ATHLETES from a diverse range of sports will come under consideration for the PEAK Bendigo Sports Star of the Year nominee for April at next week’s judging.
Representatives from the fields of athletics, netball, swimming, cricket and shooting are among the contenders looking to secure the monthly nomination for Australia’s longest running community sports awards program.
Swimmer Jenna Strauch won the 200 metre breaststroke final at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide with a personal best time of 2:24.88, and was almost two seconds faster than her previous best.
Strauch finished third in the 100m breast stroke final at the nationals, and remains on track to represent Australia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Shot put champion Emma Berg achieved a personal best of 14.24 metres as she won gold in the women’s open shot put at the Athletics Australia national track and field titles in Sydney.
From Swan Hill, Emma competes with South Bendigo Athletic Club, and will represent Australia at the Oceania Area athletics titles in Townsville in June. Berg is number one in national rankings for under-20 women’s shot put and number two at open level.
Netballer Jayden Cowling played a key role in Victoria’s unbeaten run of eight matches to win the Australian under-23 men’s national title for the second year in a row. Cowling was named most valuable player in the grand final.
When not on court, Cowling is in his second year as coach of Kangaroo Flat FNC’s A-grade netball team.
Fraser Symons won gold in the under-20 400m hurdles at the Athletics Australia track and field championships in Sydney. The number one seed for the event, Symons powered to gold in 52.74 seconds at Olympic Park.
Youngster Jayden Pagham struck gold twice at the Athletics Australia track and field championships in Sydney. Jayden marked a record-breaking win in the under-15 3000m run and backed up 24 hours later to win the under-15 2000m steeplechase.
Other nominees include shooter Geoff Grenfell, Carlton cricket stars Xavier Crone and Brayden Stepien, masters category athletes competitive walker Barb Bryant, world masters decathlete champion Geoff Shaw, pole vault champ Brett Gilligan, and veteran baseballer Gary Ahdore, who recently played his 650th game for Strathfieldsaye Dodgers.
Ahdore started playing baseball 40 years ago and holds the record for most games played in the Bendigo Baseball Association.