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Stars emerge at schools athletics carnival

schools athletics carnival
Kharla Hills, Drew Kitt, Stephanie Ditchfield, Ben Rudd, Alexandria Kersnovske, Lana Grant and Lola Wood were among the Bundaberg and District Secondary Schools Athletics Age Champions.

Eleven records tumbled as the stars turned it on at the 2021 Bundaberg and District Secondary Schools Athletics Carnival, but Ben Rudd of St Luke’s Anglican School emerged as a rising superstar by smashing the two longest standing marks.

Ben erased the Boys 15 years 1500m standard which had been set exactly 40 years ago in 1981 by then Shalom College captain Simon Doyle, who went on to win many Australian titles, also achieved great success on the international stage, including coming fourth in the event at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and also represented Australia in it at the 1994 Com Games, and qualifying for an Olympics but never getting to compete due to injuries.

Ben, a State ranked triathlete, clocked 4:28.21 to better the old mark by 1:29.

The talented all-rounder also lopped a whopping 7:42sec off the 3000m record which had stood the test of time for 31 years and which had been held by another national junior champion Andrew Ward, stopping the clock at 9:50.58.

Team-mate Jonty Murdoch went one better, numbers-wise, posting three new records which were each National Qualifiers, in the Boys 14 years age group, the Discus with a massive throw of 55.85m, extending the old mark by 12.15m, the Javelin with 58.42m, 9.08m beyond the previous standard, and the Shot Put with 17.49m, 1.82m further than the 2002 distance set by Dan Bretag.

Another rising star of Australian Track and Field, Kharla Hills of Shalom College, was also in record-breaking form, clocking 1:01.33 in the Girls 17-20 years 400m to slice 1.17sec off the previous best.

She also teamed with Riley Dingle, Zali Usher and Georgie Tuzes and scorching the anchor leg in the 4x100m Relay to cross in a time of 54.03sec, 1.47sec under the old time which had been posted by a Shalom team 20 years ago.

schools athletics carnival
Kharla Hills bring Shalom home for a record breaking win in the Girls 17-20 years 4x100m Relay.

Plenty of action at schools athletics carnival

There was one other dual record breaker, Lola Wood, also of St Luke’s, who was timed at 13.60sec in the Girls 12 years 100m, just .06sec better than the former best, and cleared 1.31m in the High Jump, 5cm higher than had been achieved before in the history of the carnival.

Ben Cooper of Bundaberg Christian College, whose elder brother brought home a swimming bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics at the age of just 17 a week earlier, and who himself was a state swimming medalist earlier this year, showed his all-round skills.

He grabbed the Boys 16 years Long Jump record with a huge leap of 6.72m, .22m further than another former national champion Robert Hooper, who is now a top Bundaberg Athletic Club coach, posted way back in 1998.

Shannon Purkis, of Bundaberg North High, completed the records’ list in the Girls 17-20 years Javelin with an impressive 36.00m, 1.27m past the old mark which had been posted in 2009.

In the able-bodied class, Kepnock topped the Age Champions count with four, William Maule (17-20 Male), Stephanie Ditchfield (16 years Female), Cooper De Silva (14 years Male), and Xavier Blair (12 years Male), while St Luke’s produced three Age winners, Ben Rudd (15 years Male), Alexandria Kersnovske (14 years Female), and Lola Wood (12 years Female).

For Shalom, Kharla Hills took out the 17-20 years Female title, and Lana Grant did best in the 13 years Female category, with Drew Kitt flying the flag for Gin Gin High in 16 years Male, Bethany South triumphing for Bundaberg North High in 15 years Female, and Riley Collin flexing his muscle for Bundaberg SHS in 13 years Male.

Kharla was also victorious in the 100m, 200m and Triple Jump and picked up second in Long Jump and third in Shot Put.

But Alexandria Kersnovske accumulated a huge carnival-high 94 points, showing great endurance, skill, and versatility to beat all comers in the 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and Javelin, finish runner-up in 3000m, Long Jump, Triple Jump and Discus, and place third in the 100m and Shot Put.

St Luke’s had a further two Multi-Class Age Champions, Ben Savidge (16-19 years Male) and Dehan Pretorius (13-15 years Male), while 16-19 Female Taylah Sim and Atyaf Awad shared the 16-19 Female award for Bundaberg SHS, and their team-mate Libby Venner reigned supreme in the 13-15 years Female age group.

schools athletics carnival
Ben Savidge receives the BDSSS Percentage Points Trophy for St Luke’s from Mr Paul Thompson.

Shalom took out both the Senior and Junior Champion School Shields, with in the former, 658 points, 155 clear of St Luke’s, followed by Kepnock 419, Bundaberg SHS 301, Bundaberg North 208, Gin Gin 189, BCC 130, Rosedale 76 and Discovery Christian College 24.

But the battle for Junior honours went right down to the wire, before Shalom finished on top with 543, a mere 4 points ahead of St Luke’s, with Bundaberg SHS next on 418, Kepnock 387, BCC 151, Bundaberg North 146, Gin Gin 145, Rosedale 89, and Discovery CC 23.

But St Luke’s continued their domination of the Percentage Points Trophy, recording a massive 240%, clear of Shalom 78%, Rosedale 72%, Gin Gin 70%, BCC 68%, Kepnock 57%, Bundaberg SHS 46%, Discovery CC 45%, and Bundaberg North 44%.

Bundaberg High again took home the Multi-Class Points Trophy on 506 points, with Kepnock second with 196, and Bundaberg Special School in third position on 174.

schools athletics carnival
Travis Price anchors the Bundaberg Christian College team to win the final event on the program, the Boys 17-20 years 4x100m Relay.

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