Pole vault and a 4 x 100m relay record were broken in Saturday’s first round of the 20190-2020 Athletics Victoria Shield League run by the Flack Advisory Bendigo Region.

More than 100 athletes competed in a brilliant start to the 2019-20 track and field season at the La Trobe University Bendigo athletics complex in Retreat Road, Flora Hill. South Bendigo young gun James Woods cleared the 4.65 metres mark at pole vault. A brilliant leap by the 16-year-old broke the Centre record for under-16 through to open. The previous best at open level was 4.55m held by Brett Gilligan from Bendigo Harriers since November 17, 2012. Jemuel Pryse from Bendigo Harriers held the junior, under-18 and under-17 marks on 4.50m since November, 2015 and was joint holder with Woods at under-16 level on 4.20m. Outstanding feats last season earned Woods the Geoff Major Rising Star award, which is proudly sponsored by Flack Advisory.

Slick times were achieved by many teams in the 4 x 100m relay heats.

South Bendigo clubmates Carol Coad, Debby Kirne, Annette Curtis and Jackie Guillou joined forces to achieve a time of 1:13.15. They broke the Centre record of 1:13.97 for the 50-plus class set by South Bendigo’s Joan Self, Jennifer Payne, Annette Curtis and Debby Kirne at this year’s Country Championships run on the Australia Day holiday weekend in Bendigo.

Among the many outstanding performances at Saturday meet’s were wins by Bendigo Harriers’ James Miller in the 100m, 11.20 seconds; and 6.60m at long jump.

Now racing for Old Melburnians, Sebastyn Andrea clocked 16.56 in the 100m hurdles, as Toni Phillips, now with Preston, won the 80m hurdles in 15.50.

Fastest in the women’s 100m heats was South Bendigo’s Anastazia Robinson in 13.41. Michael Preece from Bendigo Harriers clocked 4:12 to win the 1500m.

In the first of the 4 x 100m relay heats, Eaglehawk’s Kenan Seebah, James Bentley, Mitchell O’Neill and Angus McKindlay charged to victory in 47.62 as the all-Shaw team of Neil, Ryan, Geoff and Brody from Bendigo Harriers clocked 54.07 to be runner-up.

Eaglehawk’s James Bentley won his 400m heat in 52.57, not far off the 51.94 he set at LUBAC last February to hold the Centre record for the under-15 class. Gretel Holmes from Bendigo Harriers won her 400m heat in 62 seconds.

A highlight in the second flight at javelin was the contest between University’s Anthony Messerle, 43.96m, and Harriers’ James Miller, 42.47m.

Best at shot put were South Bendigo’s Emma Berg, 13.28m; and Uni’s Anthony Messerle, 10.32m.