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Girls rocket to gold at championships

Shepparton’s sprint queens were at it again at the Little Athletics State Relay Championships at Albert Park’s Lakeside Stadium on Saturday.

MARC MCGOWAN December 5, 2012 4:15am

Shepparton’s Bridget Catania, Ella Downie, Isabel Long, Jade Downie and Olivia Kirby celebrate their weekend success.


Shepparton’s sprint queens were at it again at the Little Athletics State Relay Championships at Albert Park’s Lakeside Stadium on Saturday.

The Downie twins — Jade and Ella — and Bridget Catania were the only original members left from the sprint medley team that won the first of what became a hat-trick of titles at the weekend.

The sprint medley involves two runners completing 100m, another doing 200m and the final member negotiating 400m.

Isabel Long was the fourth member for the second year running as Shepparton (2:07.58) scored almost a two-second win over under-11 girls’ minor placegetters Mentone (2:09.28) and Camberwell-Malvern (2:13.65).

It was the second gold medal of the annual meeting for Shepparton, with the Downies, Long and Olivia Kirby combining to also take out the under-11 girls’ 4x200m.

They won their heat in the second-fastest time overall, then went almost three seconds faster in the final in posting a time of 2:01.81, which relegated Sandringham (2:02.32) and Camberwell-Malvern (2:06.01).

All the girls are 10 years old, except for Long, who is 11.

Shepparton team manager Rebecca Catania, Bridget’s mother, said it was a fantastic achievement.

‘‘They’re fantastic. They work really well together,’’ Catania said.

‘‘(Long’s mother) Sue said she had a sore throat from cheering on Saturday. They always make our hearts go and we’re always nervous for them.

‘‘It’s the only team event for them and it’s good for them. All the teams that went did a great job.’’

The next-best placing of Shepparton’s 17 teams was the under-9 mixed 4x200m, which finished fourth in a time of 2:27.05.

The top three teams in that age group were Casey (2:20.62), Mentone (2:23.18) and Coburg (2:25.09).

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