Record Warrnambool squad contests championships

WARRNAMBOOL Little Athletics Centre (WLAC) will have 15 athletes chase state championships glory in Melbourne this weekend.

The athletes will compete in 36 different events at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park today and tomorrow, the biggest weekend on the season calendar.

They earned their berths by qualifying at Western Country region championships in Warrnambool last month.

WLAC president Peter Varley said the squad was one of the biggest in centre’s history.

“It’s definitely more than we’ve had in previous years. Our numbers have increased and we’ve got some very competitive athletes,” he said.

“It’s pleasing they range right through from under nine, which is the first age group, to under 15s. We’ve got representatives at every level and we’ve got some people who are through in four events, which is the maximum you can do.”

Varley said having weekly access to the facilities at Brauerander Park was a major factor in the athletes’ success.

“The facilities at Brauerander have lifted the competitiveness of our athletes, being able to both train and compete regularly at a top-class facility,” he said.

“We’ve got a number of people we’d expect to make finals. It’s the experience being able to compete that’s the big thing.

“It’s at Lakeside (Stadium), a big track in Melbourne. For many people it’ll be their first experience up there.

“To compete at a formal meeting at that level will be a fantastic experience for them.”

The squad is: Marcus Matuschka, Darcy Bridge-water, Stella Bridgewater, Ellie Ryan, Alysha Ralston, Harrison Kilpatrick, Obioma Wakefield, Oliver Marris, Ebony Marris, Darcy Johnstone, Naticia Varley, Trinity Pompey, Catherine Ragg, Emma Ragg and Sophie Weir.

Portland (nine), Camper-down (six), Hamilton (two) and Colac (12) will also have representation at state championships.

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