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State League pits our top men and women walkers against each other in a regular competition over distances of 3000m and 5000m. This year there are 8 rounds spread across the summer and most are on Thursday evenings - a timeframe promising optimal racing conditions. It is a competition not be be missed and I look forward to reporting the latest encounters each week.

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 1, 5000M WALKS, THURSDAY 30 OCTOBER 2003

Athletics Eastside and Essendon Athletics look set to dominate the walks from a teams perspective this year. Essendon boasts Chris Erickson and Mark Donahoo in the men and Erin Adamcewicz and Jessica Rothwell in the women while Eastside has Travis Middlemiss, Frank Bertei, Simone Wolowiec and Kellie Wapshott.

Chris Erickson and Frank Bertei had a great battle out front before Chris cleared out in the last lap to record a brisk time of 22:13. Mark Donahoo is also showing very good form considering his veteran status and easily beat 23 minutes while Travis Middlemiss was not far behind. But the pick of the performances must go to Michael Beaton-Wells who was only 2 seconds outside his PB and  Stuart Kollmorgen who equalled his PB. Things look set to heat up in Round 2 next Thursday night.

1. Erickson, Chris      Athletics Essendon  22:13.19
2. Donahoo, Mark        Athletics Essendon  22:40.25
3. Middlemiss, Travis   Athletics Eastside  22:49.09
4. Beaton-Wells Michael Aps United          22:55.20
5. Barnes, Thomas       Glenhuntly          23:36.16
6. Kollmorgen, Stuart   Ivanhoe - Yarra     23:55.87 (eq PB)
7. Kennedy, Paul        Muu                 24:35.17
8. Reid, Ross           Glenhuntly          25:12.87
9. Evans, Simon         Box Hill            25:50.68
   Blood, Andrew        Western Suburbs     DNF
   Bertei, Frank        Athletics Eastside  DQ

Jessica Rothwell and Fauve Jacobs both had their first State League walks this week and easily beat the qualifying standard. Leading from the front was a very fit looking Simone Wolowiec who broke 23 minutes and had a good battle with Michael Beaton-Wells in the last lap.

1. Wolowiec, Simone     Athletics Eastside  22:57.16
2. Wapshott, Kellie     Athletics Eastside  24:31.34
3. Muldoon, Wendy       Box Hill            25:06.45
4. Rothwell, Jessica    Athletics Essendon  25:07.24
5. Adamcewicz, Erin     Athletics Essendon  25:14.12
6. Bonney, Kylie        Athletics Eastside  26:26.04
7. Sansonetti, Nicole   Box Hill            26:55.29
8. Jacobs, Fauve        Geelong Region      27:10.08
   Peters, Megan        Bayside             DNF

Walkers of the round:  Jessica Rothwell and Stuart Kollmorgen

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 2, 3000M WALKS, THURSDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2003

What a race with Nathan down from the AIS and having his first hitout since the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Any thoughts that he might have down on fitness were quickly allayed as he pushed out a first lap of 1:30. He then maintained this pace with monotonous (well, pretty exciting actually) regularity, stopping the clock at 1:30 or 1:31 for every lap, to record a sizzling 11:17. This was his first 3000m race since about 1998 and was only a few seconds outside his PB. Jared Tallent chased Nathan early and was rewarded with a sub-12. He was only 3 secs outside his PB of 11:54. Duane Cousins, having a rare appearance over the 3000m, started slowly and worked his way through the field to fly home in 12:13 for another excellent result. Behind these class walkers came the rest of the field and there were a number of PBs – Chris Erickson, Michael Beaton-Wells and Travis Middlemiss. Mark Donahoo was also spot on the pace with his best time for some years – a good omen with the WMA Titles coming up in New Zealand in April 2004.

1.  Deakes, Nathan          Geelong Region      11:17.91
2.  Tallent, Jared          Western Suburbs     11:57.76
3.  Cousins, Duane          Glenhuntly          12:13.97
4.  Erickson, Chris         Athletics Essendon  12:35.48 (PB 5 secs)
5.  Bertei, Frank           Athletics Eastside  13:00.18
6.  Beaton-Wells, Michael   Aps                 13:06.18 (PB 10 secs)
7.  Middlemiss, Travis      Athletics Eastside  13:06.64 (PB 3 secs)
8.  Donahoo, Mark           Athletics Essendon  13:09.22
9.  Barnes, Thomas          Glenhuntly          13:20.56
10. Jamieson, Andrew        Aps                 13:44.75
11. Kollmorgen, Stuart      Ivanhoe - Yarra     13:57.46
12. Reid, Ross              Glenhuntly          14:11.65
13. Evans, Simon            Box Hill            14:49.44

It was a case of Athletics Eastside and then the rest as Simone and Kellie walked away from the field. Kellie shadowed Simone early but Simone was too strong and Kellie down on training with her Uni exams in progress. We can expect to see her challenge more strongly as the season progresses. Erin Adamcewicz did her best time for a couple of years and looks to be finally over the effects of her glandular fever. Nicole Sansonetti is having a very good State League season and her time of just over 15 minutes was an indicator of things to come. Young Sibon Fuzzard walked her first State League and was only a few seconds outside her PB. Things are looking good.

1. Wolowiec, Simone         Athletics Eastside  13:27.94
2. Wapshott, Kellie         Athletics Eastside  13:53.37
3. Adamcewicz, Erin         Athletics Essendon  14:24.11
4. Peters, Megan            Bayside             14:26.80
5. Muldoon, Wendy           Box Hill            14:34.05
6. Sansonetti, Nicole       Box Hill            15:05.60
7. Fuzzard, Sibon           Athletics Essendon  15:18.06

Walkers of the round:  Nathan Deakes and Erin Adamcewicz

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 3, SAT 14 NOVEMBER 2003, BALLARAT, 5000M WALK

Super hot conditions and a strong wind made for very trying conditions. In fact, the day looked so bad that many of the walkers obviously decided not to make the trip to Ballarat. Jared Tallent shot to an early lead but found the going tough (in exam mode) and decided to retire before the halfway mark after being passed by Chris Erickson and Tom Barnes. Chris and Tom walked together till the last lap when Chris kicked away to a good win. Pity Duncan Knox and Sarah Alexander who had their first State League walks for the summer and had the bad luck of encountering the Ballarat weather.

1. Erickson, Chris     Athletics Eastside   23:53.1
2. Barnes, Tom         Glenhuntly           24:03.4
3. Knox, Duncan        Athletics Essendon   26:07.9

It was a very tough walk also for the girls and the times do not reflect the effort involved. Megan, Erin and Nicole all walked well to qualify easily. Young Sarah Alexander had her first ever State League walk and we can expect to see her again soon.

1. Peters, Megan      Bayside               26:30.8
2. Adamcewicz, Erin   Athletics Essendon    27:17.5
3. Sansonetti, Nicole Box Hill              27:41.8
4. Alexander, Sarah   Box Hill              28:14.7

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 4, THURS 20 NOVEMBER 2003, OLYMPIC PARK, 3000M WALK

As Jim Leppik pointed out, there is some great young talent around. Jared, Chris and Tom are aged 19, 21 and 21 respectively while Jessica and Sibon are 14 and 15 respectively. Add in Erin (20) who was the first woman across the line and add in our other young walkers who are in the middle of exams and you have a strong mixture of young and old(er) walkers fighting out State League.

Jared Tallent celebrated the news of his AIS scholarship with an all-the-way win in a very good 12:08. Chris Erickson was dead last early but worked his way through the field in a very strong performance to take second with a big PB. Tom Barnes and Mark Donahoo had a good battle with Tom having to dig deep to take third.

1. Tallent, Jared        Western Suburbs   12:08.34
2. Erickson, Chris       Athletics Essendon  12:27.83  (PB 8 secs)
3. Barnes, Tom           Glenhuntly   13:13.57
4. Donahoo, Mark         Athletics Essendon  13:15.96
5. Kollmorgen, Stuart    Ivanhoe-Yarra   14:07.42
6. Reid, Ross            Glenhuntly   14:08.07
7. Evans, Simon          Box Hill   15:20.17
8. Blood, Andrew         Western Suburbs   15:52.54

Sandra Geisler is the inform walker at the moment and continues to improve with each outing.  Jessica Rothwell held out Megan Peters in another good walking display while Nicole Sansonetti broke 15 minutes for the second time in the week and is another big improver. Sibon Fuzzard walked a big PB and was unlucky not to break 15 minutes – next time! Erin Adamcewicz is also getting back into top shape and, although disqualified, will soon be able to control her new found speed and I look forward to seeing her break 14 minutes soon.

1. Geisler, Sandra       Ringwood United      14:19.65  (PB 16 secs)
2. Rothwell, Jessica     Athletics Essendon   14:34.03
3. Peters, Megan         Bayside              14:37.36
4. Muldoon, Wendy        Box Hill             14:44.68
5. Sansonetti, Nicole    Box Hill             14:53.82
6. Fuzzard, Sibon        Athletics Essendon   15:02.14  (PB 8 secs)
Adamcewicz, Erin         Athletics Essendon   DQ

Athletics Essendon, with 5 of the 15 walkers (and Duncan Knox watching) is definitely the club with the most walking depth at the moment.

Walkers of the round: Chris Erickson and Sandra Geisler

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 5, THURS 27 NOVEMBER 2003, OLYMPIC PARK, 5000M WALK

Conditions were still very warm even with a 7PM start time. In the men’s event, Chris Erickson and Mark Donahoo led early to establish a good lead. However, Mark eventually faded, leaving Chris to record a comfortable win. Andy Jamieson came steaming home to pass Mark and recorded a fantastic second place time of 22.59 (at age 57!).

The women’s race was a good one with the first 4 walkers (Megan, Wendy, Sandra and Erin) within a few metres of each other with 500m to go. Sandra had the best kick in the end and got up to win in the last 30 metres to record another huge PB. She is certainly the big improver of the summer so far. It was a shame to see Simone, Kylie and Rachael all retiring early but we expect to see them bounce back soon.

1. Erickson, Chris         Athletics Essendon  22:29.68
2. Jamieson, Andrew        Aps                 22:59.71
3. Donahoo, Mark           Athletics Essendon  23:06.12
4. Beaton-Wells, Michael   Aps                 23:20.73
5. Kollmorgen, Stuart      Ivanhoe-Yarra       24:45.31
6. Martin, Travis          Box Hill            25:11.07
7. Reid, Ross              Glenhuntly          25:25.42
8. Evans, Simon            Box Hill            25:45.61

1. Geisler, Sandra         Ringwood United     24:51.50  (PB – 29 secs)
2. Peters, Megan           Bayside             24:52.44
3. Muldoon, Wendy          Box Hill            24:52.75
4. Adamcewicz, Erin        Athletics Essendon  25:05.27
5. Sansonetti, Nicole      Box Hill            25:59.94
6. Jacobs, Fauve           Geelong             28:52.00
   Wolowiec, Simone        Athletics Eastside  DNF
   Bonney, Kylie           Athletics Eastside  DNF
   Loone, Rachael          Geelong             DNF

Walkers of the round: Andrew Jamieson and Sandra Geisler

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 6, TUES 9 DECEMBER 2003, OLYMPIC PARK, 3000M WALK

It was a super hot evening and quite a few regular competitors took the night off after the 50 km trial only 2 days before. That left Mark Donahoo, Tom Barnes and Michael Beaton-Wells to battle it out. Mark ended up winning comfortably and is certainly in good form. Despite the heat, he was only some 8 seconds outside his season best.

1.  Donahoo, Mark          Athletics Essendon  13:18.81
2.  Barnes, Tom            Glenhuntly          13:31.80
3.  Beaton-Wells, Michael  Aps                 13:34.22
4.  Kennedy, Paul          Muu                 13:51.81
5.  Kollmorgen, Stuart     Ivanhoe-Yarra       14:07.69
6.  Reid, Ross             Glenhuntly          14:19.14
7.  Heywood, Colin         Ivanhoe-Yarra       14:22.36
8.  Knox, Duncan           Athletics Essendon  14:25.47
9.  Martin, Travis         Box Hill            14:31.40
10. Jamieson, Andrew       Aps                 15:04.18

Kellie Wapshott, back from a holiday in NZ, was too quick for Megan Peters in an interesting race. The other girls suffered in the heat but still held on well.

1.  Wapshott, Kellie       Athletics Eastside  14:31.51
2.  Peters, Megan          Bayside             14:42.79
3.  Adamcewicz, Erin       Athletics Essendon  15:02.99
4.  Sansonetti, Nicole     Box Hill            15:27.42
    Bonney, Kylie          Athletics Eastside  DNF

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 7, TUES 13 JANUARY 2004, DONCASTER, 5000M WALK

We had a very strong field for this first State League round for January and ideal racing conditions and a great venue (Doncaster) proved the right combination for fast walking.
Chris Erickson had an easy win with a very slick time of 21:52 and behind him a great battle developed between Michael Beaton-Wells, Frank Bertei and Simone Wolowiec. It’s pretty hard to beat Michael in a last lap sprint and, true to form, he cleared away from the others in the dying stages of the event for second overall and a big PB. Simone then held Frank out to walk her fastest time in some years. Tom Barnes was next in and was just outside his PB with a very good sub 23 minute walk. Simon Evans and Travis Martin both gained their first points for the season to help Box Hill in the final push for the finals. Travis seems to have turned the corner with regards to his comeback this season and he walked very evenly for his 23:52. Spare a thought for Stuart Kollmorgen who thought it was a 3000m – and got to the end to find he had 5 laps to go. He managed to hang on and just beat the qualifying standard of 25 minutes! Roisin Gleich had her first competition for the summer and easily qualified with a good first up walk

1.  Erickson, Chris        Athletics Essendon  21:52.7
2.  Beaton-Wells, Michael  Aps                 22:34.0  (PB – 19 secs)
3.  Bertei, Frank          Athletics Eastside  22:38.6
4.  Barnes, Tom            Glenhuntly          22:51.6  (only 1 sec outside his PB)
5.  Jamieson, Andrew       Aps                 22:54.1
6.  Middlemiss, Travis     Athletics Eastside  23:19.4
7.  Donahoo, Mark          Athletics Essendon  23:22.1
8.  Heywood, Colin         Ivanhoe-Yarra       23:25.9
9.  Reid, Ross             Glenhuntly          23:26.9
10. Kennedy, Paul          Muu                 23:42.6
11. Martin, Travis         Box Hill            23:52.9
12. Evans, Simon           Box Hill            24:54.4
13. Kollmorgen, Stuart     Ivanhoe-Yarra       24:55.4

1.  Wolowiec, Simone       Athletics Eastside  22:37.7
2.  Muldoon, Wendy         Box Hill            24:55.0
3.  Bonney, Kylie          Athletics Eastside  25:07.4
4.  Geisler, Sandra        Ringwood United     25:10.4
5.  Peters, Megan          Bayside             25:19.0
6.  Adamcewicz, Erin       Athletics Essendon  25:40.6
7.  Sansonetti, Nicole     Box Hill            26:46.3
8.  Gleich, Roisin         Muu                 26:53.1

Walkers of the Round Michael Beaton-Wells and Simone Wolowiec

STATE LEAGUE ROUND 8, TUES 27 JANUARY 2004, DONCASTER, 3000M WALK

Alas, washed out by the rain.

STATE LEAGUE – THE DUNCAN KNOX AND WENDY MULDOON AWARDS

The awards have now been finalised and the winners are Chris Erickson and Megan Peters. Full points are as follows

Duncan Knox Award
1.  C. Erickson     Ess   108 points
2.  T. Barnes       Glen  100
3.  M. Donahoo      Ess    91
4.  S. Kollmorgan   Iva    88
5.  M. Beaton-Wells Aps    76
6.  R. Reid         Glen   49
7.  A. Jamieson     Aps    43
8.  T. Middlemiss   Es     40
9.  J. Tallant      Ws     38
10. P. Kennedy      Mu     38
11. F. Bertei       Es     31
12. C. Heywood      Iva    26
13. N. Deakes       Geel   19
14. D. Cousins      Glen   16
15. T Martin        BH     13
16. D. Knox         Ess    12
17. S Evans         BH      9

Wendy Muldoon Award
1.  M. Peters       Bs     86 Points
2.  N. Sansonetti   Bh     84
3.  E. Adamcewicz   Ess    74
4.  W. Muldoon      Bh     70
5.  K. Wapshott     Es     42
6.  S. Wolowiec     Es     48
7.  S. Geister      Rw     45
8.  J. Rothwell     Ess    29
9.  K. Bonney       Es     22
10. R. Gleich       Mu     10
11. S. Fuzzard      Ess     7
12. F. Jacobs       Geel    7