Rio 2016 Olympians Michelle Jenneke (NSW), Cedric Dubler (Qld), Ella Nelson (NSW), Kurtis Marschall (SA), Ryan Gregson (Vic) and Genevieve LaCaze (Vic) are among the 42-strong Team Australia Squad for Nitro Athletics Melbourne confirmed by Athletics Australia today.
Selected from an exceptional number of more than 150 nominees, the Team Australia Squad sees an impressive collection of Australian charges announced alongside budding talent that will relish the experience of competing in the revolutionary team-based event series at Lakeside Stadium in February.
“Coming up with the 42 athletes was a real challenge. The level of interest we had to compete for the green and gold was huge and it took us a while to strike the best balance for the team from the strong pool of applications we had,” Tamsyn Manou, a member of the Nitro Athletics Team Australia Selection Panel, said.
“There’s still work to be done, too. We have to reduce this squad to the 24 competing athletes in the weeks ahead, with a pool of reserves to sit alongside them. We expect to finalise the team in early 2017.”
Nelson is arguably Australia’s most promising sprinter, with the Sydney-sider unbeaten across 200m on home soil in 2016 before a stunning Olympic Games debut that saw her clock a personal best of 22.50 to miss the women’s 200m final by a mere 0.01 seconds.
“I was excited about Nitro Athletics after I had a chat to John (Steffensen) about it and to be named in the Team Australia Squad is awesome,” Nelson said.
“I think what got everyone excited, and curious, about Nitro was the fact that it was going to be completely different to anything we have ever seen before. A completely new challenge. It’ll be fun to compete alongside some great Australian athletes before London (the IAAF World Championships) later in the year, too. 2017 is going to be big.”
Boasting a pole vault personal best and national under 20 record of 5.70m, Marschall soared to new heights this year.
He won the Australian Championships gold medal as part of the summer of athletics, before a silver medal at the IAAF World Under 20 Championships and a start in the men’s pole vault as a 19-year-old at the Olympic Games.
“This is sensational. Nitro is a cool concept so I jumped at the chance to be considered for selection and to now be named in the Team Australia Squad is great,” Marschall said.
“I’ve had a huge year in 2016 with a silver at World Under 20’s before competing in Rio and I want the months ahead, and next year, to continue that upward trend. Nitro is a chance to compete against some of the best in the world on home soil and will only help me improve.
“Fingers crossed Steve Lewis comes with the England team and I get to jump against him here at home. That would be amazing.”
Angus Armstrong (NSW, jumps), Rohan Browning (NSW, sprints), Cedric Dubler (Qld, sprints, hurdles, jumps), Henry Frayne (Qld, jumps), Tom Gamble (Qld, sprints), Ryan Gregson (Vic, middle distance), Jordan Gusman (ACT, middle distance), Jack Hale (Tas, sprints, jumps), Alex Hartmann(Qld, sprints), Nicholas Hough (NSW, sprints, hurdles), Fabrice Lapierre (NSW, jumps), Kurtis Marschall (SA, jumps), Luke Mathews (Vic, middle distance), Ben Offereins (ACT, sprints), Hamish Peacock (Tas, throws), Scott Reardon (ACT, para-athletics), Jeff Riseley (Vic, middle distance), Brett Robinson (Vic, middle distance), Luke Stevens (Vic, sprints), Aaron Stubbs (Qld, sprints), Jordan Williamsz (Vic, middle distance).
Naa Anang (Qld, jumps, sprints), Zoe Buckman (Vic, middle distance), Raph Corney (Tas, pole vault), Riley Day (Qld, sprints), Linden Hall (Vic, middle distance), Michelle Jenneke (NSW, sprints, hurdles), Genevieve LaCaze (Vic, middle distance), Morgan Mitchell (Vic, sprints), Kathryn Mitchell (Vic, throws), Ella Nelson (NSW, sprints), Ella Pardy (WA, para-athletics), Liz Parnov (WA, jumps), Jessica Peris (NT, sprints), Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT, throws), Anneliese Rubie (NSW, sprints), Heidi See (NSW, middle distance), Brooke Stratton (Vic, jumps), Abbie Taddeo (NSW, sprints, hurdles), Christine Wearne (NSW, sprints), Eloise Wellings (NSW, middle distance), Ash Whittaker (Vic, sprints)