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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Josh Ross equals Hec Hogan's record of seven national sprint titles

Josh Ross equals Hec Hogan's record of seven national sprint titles

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Seventh heaven for sprint ace Ross

Michael Gleeson, Sydney
The Age
April 14, 2013

Josh Ross has equalled the record of sprinting legend Hec Hogan by winning his seventh national sprint title on a night when Julian Wruck emerged as one of the most promising athletes in the country.

Ross won his seventh 100 metres sprint title on Saturday when he started slowly before overpowering a solid field. He won in 10.34 seconds, running into a headwind.

Hogan died in 1960 of leukaemia at the age of 29, just four years after having won bronze at the Melbourne Olympics. He won seven consecutive national titles in the then 100 yards dash. ''I am very privileged to be up there with the legend Hec. I just have to make the final of the world champs now and once I make the final anything can happen,'' Ross said. ''I guess I am not fulfilled as an athlete yet. I haven't run as fast as I want to or know I can, so making the final and running a fast time would complete me as an athlete.''

The world championships are in Moscow in August.

Ross' effort in the sprint final overshadowed the impressive performance with the discus of the little-known Wruck. Wruck is 21, lives in the US, studies philosophy and psychology at UCLA and throws plate-like discs in the manner of the ancient Greeks.

On Friday he arrived from the US, on Saturday he won the national title, and on Sunday he left.

Wruck is arguably the best-performing athlete in the world at the moment. He won the national title with a personal best throw of 66.32 metres, which was an A-qualifying distance that, combined with the national title, assures him of a place on the team for the world championships when it is announced on Wednesday.

''Three weeks in a row I have gone over 66 metres [and a world leading distance], which is as good as I have ever thrown,'' Wruck said.

''This time of the season I was planning on being around [the] 64-metre level, so I am two metres ahead of where I wanted to be. I think in the next few years I could throw really, really big.''

Wruck won bronze at the world junior titles in 2010, finished eighth in Delhi at the Commonwealth Games and at the London Olympics was suffering from the after-effects of glandular fever brought on by overtraining when he finished 13th.

Meanwhile, Brandon Starc, the brother of Australian left-arm bowler Mitchell Starc, won the national high jump title with a leap of 2.28 metres, which was not only a personal best by five centimetres, it was also a B-qualifying height and, with the title, likely to be sufficient for him to join the team for the worlds.

Australian pole-vault record holder Alana Boyd won another national title with a jump of 4.30 metres, which was a B standard height and also assured her of a place on the team.

Olympian Kim Mickle threw an A-qualifying distance of 62.26 metres in the javelin to win the title and join the team.

Steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze, who needed a discretionary selection for the Olympic team last year, won the 3000 metres steeplechase but in a time outside either qualifying mark.

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