Athletics season is heating up and Armidale has some of the state’s best who once again proved it at the NSW Relay Championships.
A team of 50 runners wore the club’s stripes at the meet and brought home a whopping eight medals.
In the men’s opens category, no team finished lower than sixth.
The men’s 120+ masters Nathan Smith, Jay Stone, Andrew Kidd and Adam Bettison brought home gold in the 4x400 metre event, Smith, Kidd, Bettison and Ruwan Cooper finished with silver in the 4x200m while Smith, Kidd, Stone and Cooper combined in the 4x100m for another silver.
Bettison, Smith and Cooper joined Mark Low in the 160+ 4x100m for a bronze.
Karina Brown, Gracie Martin, Mikielee Snow and Kelsie Youman joined forced in the under 20’s 4x100m event for silver.
In the under 18 women’s 4x800m race, some of the club’s young stars stepped up and raced well above their age group.
Chiyo Brown, Grace Cassidy, Eliza Ward and Kelsie Youman were too much for their opponents to claim the gold.
Brown, Youman, Ward were joined by Issy Gooch in the 4x1500m to win bronze.
The club’s final medal came from the under 14 boys in Emerson Fittler, George Schmude, Taju Tijani and Isaac Latter-Gerdes when they claimed bronze in the 4x200m.
Armidale Athletics club president Jay Stone said it was a “phenomenal” meet but it wasn’t all about the results on the track.
“The feedback from other clubs and officials and people on the Athletics NSW board was really positive,” he said.
“They were really intrigued by our idea to turn the weekend into a training camp.
We all travelled together, stayed together and spent the whole weekend together which is something pretty unique but is something we came up with a couple of years ago.
“We are working on team bonding and young athletes learning training habits from older athletes, recovery, eating right and being around more experienced athletes. We grabbed a couple of gold medals, three silver and three bronze and that was certainly a nice little bonus.”
For the region’s runners, the competition doesn’t end with the annual Armidale Fun Run this Sunday.
The event has proved popular year-in, year-out and there are entrants coming from all over the state but Stone hopes more people will get involved as it draws nearer.
“We have about 320 now so we are hoping for a late push to get up towards 400 in the last 48 hours or so,” he said.
“We have more entrants in the 10 kilometre than ever before.
“Armidale Fun Run is part of the Run NSW series and there are basically people who tour around NSW doing all the different events so there's a couple of people I know from Sydney just to do the Armidale Fun Run because they are doing the entire series.
“There's definitely some people coming into town to participate which we like to see.”