They say that records are meant to be broken.
The question, though, is when?
Meet records at the Australian All Schools Championships detail a who’s who of Australian athletics champions, with those competing in Canberra (ACT) on 2-4 December to join an illustrious honour roll if they break through the marks set in both the boy’s and girl’s under 18 events.
Leading the way in recent years is Jack Hale (Tas), with the fast-paced Tasmanian capturing the attention of the nation and the 100m meet record with a wind-assisted 10.13 (w: +3.4) to take line honours down the back straight at the South Australian Athletics Stadium in 2014. The race was one of the most exciting in recent domestic athletics history, as Rohan Browning (NSW, 10.18) and Trae Williams (Qld, 10.33) rounded out the top-three.
And it was four years earlier in Melbourne (Vic) that Steve Solomon (NSW) made his maiden statement as a one-lap specialist, crossing the line in 46.44 to begin a stunning two years of racing that saw him make at the final of the men’s 400m at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The honour roll of meet record holders also includes Rio 2016 Olympians Kurtis Marschall (SA), Damien Birkinhead (Vic) and Matthew Denny (Qld).
Marschall shares the 4.85m meet record for the boy’s under 18 pole vault with Matthew Boyd (Qld) and Angus Armstrong (NSW). Boyd has since competed for Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (SCO) in 2014, while Armstrong joined Marschall on the green and gold squad that competed at Bydgoszcz 2016 just months ago.
Birkinhead threw 21.28m with the 5-kilo shot in 2010 to round out his Australian All Schools Championships career. He also boasts the Australian under 16, under 18 and under 20 records, and an open personal best of 21.21m, just five centimetres shy of the national record held by his coach Scott Martin (Vic, 21.26m). At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the ‘Colossus from Corio’ placed tenth in the final with a throw of 20.45m.
The girls meet records feature some of the biggest names in Australian athletics history, with Sally Pearson (Qld) and Jana Pittman (NSW) both featuring twice alongside one-event entrants Dani Samuels (NSW) and Lauren Hewitt (Vic).
Pearson boasts the meet record for the girl’s under 18 200m and the 100m hurdles, achieving both results in 2003 – the same year that she debuted for Australia in the 4x100m relay at the Paris 2003 IAAF World Championships. The 30-year-old has since become Olympic hurdles champion, a world champion, a two-time Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles gold medallist and the Australian and Oceania record holder in the 100m hurdles.
Pittman, too, was a hurdler, with her Australian All Schools Championships resume including setting the meet records for the 400m and 400m hurdles in 2000. An Olympian at both the summer and winter Games, Pittman’s illustrious career went on to include the world 400m hurdles crown twice and the Commonwealth Games gold medal on two occasions.
The winner of a gold (discus) and bronze (shot put) medal at the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2005, Samuels capped off her year with an Australian All Schools Championships meet record of 53.96m, while Hewitt’s wind-assisted 100m mark of 11.53 has stood since 1993.
The oldest meet record up for grabs in the under 18 competition is the wind-assisted girl’s long jump mark of 6.48m, held by Kim Thorley (NSW) in 1979. Thorley was also crowned Australian open long jump champion that same year.
The Australian All Schools Championships will be held at the Australian Institute of Sport Track and Field Centre on 2-4 December.
For more information on the Championships, including the event timetable, entry lists and technical rules, please click here.
To purchase tickets to the Australian All Schools Championships, please click here.