National title to Launceston athlete

A YEAR after winning the national under-17 decathlon title, St Patrick's College athlete Sam Alderson has stepped up to take the under-18 championship at Melbourne's Lakeside Stadium.

Alderson beat Zach Simunovic (NSW) and Lewis Cain (Vic) in the gruelling 10-event competition, which is made up of track and field events.

A member of the Newstead Athletic Club, where he is coached by Max O'Toole, Alderson jumped to an early lead by running a personal best in the 100m and 400m on the opening day.

Day one of competition also included the long jump, shot put and high jump, in which he was able to match his personal best of 1.64m.

Day two's events consisted of 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin and 1500m.

Although just short of his personal best in four of the events, he matched his best distance in the pole vault to gain an overall points score of 5866, ahead of Simunovic (5508) and Cain (4065).

Hobart's Matthew Hosie took over as the new national under-17 decathlon champion with a score of 6060 points.  He also achieved the standard to hold the inaugural under-17 Tasmanian record.  

Courtney Stanley, of Western Suburbs, finished fifth in the under-18 heptathlon with a score of 3497.

  She was second in the high jump with 1.61m and second in the 800m in 2:23.32.

This event was held in conjunction with the Oceania combined event in which Hosie and Alderson took gold and silver.

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