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autumn 2015

National Junior Track and Field


Eight Ruyton girls represented Victoria with distinction at the 2015

National Junior Track and Field Championships in Sydney in March.

Over the five-day carnival, these eight girls amassed four personal

bests and four medal winning performances.

Allegra Brown (High Jump) and Paris Powell (3000m), competing

at these Championships for the first time, looked as though they

had always competed at this level. Allegra Brown cleared 1.49

metres in the Under 15 High Jump to finish 7th and Paris Powell

ran an eight second personal best (10.37.38) to finish 10th in the

Under 18 3000m.

Charlotte Wragg returned to form in the Under 14 1500mwith

a well-timed race to finish 8th overall (4.57.43). Jessica Hepworth

tried hard to recapture ground after a slow start in the 800m

heat but was unable to progress to the final. It is expected that

Jessica will return to the Nationals next year as a very competitive

1500m runner.

After being checked in the 1500m heat, Natalie Rule recovered well

to progress through to the Under 20 1500m final. Unfortunately,

Natalie suffered a calf strain midway through the final and was

unable to finish. This result will not hamper Natalie who has

proven to be one of the more resilient athletes at this level.

Meredith Rule competed in the 400m hurdles for the first time at

these National Championships. Competing out of her age group,

Meredith ran a personal best (68.61) to narrowly miss the final.

Meredith then turned her attention to the Field where she threw a

personal best of 10.25 metres for the Shot Put to finish 14th overall.

Midway through the carnival, Ruyton was due for some

spectacular performances. Phillipa Hajdasz and Sarah Billings,

sensing the occasion, performed on cue. They produced four

World Class medal winning performances between them. Phillipa

was leading the Under 18 Pole Vault before an electrical storm

stalled the event. The weather was so severe, the event was

cancelled and Phillipa was determined the winner. She returned to

the track the following day to compete in the Under 20 age group

finishing 3rd overall with a clearance of 3.85m. Phillipa’s two World

Youth qualifying performances during the season and her win in

the Under 18 Championships confirm her selection in the

Australian Youth Track and Field team to compete in World Under

18 Championships in Colombia later this year.

Sarah Billings looked to be in rare formwhen she cruised through

her heat of the 400ms in a time of 55.78 seconds. In the final,

Sarah’s performance was electrifying as she ran 54.38 to decimate

the field. This time is both a World Youth qualifier and a significant

personal best.

Sarah Billings, along with Natalie Rule and Audrey Campkin-Smith

(as the joint Captains of Ruyton Cross Country) will now turn

their attention to Cross Country as Ruyton attempts to continue

its 12 year unbeaten run in all State Cross Country events

Mr Stephen Ellinghaus,

Athletics Head Coach

Historic Victory at Head of

Schoolgirls Regatta

The final day of the Victorian rowing season ended

with the full Ruyton rowing squad assembled at

the banks of the Barwon River for the 31st Head of

Schoolgirls Regatta.

Each and every girl in the squad of 56 rowed their

hearts out on the final day of competition.

Never before has Ruyton won the ultra-competitive

Year 10 Division 1 Quad Scull. It’s a super-tough task,

as all of the quad scull schools are present, before

some move off into the eight as seniors.

As Junior State Champions the crew of Bella

Anderson, Alannah Harris, Emily Montagu, Eleanor

Price and Elise Sando carried the pressure that goes

with that title into this regatta and into the final as

the fastest qualifiers. Furthermore 500m into the

race they found themselves substantially behind in

second place. Nonetheless the crew stayed calm

throughout the unfolding crisis and stroke by

stroke clawed their way back into contention,

moving into the lead and holding on for a famous

victory! Celebrations, however, were put on hold as

all three senior quads were still to race their finals.

The Senior thirds finished with a silver medal and

the Senior seconds received a bronze.

All eyes were now focused on the Senior firsts crew

of Matilda Ancarola, Beth Cooper, Alana Grollo,

Jean Mitchell and Charlotte Wirtz. Could they

become the first Ruyton crew (Ruyton started

rowing 24 years ago) to win the coveted Senior

Division 1 Quad Scull title? The form guide

suggested perhaps they could, however they had

arrived at the final through an unconventional

pathway. Unlike the other Victorian schools

competing weekly on the local circuit, our crew had

raced little in Term 1, choosing only to compete at

the NSW State Championships, which they won in

emphatic style against classy opposition. If they

were to become the first Ruyton crew to achieve

this task they would have to beat a rival who was

undefeated in Victoria for the entire season.

Following an unfavourable training row on the eve

of the final, the crew found themselves up at

5.45am on race-day (while their opponents slept in)

for a disciplined training session to remind them

that no one was just going to hand them the

trophy. It would prove to be the wake-up call they

had to have. The session became their best row of

the season with a flurry of emotions at both ends

of the scale within a 12 hour period, less than

24 hours prior to the most important rowing race

of their lives.

Four hours before the start each crew member

received an inspiring and truthful text message

from Kim Crow. Who else would you choose for

a spot of advice on race day…

And so it goes: a story of a cox in her first season,

a rower who turned 15 just before the new year, a

highly regarded athlete in her first season with the

crew and two elder stateswomen who endured the

disappointments of last season forming a bond

together that would see them attack the race

with a maturity beyond their years, as they rated

31 strokes per minute, some five points lower than

their opponents, to win with clear water separating

them from the rest of the field.

For many years I have dreamed of this moment and

proudly, here we are!

Mr Matt Wilson,

Director of Rowing

The Ruyton community is justifiably proud of the

amazing talent displayed by our girls in the sporting

arena. How often it is acknowledged that Ruyton girls

‘punch well-above their weight’ as a relatively small

school holds its own against the many schools with

whom we compete.

Ruyton Sporting Triumphs