26 February 2018
The 2018 Maribyrnong Sports Academy team to the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho in America has once again proved that our Aussie athletes are as good as any one.
After successful trips to the Simplot games in the past 3 years it was felt that this young and inexperienced team may not perform as well as previous teams. But anyone who thought that was going to be the case was wrong. The Marby team will come back to Australia with a Silver and Bronze medal and 5 finalists of the 6 competitors who made the trip.
Team captain Jamieson Battistella was the first to medal on finals day claiming bronze with a jump of 1 metre 70 in the High jump final. Jamieson claimed 3rd on a count back with the eventual winner going out of the competition having cleared 5 foot 11 or 1.8 meters. Jamieson was thrilled with her medal having been to the Simplot games twice before and not performing to her best.
Debutant Angus Wood claimed a silver medal in the Boys triple jump in what can only be described as one of the great achievements of the event. Coming into this weekend his personal best was a 13.50 metre jump, after this event his PB has now jumped to 13.90 meters, which is a 40 cm improvement. He claimed the silver medal under his final jump which was a whopping 14cm improvement on his previous best jump of the event.
Allison Williams also performed an amazing job on the finals day competing in four events and claiming a top 12 in the high jump, a fourth in the long jump, a start in the 60m hurdle final which saw her come crashing down on the third hurdle, and a solid run in the final of the 4 x 200 metre relay as the second runner.
Our 4 x 200m girls relay team finished the event in 11th place with Jamieson and Allison joined by Kelera Ratu and Ella Nickolaus in the final.
Kelera and Bianca Puglisi both were unlucky to miss finals in their respective events the 400m and 3200m runs. Both ladies running times which saw them miss the finals by just 1 spot.
While year 9 Athlete Ella Nickolaus ran the heats of the 60m dash and will be much better off for the experience against some of the strongest runners in the United States. Ella finished in the top 40 with most of the runners above her currently in years 11 and 12.
While our medallists are celebrating their great achievements they did compete in another event each and were unfortunately to not progress to the finals. Jamieson just fell short of qualifying in the shot putt while Angus was top 50 in the 60m dash.
All finalists received a participation medal for making the final, and in a show of great spirit by team captain Jamieson Batistiella presented her finals participation medal to the unlucky Bianca Puglisi. Bianca missed the finals by 1 sec but bettered her time for the 3200 event by 1 min 30 secs better than last year’s run.
Maribyrnong Sports academy and our Simplot games team would like to once again thank Simplot Australia and their partners Linfox, Orora and Oliver Wight for their sponsorship of the team. We would sincerely like to personally thank Simplot Australia’s CEO Graham Dugdale for continuing to have the vision and giving this opportunity to our Athletes who continue to benefit from their experience. A perfect example of our students using the Simplot Games as a stepping stone to greatness is Games multiple medallist and High Jump and 60m hurdles Gold Medallist Celeste Mucci who last weekend qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in the Heptathlon.
Maribyrnong Sports Academy would also like to thank staff members David Battistella who coached the team for the first time at the Simplot Games in the absence of Head Athletics Coach Darren Clarke who was on the Gold Coast for National Selections. David’s great attention to detail and ability to get a message across to the athletes was evident for all to see. Also special mention to Middle School Athlete Wellbeing Co-Ordinator Amy Holmes whose caring attitude and mentoring of the Student Athletes enabled them to perform at a level they may not have thought possible.
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