There were records and personal bests galore at the 2014 NSW 3000 metres championships held at Homebush on Saturday night.



It was a big night of running with nine men’s heats of about 19 athletes, plus four women’s heats and first up a community 3000m, where Dave (Robbo) Robertson ran holding a microphone and commentating – now you don’t see that everyday at the track.



The women’s 3000 metres was one of the best fields assembled for the race. Five athletes had sub-9:20 personal bests, but it would be a 13-year-old who stole the show. In late ‘80s 1987 Nicola Corbin was one of a powerful group of distance running girls who ran for the Reebok club (now Sydney Pacific). The group recorded stunning times as juniors:  Suzy Walsham (9:06), Julie Beckhaus (9:21), Sharon Dalton (9:06) and Nicola Corbin (9:16). In 1987, Corbin set the NSW under-16 record at 9:34.00. Now 27 years on, her 13-year-old daughter, Abbey Rockliff (ASW), has been making significant progress in distance events, but it was a tough ask for her to step up three age groups and attempt to break an under-16 record, despite Rockliff recently running 9:49.93.



In the men’s B race, Canberra’s 15-year-old Josh Toley placed third in a 23 second personal best of 8:25.51, but more importantly he smashed the Australian under-16 record of 8:29.26, held by Michael Power set in 1992.

“The plan was to get stuck into the race early, then hold it. I felt pretty good at the start and at the finish I was thinking no pain no gain so kept on pushing. The record was a target and I thought I’d be around it (the record) but didn’t think I’d run that fast,” said the year nine student, who is coached by Philo Saunders.


The men’s race was a win to Victorian visitor, Tom Fawthorpe in 8:03.12; as he just edged Josh Wright (Randwick Botany) who ran 8:30.30.

“I had 8:10 in my mind, but to run 8:03 is a massive bonus,” said Fawthorpe.

Wright was also pleased with his performance.

“I’ve only been back running for 12 weeks now, so to run a pb tonight was good.”

Third across the line was Jack Stapleton (Randwick Botany) in an impressive 8:08.93.

Read the full story on Athletics NSW’s website