READY TO RACE: Ipswich and District Athletic Club representatives (from left) Joshua Carrick, Larissa Chambers and Daniel Qualischefski are ready to compete at the annual winter carnival on August 30.
AS the Ipswich region’s major lead-in to a new athletics season, the annual winter carnival is rich in history.
This year’s carnival at Bill Paterson Oval on August 30 will be the 34th time it is held in the city.
Within the track and field program on the Sunday are professional handicap races like the $3000 Lightning Open Gift and $3000 Ladies Open Gift.
The Lightning Open over 120m has been run 25 times before, attracting some of the state’s most promising sprinters keen for valuable experience under competitive conditions.
The Ladies Gift is 100m, for athletes aged 15 years and over.
However, while waiting to confirm nominations for the two main events, Ipswich and District Athletic Club official Vic Pascoe has received some encouraging news.
He’s had expressions of interest from some NSW athletes eager to use the carnival to build their qualifying standards for higher level representative competitions later this year.
“They’re using this as a good stepping stone,” Pascoe said.
Nominations for the professional races close on August 23.
Track and field athletes have until August 27 to nominate.
A strong continent of Ipswich senior and Ipswich Little Athletics Centre competitors are expected to compete. They include seasoned athletes like Larissa Chambers, Rochelle Vidler and Jack Warner as well as up and comers like Joshua Carrick, Ryan Stewart and Madison Wells.
Former World Junior sprinter Chambers will run in the Ladies Gift before planning to compete the Mulgowie Gift a week later.
Vidler has been in superb form, threatening to break her own under-16 state throwing records.
Warner is likely to run the 400m and 800m having been a regular entrant in the One Mile Gift at the Ipswich Turf Club in recent years.
Stewart is an exciting prospect in the discus, sprinter Carrick is dual registered with Ipswich’s junior and senior clubs, and Wells is another rising thrower working with respected Ipswich coach Mick Moore.
Daniel Qualischefski is another newcomer lining up in the Lightning Gift.