The Adelaide Invitational is just two sleeps away and the meet is shaping up as an explosive start to the Australian domestic circuit, headlined by loaded sprinting fields and ample middle-distance class.
Rohan Browning (Andrew Murphy) was a drawcard in 2021, but after his Olympic heroics when putting the nation on his back to clock 10.01 and progress to the 100m semi-finals – he has gained icon status.
The second-fastest man in Australian history will waste no time in getting proceedings underway in 2022, jumping at the first opportunity to test himself at a national level as he eyes a berth at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in March. Browning’s main rival comes in the form of Edward Osei-Nketia (New Zealand), having had many great battles with the 10.12 man from across the ditch.
Will Roberts (Fred Martin) defeated Osei-Nketia just last week in a strong showing, whilst long jumper Chris Mitrevski (John Boas) clocked 10.27 in January the ever-improving Jake Penny (Mandi Cole) has a legal 10.37 to his name this year.
Hometown hero Aidan Murphy (Peter Fitzgerald) was not planning on running the 100m until Browning entered, but with a 10.35 personal best this season he couldn’t resist the opportunity. The 18-year-old is eager to see bodies in front of him, having raced the clock on many occasions of late.
Jack Hale (Adam Larcom), Jake Doran (Paul di Bella) and Jacob Despard (Scott Roswell) round out the field, with Hale yet to open his season and Doran registering a series of times in the 10.4 range – whilst Despard clocked 10.48 to finish second at the ACT Championships last month.
Simply put, it’s the single best Australian 100m lineup in history – even without the reigning national champion (Hana Basic) and bronze medallist (Naa Anang).
21-year-old Ella Connolly (Mark Ladbrook) is back and she is back in a big way, clocking legal times of 11.25 and 11.27 over 100m in late 2021 to put behind her a troublesome run with injury and emerge as one of the most exciting prospects of 2022.
Olympic sprinter Riley Day (Paul Pearce) is more commonly known for her prowess over 200m, but her 100m best of 11.31 suggests she can mix it with the fastest women in the nation – whilst 17-year-old Torrie Lewis (Gerrard Keating) enters with a sizzling season’s best of 11.33.
Bree Masters (Ryan Hoffman) could be one of the big improvers of the 2022 season, having shown her class with national silver in an Olympic year despite an interrupted preparation before forming an integral part of Australia’s 4x100m team.
Taylah Cruttenden (Brayden Clarke) has long held bragging rights as the fastest junior in Australia and at 18-years-old she will be welcoming the competition in both the Under 20 and Open ranks, as the Western Australian looks to carve more time off her 11.49 best.
Monique Quirk (Mark Ladbrook) made the move to the sprinter’s paradise of Queensland over the off season and will only build on a junior career that was full of promise, with Victoria’s Mia Gross (John Nicolosi) in a similar boat having already toppled training partner Hana Basic once this season.
Training partners Ebony Lane (Matt Carter) and Sophia Fighera (Matt Carter) round out the classy field, with Lane’s best form certainly good enough to make an impact and Fighera blowing out the cobwebs before her preferred 200m.