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By Jamie Strudley

YARRA RANGES ATHLETICS
Yarra Ranges Athletics senior athletes track and field Shield season came to a close on Sunday with four teams qualifying for the Athletics Victoria Shield Finals – Open Women and Open Men, Under 16s Women and Under 16s Men, competing at Lakeside Stadium.
This was an excellent reward after 12 rounds of summer competition.
Athletes across a range of track and field events score points for the club, with total points determining the team position on the ladder.
A long, tiring, but ultimately enjoyable day saw our four teams finish with exceptional team and individual performance.
Final results were unavailable at the time of printing; however, it is likely the Open Women team finished an agonisingly close second place behind a strong Mentone team.
The other teams were unofficially 5th (Open Men), 6th (Women U16s) and 8th (Men U16s).
Stand-out perfomances came from Michaela Duncan, Lucas Taylor, Harrison Van Duuren and Mia Strudley.
Special mention to Mia, who added three extra events to her day’s activities to cover for ill or absent athletes, 2000m steeplechase, 1500m, 100m and 400m.
This week’s Yarra Ranges Athletics competition on Saturday morning was the unique and busy ‘Choose Your Own Event’ round.
Unlike a standard round, when events are scheduled for each age group, athletes were able to choose their favourite events, or an event they were looking to improve.
Parents and officials were kept busy as all possible events were offered to athletes in one morning.
The format provided a fantastic morning of competition and smiles.
With only one week until the Eastern Metropolitan Region Championships, the choose your own event round is often used as a ‘fine tune’ for competition.
Conditions were almost perfect for achieving new personal best results, and these conditions helped several athletes achieve new club records on the day, with the most spectacular being Under 15s athlete, Zane Wheeler, setting a new club record and personal best of 1.77m.

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