Saturday, April 12th marked the end of the of the Victorian Track and Field season with the State Club Shield Championships. This event brought the top 2 teams of each region around the state to Lakeside Stadium; Albert Park to compete in a set program of events with day’s winner decided by a point based system. Both the Doncaster AC Open Men’s and Woman’s teams had been relegated too Division 3 and 2 respectively in the past, but over a number of years of hard work had found themselves back into the Division 1 category. Doncaster’s juniors were unlucky to miss out with a number of teams finishing 3rd within their region age group. The day belonged to the Open teams, where a live scoreboard indicated DAC placing highly throughout the day against teams like Box Hill, Glenhuntly and Essendon; where their team numbers are far greater than ours.
The day began with the 200m event, and what better way to start then with Kevin Rassool taking down Olympic Champion Steve Hooker and Olympic representative Brendan Cole, flashing home in a time of 22.04sec. This event being Steve’s final individual race after announcing his retirement from athletics was a nice way to spoil the party. In the Woman’s event, Courtney Yates and Bronte Gange ran a dead heat in 26.75sec to finish highly on the 200m results sheet and ensure a large amount of points. The 5000m included some of Australia’s best distance runners, including National medalist Craig Appleby and World Cross Country Representatives, Mitch Brown and Liam Adams. Andrew Reddie ran well to finish 6th overall in a time of 15:40min. This was much the same in the woman’s event with Claire Walpole running strongly to finish 7th overall in a time of 19:07min.
In one of our strongest events of the day; the 400m hurdles, National representatives Wes Spargo, Alex Di Medio and Tom Robertson lined up to try and secure maximum points for the Open Men’s team. Although Mo Zeed (Box Hill) took out the event, the boys managed to secure 2nd, 3rd and 5th positions respectively. Georgia Feben and Steph Larkin paired up well to finish highly on the overall woman’s results by taking 3rd and 5th positions respectively behind State Champion Ash Horrobin (Glenhuntly). The final individual track session of the day was the 800m. In the Men’s event, Ed Vining finished well to finish second overall behind World Championship Semi Finalist, Alex Rowe. In the Woman’s event, dynamic duo Bronte Gange and Georgie Buckley ran home strong to finish 1st and 4th overall, with Bronte finishing over 2 seconds clear from 2nd place.
Throughout the day, the Field events took place and it was great to see DAC athletes participate in their non-preferred events in order to secure maximum points in the premiership standings. In the High Jump, David Firth wound back the clock to leap an amazing 1.80m to show some of his younger competitors that age is just another number. Courtney Yates jumped into 3rd position overall with a height of 1.60m, just 5cm shy of first place. In the Shotput, Wes Spargo, Ross Reber and Peter Coumaros all threw well to finish highly on the overall results as did Breanna Large and Nat Exon in the Woman’s event. In the Hammer Throw, Peter Coumaros and Charmaine Smith lead the way for DAC, both throwing around 20meters and scoring highly overall.
The final event of the day was the 4x400m relay event, and as it stood at the time Doncaster was in third overall in both the Men’s and Woman’s categories. Both teams needed to finish 1st in order to finish the day in second position. The women were first up, consisting of Steph Larkin, Georgia Feben, Georgie Buckley and Bronte Gange. After some amazing running by the first 3 legs, the girls were 2nd overall by the last change. Bronte showed her dominance, to not only pass Nunawading but also hold off a fast finishing Glenhuntly to ensure the girls finished in 1st place. In the Men’s event, the team consisted of Alex Di Medio, Tom Robertson, Kevin Rassool and Conrad Coumaros. The boys held first position the entire way, leading from start to finish and also managed to hold off a fast finishing Steve Hooker and Alex Rowe to take line honours. Both teams finished the day in second position overall falling short by the slimmest of margins to Boxhill (Open Mens) and Glenhuntly (Open Womans). After a roller-coaster of a season for the club, it was an amazing result to finish so highly competing against some of the best clubs across Victoria.