Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Boldiston strolls to national gold

Kialla wonder-walker Zoë Boldiston is hoping her gold medal at the weekend’s Australia All Schools Track and Field Championships is not her only success this week.

DAMEN FRANCIS December 4, 2012 4:10am

Zoë Boldiston waltzed to another Australian title, with a gold medal in the under-18 girls’ 5000 m Race Walk at the Australian All Schools Track and Field Championships.

Kialla wonder-walker Zoe Boldiston is hoping her gold medal at the weekend’s Australia All Schools Track and Field Championships is not her only success this week.

With the Australian team for the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival set to be named later this week, Boldiston, 15, put her best foot forward for selection, with first place in the under-18 girls’ 5000m race walk.

In Sydney next month, the festival is a multi-sport event for teenage Olympic aspirants from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and combined Oceania and China.

A total of 15 girls will be selected, with 18 events on the schedule and Boldiston is hopeful her most recent performance will earn her a place in the team.

‘‘I’m really hoping to make that team,’’ Boldiston said.

‘‘It would be really good because it would be the first time I get to compete for Australia.’’

In blustery conditions at the Domain Athletics Track in Hobart, Boldiston scooted away from the field to win in a time of 25 minutes and one second, 48sec ahead of second-placed Taylor-Paige Billington of NSW.

Shepparton race walker and friend Amanda Heard was seventh in 26:43.69 — a time good enough for first place among those born in 1995.

It was Boldiston’s fifth Australian race walking title and second since returning from a three-month lay-off due to a stress reaction in her spine.

Given the conditions, Boldiston was happy with the time, even though it was not a personal best.

‘‘It was a pretty fast start and we went out pretty hard, so I sat behind a couple of girls and then probably around the middle of the race I took the front and just increased the gap,’’ she said.

‘‘(My tactics) change every race depending on the conditions and the distance, but that race I was happy to because it was extremely windy, because the athletics track was on top of a mountain.’’

Kyabram’s Emily Lawson was also among the medals, picking up a gold and a bronze in the relays.

Lawson was part of the Victorian teams that won the under-18 girls’ 4x100m relay and finished third in the under-18 girls’ 1000 sprint medley.

Individually, she placed sixth in the final of the 400m in a time of 57.77sec.

Fellow Kyabram product Carlie Whitford crossed the line in sixth place in the under-18 girls’ 100m final and finished in the same place in the triple jump, with a leap of 11.07m.

Michaela Duncan of Shepparton was 11th in the same event, with a jump of 10.64m.

Shepparton’s Liam Schreck was sixth in the under-14 boys’ triple jump with 11.18m.

Benalla’s Rachel Waters finished sixth in heat one of the under-16 girls’ 400m, fifth in the 800m and seventh in the 1500m.

Waters’ older sister, Sarah, just missed out on a medal in the under-18 girls’ 3000m, finishing fourth in 10:07.80.

Elmore-based Teleah Hayes earned 11th place in the under-16 girls’ 3000m in a time of 11:23.83.

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