Girl power hits Hunter TweetFacebook Hunter Track Classic athletes at Nobbys Beach on January 27Pictures by Max Mason-HubersSome of Australia’s best female athletes will take centre stage at the Hunter Track Classic on Saturday night.
Led by the likes of Rio Olympians Linden Hall and Morgan Mitchell, the girls feature in two of the final three races at Glendale.
Just prior the entire Paralympic silver-medal winning 4×400 metre T53-54 relay team, including Merewether’s Christie Dawes, will start a mixed gender wheelchair pursuit.
And hurdler Michelle Jenneke, renowned for her pre-race dancing routine, will also be in action.
It’s all part of animpressive program many individuals will use to lay theplatform for 2017, which culminates withWorld Championships in London in August.
Qualifying timesare on the agenda and 400 metre runner Mitchell knows all about that, achieving a mark for Rio at last year’s Hunter Track Classic before going onto make an Olympic relay final in August.Her aim is 52.10 seconds, which falls within her personal best range.
“Last year I was here andran 52.04s, which was a Rio qualifier, and if I did that again I would be over the moon,” Mitchell said.
“Training has changed around a bit so it might be a little tough, but 400m is a tough event so I’ll just run my own race and see what happens. I’m just excited to be getting back into it.”
This will be the 22-year-old’s third Hunter Track Classic.
“It’s my favourite meet on the whole grid,” she said.
“It all started back at my first one – ran well there, loved the town, loved the food, loved the beach and thought I’ll definitely come back. Now I make it my first proper race of the season.”
Hallwill line up in a hotly contested 800m at the Hunter Track Classic, against fellow Rio Olympians Anneliese Rubie and Zoe Buckman as well as three-time Australian champion Brittany McGowan, before turning attention to her favoured 1500m distance.
“I’m really focused on being top eight at world champs and I’d probably rather a result next to my name than worryingabout a particular time,” she said.
“But in the back of my mind really is breaking four minutes. No one has done it yet in Australia so it would be nice to be the first.”
The 25-year-old recorded a personal best time of four minutes and 1.78 seconds for1500m in the US in May.