Julian Wruck on his way to winning the Discus title at the Australian Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Sydney, Australia

World lead for Wruck highlights first finals night at Australian Champs

It was the three Ws – Julian Wruck, another Weekend, another World lead.

Just off the plane for the Australian championships, the 21-year-old hurled the Discus an impressive 66.32m, a third world lead to add to the previous two weekend efforts of 66.01m in Texas on 30 March and 66.05m in Los Angeles last weekend.

It was also another improvement on his Oceania under-23 best as he edges closer to Ben Harradine’s continental record of 67.53m.

Studying for a double major in philosophy and psychology at UCLA in the United States, Wruck is certainly making impressive progress in the most classical of athletics events.

A dual NCAA champion in the discus, Wruck switched from Texas A&M to UCLA last year because the UCLA program offered him more flexibility.

“Texas was very different culturally,” Wruck said of the move. “Los Angeles was a bit more diverse, more relaxed, a better environment generally.”

Wruck trains under Michael Maynard at UCLA but said he has a lot more freedom than under the A&M program.

“I kind of do my own thing, the coach at LA is very flexible. At A&M it was more follow the program.”

Wruck failed to qualify for the London Olympic final last year, finishing 13th overall in the qualifying competition.

“I got ahead of myself last year, then I got sick. Now I’m throwing good distances with good consistency.”

Youth star Denny also improves

Wruck, who arrived in Australia on Friday morning, began his series with what would have been a winning distance of 64.39m. He followed up with a 65.96m and then his personal best 66.32m before closing out his series with 64.20m, 65.23m and a foul.

In second place, World youth championships prospect Mathew Denny improved his best with the senior implement to 56.91m, taking him to seventh on the World youth all-time list.

Starc jumps all the way to Moscow

Brandon Starc did not come into the men’s High Jump as favourite, but by the time it was over he had a win, a five-centimetre personal best and a ticket to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in his pocket.

The 19-year-old, a younger brother of Australian Test cricket fast bowler Mitchell Starc, cleared 2.28m on his first attempt to take the lead from the more fancied Liam Zamel-Paez, who missed.

Zamel-Paez, who had come into the competition with a personal best of 2.29m, was now behind and faced with clearing a higher height to take the win. Neither man could clear 2.31m, and the win – and Moscow selection with it – went to Starc.

Starc was perfect at each height, clearing 2.05m, 2.13m, 2.19m, 2.22m, 2.25m and his winning 2.28m all on the first attempt. He finished sixth at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona last year. Zamel-Paez had one miss at 2.16m and, critically, could not match the winner’s first-time clearance at 2.28m.

Olympic finalist Alana Boyd also clinched Moscow selection by winning the women’s Pole Vault, but was clearly unhappy at missing 4.50m after soaring over her opening height of 4.30m. Still, that was enough to prevail over the 4.20m of Liz Parnov.

Mickle consistently over 60m in women’s Javelin

Daegu World Championships finalist Kim Mickle put on a commanding display in winning the women’s Javelin.

After a foul on her first throw, Mickle was over 60 metres with each of her remaining five, recording a best of 62.26m in the fourth round. Her other valid throws were 60.24m, 60.61m, 60.59m and a closing 61.06m.

Kelsey-Lee Roberts was second with a best of 58.58m, breaking by two centimetres the Oceania under-23 best set by Mickle in 2006.

Ross equals Hogan’s record of 100m wins

It wasn’t his best performance at a National Championship, but Joshua Ross’s win in the 100m may have been his most significant.

Ross ran 10.34 (-1.3m/s) to beat Tim Leathart (10.40) and New Zealand’s Joseph Miller (10.42).

It was the 32-year-old’s seventh victory in the national 100m, equalling the record of Hec Hogan, who won seven titles (all at 100 yards) through the 1950s. Hogan won an Olympic bronze medal behind Americans Bobby Morrow and Thane Baker in the 100m in Melbourne in 1956 before dying prematurely from leukaemia in 1960.

Papua-New Guinea’s Toea Wisil, resident in Queensland, won the women’s 100m in 11.49.

London Olympic semi-finalist Zoe Buckman controlled the last two laps to win the women’s 1500m in 4:09.79 from Eliza Curnow (4:11.79) and Kaila McKnight (4:14.04). Buckman was another to clinch Moscow selection.

And in the men’s 5000m, Cameron Page produced a 26-second personal best to defeat Ben St Lawrence, 13:29.45 to 13:30.37.

Len Johnson for the IAAF