With the track a little spongy underfoot, from rain earlier in the week, the athletes threw caution to the wind as they charged for PBs in the opening event, the 100 metres. Slick times ensued as the slight zephyr of a breeze was favourable. In search of maximum house points a huge number of students unleashed themselves in the Championship races, searching for a finals berth a few hours later.
Out in the field the sack races were going off. Not to be outdone three legged racers of all shapes and sizes were giving it their all, interrupted only by the chest beating and howls of delight of the winning tug-o-war teams as they continually stepped up and into the faces of their vanquished opponents.
Javelin, long jump and shot putt lines exceeded what had been seen in previous years and the students clamoured for those extra single participation points that could prove so valuable at day’s end (how smart some of them proved to be, see further down).
On the track the 16 Years age group proved to be ultra-competitive with distance ace Olivia O’Donnell looking to match the speed with Riley Proudfoot and Hanna Lukowski all (unfortunately – no bias here!) from Wareen. Throw Zoe Terry into the mix and sparks will fly. The resulting 100 metre final and 200 metre events were epic contests in terms of head to head battles with Riley prevailing in both.
Both Gisela and Amelia Vea were setting the pace in the 13 Years, along with the versatile Emma Dunn (all from Wareen again, see where this is headed?) and all the smart money started tumbling heavily towards the black and reds for the Championship trophy. Emma got the gold in the final in an epic battle. In the 17+ age Grace Brennan was scorching through the sprint events in a fantastic display of pure running (12.69 on a spongy grass track says it all), whilst Queens of St Clare’s athletics for the previous five years Lillian Van Ewyk, Kara Baker and Rachel Gubler rounded out an elite quartet of college athletes in their St Clare’s swansong. Not to be outdone Keely Small was racking the points up for Makara with all the way wins in the 100, 200, 400 and 1500, the only thing missing from this superhuman performance was a cape!
The day finished off with some classic relay action with all houses figuring on the podium. Wareen’s 13s and 16s simply smashed the opposition, whilst it was fitting that Lillian Van Ewyk anchored the Senior Japara team home, alongside long time St Clares athletics team member Rachel Gubler.
Each house then strutted their stuff brilliantly through the war cries (I wonder what the neighbours think at this time?) and after a mini dance party it was time to see who had bragging rights for the Championship and Spirit Cups.
Not surprisingly Wareen claimed the Championship Trophy from Japara, with in Alinda third. In a hotly contested Spirit Cup competition Alinda gapped the field to claim the title with the next three house separated by a mere 7 points! (so, who didn’t run then eh????). In the end it was Japara who had their hearts broken, missing the podium by a solitary point after Makara claimed second and Wareen third.
Mr David Garrity