Grafton athletes raise the bar at Zone Championships
ATHLETICS: Grafton Little Athletics club will be well represented on the regional athletics stage after a group of local athletes took the zone finals by storm recently.
A healthy contingent of 16 competitors travelled from the Grafton club to Lismore for the Northern Rivers Zone Championships and it was not just the medal haul that came under fire.
Grafton competitors accounted for three new zone records at the Championships, including Erica Tillman taking out the Under-17 triple jump and high jump records.
Six local athletes were among the medal tally with all of them achieving results in multiple disciplines.
Competing in Under-10 boys in his first zone competition Satriya Pope achieved gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints and silver in the 800m run.
Krystal McMahon, competing in Under-13 girls, placed first in the 100m sprint and discus and second in the 200m and 400m sprints and triple jump.
In Under-14 girls Nathalie Avery achieved gold in the 100m and 200m sprints, a silver in triple jump and a bronze in long jump.
In his final year of competing on the Little Athletics circuit, Kyle McIlveen defeated his own zone record to win gold with a height of 1.85m in the Under-17 boys high jump.
He also came first in the 100m sprint and 300m hurdles, second in 110m hurdles and triple jump and bronzed in the 200m sprint.
While it was the experience of South Grafton High School's Erica Tillman, who stole the show for the local competitors breaking through two more zone records.
In the Under-17 girls, Tillman achieved gold and a zone record of 1.55m in high jump, first place and a zone record of 11.50m in triple jump.
The multi-disciplined athlete also picked up silver in 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and long jump.
The Grafton contingent will now move on to compete at the Little Athletics Regional Finals, which will also be held at Lismore at the end of January.
Any competitor who finishes in the top two in their discipline at Regionals will move on to the NSW Little Athletics State Championships in March.