Our club was quite surprised in a very pleasant way to learn that seven of our younger talented athletes were accepted into the IAS Lonestar Program. The added bonus is that four out of the seven were accepted under two sports.
This again highlights what athletics clubs have been saying for ages and that is, if a person competes in a sport which relies heavily on running, then doing athletics training as well as the skill specific training the other sport requires, will result in noticeable personal improvements.
If you are serious about improving your performance then don't hesitate to access our site for further information www.athleticswollongong.org.au or join our FaceBook page. (Athletics Wollongong).
Our seven successful candidates are:
Tayissa Buchanan (Athletics and Cross-Country). Tayissa continues to perform impressively in whichever carnival she deems to enter.
In the Dec 2020 NSW All Schools Championship she won gold in the U15 800m (2:14.27) and the 1500m (4:41.47) and bronze in the 400m (58.23). At the Canberra State Championships on Feb 2021, she won silver in the U20 800m (and still wasn't yet 15) and a new PB of (2:10.63). In the ANSW State Junior championships, on Feb 2021, she was the gold medallist in both the U16 800 (2:15.19) and 1500m (4:41.56).
After an enormous start to the year, Tayissa then competed In the Little Athletics (LANSW) State Youth Championships winning Gold in both the U16 800 (2:15.23) and 1500m (4:43.04) and followed this up with a narrow 4th at the Australian Track and Field Championship in both the U16 800m (2:13.51) and 1500m (4:44.42).
She was also selected for the ANSW TTP scheme and was winner of the International Women's Day (IWD Illawarra) Kerryn McCann Sports Scholarship Award for 2021. She also qualified fore the All Schools Cross-Country NSW Championships as part of the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges team, and finally won the Fitness 5km for U18 girls held in Wollongong.
This is Tayissa's second year in the Lonestar program and she has already qualified for Nationals in Perth for the 800m an 1500m in 2022, and looking to qualify for the 400m when competition resumes.
Holly Sheldrick (Surf Lifesaving and Rugby League)
Holly has had a successful 2020-2021 season for Surf Lifesaving, completing her Surf Rescue Certificate and becoming a patrolling member. In Nippers she had the following results, NSW State Age Championships SLS 2021 2nd Flags 7th Beach Sprints and was selected as an Illawarra Branch Sand Representative for 2019/20 and 2020/21.
She was nominated for Illawarra SLS Junior Athlete of the Year 2020/21 and received North Wollongong SLSC Club Awards for the 2020/21 season as Club Competitor of the Year (highest overall points), Flagger of the Year, Ironwoman of the Year and has received the Age Champion of the year awards from 2015-2021.
Outside of Nippers, Holly was selected in the U14 Vipers Oztag team to play at nationals in 2021. She has played for Corrimal Cougars Rugby League team and was one of the top try scorers in the inaugural U14 Girls Rugby League Illawarra competition in 2021. In 2019 she was selected in the inaugural Mackillop Girls Rugby 7s Team to compete at a NSW PSSA Gala Day.
William Willis (Athletics)
William only started throwing hammer in October 2020. As with many other athletes, COVID severely hampered his preparation. But thankfully, coach Phil Frkovic and many YouTube videos later, he developed this very technically sweet throwing style.
Due to a collapse of competition in NSW, William headed off as a guest at the South Australian All Schools Carnival. He placed second in U14 hammer and discus, and 3rd in shot.
At the NSW All schools Championships in Dec 2020 he came 2nd in U14 hammer, and 6th in discus. In Jan 2021 he competed in the ACT championships and came 1st in U14 discus, 2nd hammer and 3rd shot put. When only 12 in 2019 he competed in the Australian PSSA Championships and placed 8th in discus. To date, this is the only Australian Championships he has been able to access.
His personal bests are, hammer 4kg 40.61m ACT champs Jan 2021 (only 1.5m behind the national champ) and discus was in 2021 at the TIGS school carnival 42.86m.
Miller Siasat (Athletics and Surf Lifesaving)
Kiama resident Miller Siasat had such an impressive SLS season last season that he is one of the youngest athletes (13 years old). More surprisingly, this is his second year on the program.
In 2021 he won three NSW Championship Beach flags and 2 NSW Championship sprint awards. In 2020 at the SLSNSW Championships, Miller won a Gold in Flags and a silver in Beach Sprints, and was selected to the South Coast Surf Life Saving Team.
His recent athletics performances include competing in the popular Lake Illawarra Athletics Summer Classic where he won gold in the BU13 100m 13.45sec, silver in the 200m, 28.05 sec and Bronze in Long jump 4.26m.
In the 2021 NSW Little Athletics Youth Carnival, Miller just missed the finals for the 100m 12.93sec and the 200m 26.74 sec.
Liam Halloran (Athletics)
Liam is a relative newbie to athletics, and despite the fact that he has only just finished his third season, he continues to surprise by his improvements. As an avid guitar player his stairway to heaven has been his acceptance into the Lonestar program.
In the NSW All Schools Championships in December 2020, he came 6th in high jump with 1.70m. In his first ever attempt at the Little Athletics State Multi event was in March 2021. Held in Wollongong it consisted of 7 events over 2 days. Liam placed 6th overall with a score of 4637 points.
In the Little A's state championships, he placed 7th in the 800m final with 2.18.20 sec, (first time competing at state for this event), 8th in high jump, 1.70m, and 7th in the 300m hurdles 43.38sec. In 2021 for the North Illawarra zone carnival he won all events except 2nd in 800m, and was zone champion. Unfortunately the regional carnival was cancelled due to COVID.
At the Wollongong City Little Athletics Presentation Night, Liam received awards for Under 15 boys age champion, senior boys hurdles and middle distance champion, most personal bests in the age group and 5 season's best performance awards.
Imogen Harrison (Athletics)
Imogen's last season was a tough one. She was struggling to keep motivated and achieve some type of regular training program. This unfortunately resulted in her putting in some very ordinary performances which included her first major seasonal comp, The NSW All Schools Championships.
This plucky young athlete steeled herself where others would contemplate just giving up, and sought to get some experience at the Lake Illawarra Summer Carnival. In that event she surprised herself on the grass track with a personal best, track record and Australian Qualifying time of 12.12sec for G17 100m. Imogen followed up this success with a nippy 8.18sec 4th for the U18W 60m dash in the Illawarra Track Classic earlier this year.
Now, with a renewed enthusiasm, Imogen in her own words has said, "I am excited to start a new chapter next season and to see myself grow as an athlete. I am now a part of a new training squad, DANSZAK SPEED SQUAD coached by Danielle Szakacs. This squad has already helped me improve and develop as an athlete. Now that I have officially being accepted into the Illawarra Academy of Sport Lonestar Program, I consider this to be a great achievement of mine, and I'm so excited to see what my Athletics future holds."
Lucas Campbell (Athletics and AFL)
Unfortunately, very little happened last season in the AFL due to COVID, but he did have some success in athletics.
Lucas has only been with Athletics Wollongong for one season, but in that time he scored a 5th in the 200m hurdles 29.22sec and a 4th in long jump 5.64m in the boys U16's at the NSW Junior Championships on March 12 and in the NSW Little Athletics Youth Carnival this year competing in the U15 Boys category, was 6th in the 100m final in 12.37sec and 4th in the 300m hurdles in 42.13sec.
He qualified to compete at Nationals; however they were also cancelled due to COVID.