Victoria’s best junior athletes will descend on Lakeside Stadium for the Victorian Track and Field Championships. Here’s who to keep an eye on.
The future stars of Australian athletics will be on show this weekend.
Victoria’s best junior athletes — between under-14s and 18s — will descend on Lakeside Stadium at Albert Park for the Victorian Track and Field Championship starting on Friday night.
The action will kick start on Friday night before concluding on Sunday afternoon.
Here are some of the key talents to keep an eye on.
Pascal Basioni, Western Athletics
Pascal is an athlete to watch for the future in the 100m and 200m. Basiono will be prominent late where his superior top end speed will close all gaps in his attempt to improve upon recent dual National Qualifications in the 100m and 200m.
Xy Beale, Albury
Recently competed at the National All School Championships in Adelaide and impressed. Will be among the contenders in the under-18 discus.
Alyssa Benbow, Eureka
The Victorian Country champion will enter the competition in strong form after an impressive summer season. Benbow finished second at the National All Schools Championships in the under-17 hammer throw and shot put.
Leigh Benbow, Eureka
A multi-talented athlete who will compete across several under-14 events including the discus, hammer throw, javelin, shot put and triple jump. A Victorian Country champion.
Leah Berry, Deakin
A young sprinter on the rise, Berry recently finished third in the under-15 100m at the Country Champs.
Callum Bott, Albury
Could light up the under-16 400m after an impressive season to date.
Isla Bradshaw, Deakin
Bradshaw enters the competition in strong form after a first place finish at the Victorian Country Championships last month in the under-16 800m.
Oliver Bradshaw, Deakin
One to watch in the under-18 male 800m event after finishing third at the Country Champs in January.
Amali Butcher, Chilwell
Butcher will be a major threat in the 100m and 400m under-18 female hurdles on the back of a successful Vic Country Champs campaign where she won both events. She’s now aiming for a place at the national titles in April.
Lucy Cleveland, Western Athletics
After missing the entire 2021-22 season, Cleveland has returned to near her best in recent months. She won gold in the 1500m at the Victorian School Athletic Championships in November, winning bronze in the 800m at the same event. She has broken numerous club records.
Dakira Cooper, Albury
Watch out for an outstanding javelin ability when she hits the field in the under-18 event.
Lucy Delbridge, Collingwood
Enters the competition as the hot favourite in the under-17 female 800m event having ran the fastest time (2:13.87) of any competitor this year. She will also compete in the 400m. Delbridge, 15, has been with Collingwood since she was nine.
Armeet Dhaliwal, Western Athletics
Set to compete at his first Victorian Championships in the 1500m. Despite his relative inexperience, he remains a big threat.
Liz Hall, Western Athletics
Last season, Hall competed at the Australian Track and Fields in the 2000m steeplechase where she will be a medal contender this weekend. While competing for Western Athletics, she remains a centre captain at Werribee Little Athletics where she helps the under-6 and 7 age groups.
Chilo Idriss, Western Athletics
The 2021 100m silver medallist and Australian Track and field championship finalist, Idriss continues to build after a less than ideal preparation, reflecting growth orientated injuries. As a developing athlete, he will impress upon the field his explosive ability to move from the blocks, in chasing a new PB and a national qualifier.
Ida Laherty, Geelong Guild
Will compete in the under-18 women’s 400m after finishing as a silver medallist in the under-17 Victorian Championships in 2022.
Chantelle Leslie-Hughes, Eureka
Set to take the field events by storm, Leslie-Hughes is the Victorian Country Champion for under-16 female discus and javelin.
Lucy Jones, Eureka
National ranked at under-16 level in the 800m and 1500 events. She is also the Victorian Country champion at both distances.
Caleb Kilpatrick, Geelong Guild
Kilpatrick is the reigning under-16 men’s Australian track and field champion from 2022 and currently holds a number of Geelong and state records with a new 400m PB of 47.92s. He’s in contention for the Youth Commonwealth Games.
Tom Linnett, Ringwood
Makes the rise to the under-15s and will compete in the 800m and 1500m after winning the under-14 national title at the all schools event in the 1500m last year.
Hudson McKay, Ringwood
Will compete in under-17 in the 110m hurdles. Last year he won the national titles in the all schools event in the 100m hurdles in under-16. Will be one of the major players in the event.
Aiden Muscat, Western Athletics
Muscat will be keen to make an impression in the 3000m at his first Victorian Championships.
Poppy Nivarovich, Deakin
A young distance runner on the rise who will compete in the under-17 800m, 1500m and 3000m.
Jaydon Nti, Western Athletics
Traditionally the under-18 men’s competition sets the tone in establishing and progressing to elite open aged sprinting. On the back of winning the 2022-23 season Victorian All Schools, Nti is motivated to capitalise on his recent Australian Track and Field qualification and improve on last year’s silver at the Victorian Championships. He will be one to watch as he lines up against his squad training partner and former medallist Chilo Idriss. Will compete in the 100m and 200m events.
Victoria Paape-Silva, Geelong Guild
Set to compete in the under-18 women’s pole vault with a personal best of 3.50m. Paape-Silva is the reigning under-17 Australian champion and is aiming to go back-to-back in April at the national titles.
Xavier Pitt, Albury
A star on the rise from the border. Pitt impressed at the National All Schools Championship in Adelaide in December.
Logan Sandland, Albury
The up and coming field star will compete in the under-18 hammer throw and shot put. Impressed at national level recently.
Daisy Sudholz, Eureka
An Australian champion in the 1500m and 3000m under-18 female category, Sudholz will be among the favourites in her events.
Mikayla Talbot, Albury
Talbot is the defending 100m hurdles under-17 champion and looks set to be towards the front of the pack again.
Jemma Whitaker, Ringwood
Whitaker will compete in the under-16 javelin at the upcoming state titles. She is the current under-15 club record holder at Ringwood and is a leading chance for the club.
Hayley Whitsed, Albury
The defending under-17 1500m champion who impressed at the National All Schools Championships late last year.
Jackson Wright, Western Athletics
Still relatively new to running, Wright has impressed his coaches with his natural ability. His out to chase a national qualifying time in the 800m.
St Kevins Amateur Athletics Club: Charli Matthews, Charlie Gunn, Claudia Tierney, Cleo Richardson, Cooper Provan, Jack Bowen, Jack Lynch, Josh Lewin, Joshua Field, Lucie Thompson, Matthew Fairchild, Ned Tyrrell, Noah Priatel, Paloma Gattino, Robert Hopkins, Ruby Davies, Saskia Klotz, Tom Forster, Will Lynch.
Originally published as The key athletes at the Victorian Track and Field Championships