Glen Innes athletes claim a host of podium places

Athletics season is heating up and Glen Innes has some of the state’s best who once again proved it at the NSW Relay Championships and the Armidale Fun Run. 

TITLE HOLDER: Matt Campion finished the Armidale Fun Run in first place nearly two minutes clear of the runner up.

TITLE HOLDER: Matt Campion finished the Armidale Fun Run in first place nearly two minutes clear of the runner up.

Matt Campion took on nearly 150 runners at the Fun Run to defend his crown after withdrawing from the NSW 3000 metre championships. 

The 18-year-old surged through to dominate the race and finish in 16 minutes and 16 seconds – nearly two minutes ahead of Armidale Athletics teammate Stuart Geddes. 

The weekend before, Gracie Martin and Mikielee Snow were part of a team of 50 runners wore the Armidale Athletics club’s stripes at NSW Relay Championships and brought home a whopping eight medals. 

The speedy duo joined forces with Karina Brown and Kelsie Youman in the under 20’s 4x100m event for silver. 

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. 

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. The trip isn't based on performance like individual meets.

“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.”