Ipswich ‘Hurricane’ whips up storm at nationals

Medal-winning Ipswich club athlete Rochelle Vidler.


AN Ipswich-generated “hurricane” whipped up a storm in Perth as the region’s top athletes showed their class at the Australian Junior Track and Field championships.

The standout performer was Rochelle Vidler, who continued to impress long-serving Ipswich and District Athletic Club supremo Vic Pascoe.

“I nicknamed her ‘Hurricane’ in the hammer throw in two age groups as she spins so fast in the direction of a hurricane,” Pascoe said.  “Cyclones spin the other way.”

Vidler set meet records of 54.86m and 54.73m in winning her respective under-16 and under-17 hammer events.

The Fernvale-based athlete also came fourth in the under-16 discus and seventh in the under-17 discus.

She is hoping to compete at the Polynesian Games mid-year after leading another strong Ipswich performance in hot and windy conditions.

Club athletes combined to win four gold, five silver and two bronze medals, an improvement on last year’s two gold, one silver and one bronze medal effort in Sydney,.

Other regional athletes to show their promise at national level included Zac Caterson, Joshua Carrick, Caleb Law, Montanna McAvoy and Casey Bell.

Caterson responded superbly after a discus disappointment on the first day to collect four medals in his under-15 competition.

He won the javelin with a personal best throw of 46.24m.

Caterson received silver medals in the shotput (14.44m) and discus (47.15m) and added a bronze in the hammer, with a personal best throw of 40.61m.

“To come out and get gold in the last event of his competition was absolutely fantastic,” Pascoe said.

Youngsters Carrick and Law performed well in the Queensland 4 x 100m relay team, running the last two legs of the race.  The state team won a silver medal.

Carrick ran three personal bests, including during his individual bronze medal success in the under-14 200m final (25.52).

Pascoe said club newcomer McAvoy ran superbly to win gold in the under-17 3000m.

“Coming into the last lap she was on target to get the meet record failing by less than four seconds,” Pascoe said.  “She just increased her lead, lap by lap, winning by nearly eight seconds.”

Her personal best time was 9.44.15.

Bell set a new personal best 1.66m in the under-15 high jump after receiving some encouragement from the national high jump coach.

“It was wonderful how she responded to his advice on the night in the windy conditions,” Pascoe said.

Pascoe said Breeanna Betzold walked extremely well to win a silver medal considering her 3000m walk event was only her third attempt at this distance.