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2017 Australian Athletics ’Team of the Year’

Thursday, 28 December 2017 | Anonym



In 2016 we charged athletics commentator David Culbert with the task of selecting an unofficial Australian Athletics Team of the Year.

The rules were as follows:

  • One person per event
  • Could be female or male
  • Could be a para-athlete or able bodied
  • Could be junior or senior

The Team of Year returns in 2017… and remains no easy task.

This is what Culbert came up with.

Event 2017 2016
100m Isis Holt (Vic) Scott Reardon (ACT)
200m James Turner (NSW) Ella Nelson (NSW)
400m Bendere Oboya (NSW) Jess Thornton (NSW)
800m James Turner (NSW) James Turner (NSW)
1500m Deon Kenzie (Tas) Ryan Gregson (Vic)
5000m Madison de Rozario (WA) Madeline Hills (NSW)
10,000m Patrick Tiernan (Qld) Eloise Wellings (NSW)
Marathon Lisa Weightman (Vic) Kurt Fearnley (NSW)
100m/110m hurdles Sally Pearson (Qld) Sally Pearson (Qld)
400m hurdles Lauren Wells (ACT) Lauren Wells (ACT)
3000m steeplechase Genevieve LaCaze (Vic) Genevieve LaCaze (Vic)
High jump Sean Szalek (WA) Brandon Starc (NSW)
Pole vault Kurtis Marschall (SA) Alana Boyd (Qld)
Long jump Brooke Stratton (Vic) Brooke Stratton (Vic)
Triple jump Alwyn Jones (Vic) Connor Murphy (NSW)
Shot Put Damien Birkinhead (Vic) Damien Birkinhead (Vic)
Discus Dani Stevens (NSW) Dani Samuels (NSW)
Javelin Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) Kathryn Mitchell (Vic)
Hammer Throw Matt Denny (Qld) Alexandra Hulley (NSW)
Walks Dane Bird-Smith (Qld) Dane Bird-Smith (Qld)
Multi Events Celeste Mucci (Vic) Cedric Dubler (Qld)

Captain: Sally Pearson
Performance of the Year: Dani Stevens’s Australian record in London

“Picking one athlete in each event is very difficult. From the kids who won eight golds at the Commonwealth Youth Games, to our Para-athletes who set world records and won 11 golds and 28 medals at the Para-athletics world championships to the efforts of our senior athletes during 2017, it’s not easy,” Culbert said.

“Anyway – the picks are in.”

“The toughest event was the marathon.”

Kurt Fearnley and Madison de Rozario had great years, and Jess Trengove’s 9th in London was super, but Lisa Weightman finished 5th in the London marathon, before deciding to miss the world champs to concentrate on the Commonwealth Games. She had the fastest time of the year, so gets my pick.”

James Turner could have had the 200m/400/800m spots after winning three golds in London and breaking the world record twice in the 200m, but Bendere Oboya’s win at the Commonwealth Youth Games got her the 400m spot.”

“The 100m spot was tough. Riley Day had a great year and we had three Para world champions in Scott Reardon, Evan O’Hanlon and Isis Holt.  Isis broke the world record for the win in London so came out on top.”

“Performance of the year as a toss-up between Sally and Dani. Both were fantastic, and London and it was a thrill to be in the crowd with our fellow Aussie Aths Fans supporting the team. Sally’s comeback to win the 100m hurdles was tremendous, but Dani’s national record to win the silver medal in the discus gets the nod.”

“I’m sure everyone will have an opinion on this team… so feel free to let me know which ones I got wrong,” Culbert said.