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
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
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
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
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