Hi folks, the fourth major Masters event for Mingara athletes, was held on the w’end of Feb 8, 9 and 10. The State Masters C’ships and the mighty green and blue M was, once again, very prominent. Our smallish group of competitors featured in all the main events, from the sprinters, to the long- and middle-distance runners, to the throwers and jumpers. There were quite a few absolutely outstanding performances however, for me, the highlight was watching Super Sally HuntSuper Sally Hunt’s amazingly gutsy, ‘never-say-die’ finish to her 800m where, with 60m to go, she was overtaken but, to the delight of her fanatically, screaming fans she dug into places only true competitors have, and wrested back the lead to hang on for the age group win! To make it even more meritorious, the lass who’d overtaken Sally was in a different age group so, in reality, Sally didn’t need to even chase her as she was going to win her own age group anyway but, that’s not Sally and she wanted to win!!

I know he’ll be extremely embarrassed by this, however, a very, prominent member of NSW athletics approached me on Sunday afternoon, at the Masters C’ships, and made special mention of Ernie Leseberg, calling him, ‘the most under-rated and under-valued performer in NSW’, and I can’t say I disagree with his sentiments. Ernie won all 4 sprint events in his age group at the C’ships, a feat only rarely achieved, or even attempted. The 60m, 100m, 200m and 400m in the highly competitive M45-49yrs age group, and with a returning Olympian in his age group!! It takes an extremely dedicated, strong, fit, maybe ‘crazy’ individual to undertake such an onerous task, yet Ernie does it without fanfare, without much ado, without seeking recognition, he does it for the sheer enjoyment of being able to run fast (though his facial expressions certainly displayed not much enjoyment for the last 60m of his 400m, hahaha!!!). Go Ernie, champion athlete, champion person, champion dad and husband!

A special shoutout to several of our, ‘unsung heroes’, Bev Durston, Julie Peksis, Paul Kelaher and Mark Byfield, to name just a few. These 4 athletes are always there to help out, always volunteer at relays when we’re short runners or throwers to field a team, always give 100% in every event they attempt, however rarely end up on the podium so we tend to overlook their superb contributions to the club as a whole. They’re always incredibly supportive of their fellow club members, and, in reality, epitomise the credo of Masters athletics, “get in and have a GO!’ My personal THANK YOU to Bev, Julie, Paul and Mark.

A big thank you also, to our fantastic team mascot, Billie Maree, Ange Jones’ 2.5yr old daughter, who looked absolutely resplendent in her Mingara uniform! Cries of, ‘Go Mum’ could be heard all Sunday and having her present seems to give all of us a real lift. Thank you Billie and mum!!

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention the indefatigable Ken ‘Mo’ Stubbs who, just like an Eveready battery, just keeps going and going and going some more! To go with his superman performance at NSW Country competing in the awful heat in 13 separate events, he equalled that at this comp in Sydney. ‘Mo’ came away with 2 Gold, 5 Silvers and 2 Bronze medals, as well as Top 6 finishes in the remaining events! We all salutes ya, ‘Mo’!!

Here’s the results from 3 days of fun, of companionship, of camaraderie, and of truly great competition. There’s no awards or pointscores attached to this competition, however, I suspect Mingara would’ve rated very highly on an overall scale.

Ange Jones W35-39 1st 100m Hurdles 23.09, 1st High Jump 1.25m, 4th Triple Jump 8.06m, 5th Hammer 21.86m, 3rd Shot Put 8.75m (on countback!), 1st Discus 33.81m, 1st Javelin 25.82m, 3rd Weight Throw 8.56m

Kay Heinecke W40-44 4th 800m 2:59.02, 3rd 1500m 6:06.11, 2nd 5000m 23:34.48, 3rd Triple Jump 7.31m, 2nd Hammer 16.63m, 3rd Weight Throw 5.35m

Bev Durston W50-54 4th 400m 1:38.23, 4th 1500m 7:19.21, 4th 5000m 26:10.33, 7th Discus 13.84m, 7th Javelin 13.38m

Julie Peksis W55-59 4th 400m 1:27.77, 4th 800m 3:26.03, 3rd 1500m 7:17.90

Sally Hunt W55-59 2nd 800m 2:46.80, 1st 1500m 5:45.84

Jason Cheney M40-44 4th 60m 8.09, 5th 100m 12.32, 3rd 200m 25.93, 3rd Discus 29.54m

Ernie Leseberg M45-49 1st 60m 7.51, 1st 100m 11.49, 1st 200m 23.36, 1st 400m 52.22

Stuart Sutton M45-49 1st Hammer 29.64m, 3rd Shot Put 10.40m, 1st Discus 32.47m, 1st Weight Throw 9.56m

Brett Reid M50-54 2nd 60m 8.29, 3rd 100m 12.87, 2nd 200m 27.15

Paul Kelaher M50-54 4th 400m 60.93, 2nd 800m 2:21.17

Steve Smith M55-59 6th 60m 8.62, 7th 100m 13.33, 7th 200m 27.65, 7th 400m 1:05.55, 5th Shot Put 8.54m

Mark Byfield M55-59 4th 5000m 20:21.29

Dave Smith M60-64 1st 60m 8.59, 2nd 200m 28.16

Paul Carr M60-64 3rd 60m 8.96, 2nd 100m 13.89, 3rd 200m 29.63, 2nd 400m 1:07.03, 1st 100m Hurdles 24.57, 1st 300m Hurdles 52.36, 5th Javelin 27.38m

Gavin Murray M60-64 1st Hammer 35.17, 1st Shot Put 11.15m, 1st Discus 39.91m

James Wood M60-64 2nd Shot Put 10.28m, 3rd Discus 35.41m

Geoff Crumpton M60-64 2nd Hammer 26.41m, 3rd Shot Put 8.70m, 3rd Weight Throw 10.61m

John Wall M70-74 1st 60m 8.91, 1st 100m 14.29, 1st 200m 28.66

Ken Stubbs M70-74 2nd 60m, 4th 100m 20.10, 3rd 200m 43.93, 2nd 400m 1:46.83, 5th 800m 4:14.17, 3rd High Jump 0.90m, 2nd Long Jump 2.73m, 2nd Hammer 23.20m, 4th Shot Put 8.24m, 2nd Discus 21.66m, 1st Javelin 22.35m, 1st Weight Throw 9.23m


*Club Records