WIDE Bay coach Robert Gardiner, of Bundaberg, is eyeing a big medal haul from his team when the 2010 Queensland Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships begin at QEII Stadium today.
Thirty-eight athletes from Bundaberg and 15 from North Burnett are part of the regional team of about 150 which will take on the state’s best.
He said David Fulton, of Bundaberg Christian College, had opened plenty of eyes with his recent improvements, including clearing 2m in the 16-years boys’ high jump.
“David has been doing very well and he should be very competitive there as he chases his first state gold,” Gardiner said.
But the star of the team could be multi-talented Kepnock 17-year-old Taryn Gollshewsky who already has many gold medals to her credit at state, national and international level.
“Taryn is just back from the world juniors in Canada with the Sparks Australian Track and Field Team, and although she threw below what she expected there, in a lead-up meet, she set a PB by over five metres in discus, and she is one of the rising stars in Australian athletics,” Gardiner said.
“Emily Gray has also increased her PB in high jump by a long way and she will be thereabouts as well, Luke Evans has already done an Australian qualifier in 110m hurdles, Richard Lawton will go close to breaking two minutes for 800m and that is a real benchmark, and Georgia Devlin has been a Queensland representative and she will be right up there.”
Wide Bay Athletes With a Disability (AWD) team manager Josh Nugent, also of Bundaberg, expects another strong showing from the contingent.
Of the locals, he named Angela Clissold, of Kepnock, and Bundaberg High duo Rheed McCracken and Cody Stibbards as three standouts.
McCracken, whose elder sister Madelyn is part of the able-bodied section of the Wide Bay team, was a starter for last year’s National Primary School 12 Years and Under Track and Field Championships in Sydney, becoming the first athlete with a disability to captain Queensland at the event, and leading from the front.
He snared gold in the 100m, discus, shot put and long jump and was also part of the silver medal-winning relay team. McCracken has his sights set on the 2012 Paralympic Games.
“A lot of our athletes have big chances, Rheed, obviously, but others who could be in the thick of things include Angela in throwing events, especially discus, and Cody who will contest the boys 14 years 100m, 200m and 400m,” Nugent said.
Bundaberg: Martin Bannister, Matthew Bedford, Hannah Beveridge, Jarrod Bolton, Angela Clissold, Jaizdon Corrigan, Carl Coupe, James Cousins, Daniel Crook, George Devlin, Carmel Dickson, Luke Evans, Jarrod Farraway, David and Matthew Fulton, Benjamin and Jessica Galea, Taryn Gollshewsky, Emily Gray, Penny Haapakoski, Finlay Holmes, Jack Horton, Bradley Jasch, Lachlan Lanskey, Richard Lawton, James Macdonald, Benjamin Marschke, Madelyn McCracken, Rheed McCracken, Megan Neill, Dimity Norbury, Kayla Osborn, James Quinn, Cody Stibbards, Brenton Thiele, Tyniah Thompson, Annelise Wesley, David Wilson. North Burnett: Caitlyn Churchward, Bradley Cole, Kathryn Cole, Malitha Cooper, Hayden Crofts, James Dederer, Rachel Duncan, Haydin Elsebach, Warrick Fay, Damien Imhoff, Cyrelle Mitchell, Jess O’Brien, Adrian Taylor, Lucy Thompson, Tristan Whitley.