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SA 400m running & breaking through the 48sec barrier.

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On Friday, James Boden ran a 400m PB of 47.97 in Perth. Nothing to really get excited about as anyone who saw his 300m win off 7m at Marion would have known he was in PB shape. His previous PB was 48.13 so to run 47.97 is terrific but it's still short of what he should be running and hopefully he goes deeper inside 48sec later in the season.

The interesting part is the fact Boden broke through the 48s barrier for the first time. It is only the 6th time in the last 10 years that a South Australian 400m runner has broken through the 48s barrier and James is the first to do it since Duncan Tippins smashed his PB of 48.20 with a time of 47.28 in April 2006.

That's nearly 5 years since we've had a new entrant into the sub 48sec range.

Dec 2001 Keith Sheehy 47.82
Dec 2003 Chris Burckhardt 47.91
Dec 2005 Alex Bubner 47.83
Jan 2006 Clay Watkins 47.80 (21/01/2006)
Apr 2006 Duncan Tippins 47.28
Feb 2011 James Boden 47.97

Before Sheehy, the previous athlete to break through 48s was Mark Ormrod in December 1999 - so that is still only 7 in 12 years.

Just goes to show that while Australia has a fantastic history of producing quality 400m runners, at the state level in SA, just getting below 48sec is still no mean feat.

PS: Steve Landers was a former Victorian athlete before moving to SA in 2006 and had previously broken 48s in Victoria.

Last edited by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:08 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Updated Clay Watkin's result)



Well coached youngy and great run James. Was that also a PB that he ran in the 100m on the same night? Was it before or after the 400m. What would Renshaw and co run for a 400m?



James ran 11.04 but with a 2.1 illegal tail wind, so whilst it's the fastest he's run over 100m, it doesn't count as a PB due to the excessive wind. The 100m was run about 30 mins before the 400m.

Renshaw is a class act. I'm not sure he's broken 47s but that's probably a reflection on the number of 400's he's actually run (rarely), because you would suspect that when he's been in 1-45 shape he could have run a sub 47s around the same time.

Best time I can find for Renshaw is 47.33 in April last year. Don't think he runs a lot of them.

I believe Renshaw did a terrific base at Oregon Track Club in the period between the Comm Games and January before returning to Australia, so no doubt he's freshening up for Melbourne & Sydney.

Other good 800m runners - Tristan Garrett has run 47.00 (24/2/2008) and James Gurr has run 46.81 (12/2/2006), although it's been 5 years since he ran that quick.

I reckon to run a quick half mile, say in the 1-47 or better range, you need to be in, at least, low 47s shape for 400m.



5 years is a long time between new 48 runners. dont think we will have to wait another 5 years for the next one.
is saliu the next to run under 48?
are there other runners around in sa ready to break through?



curious1 wrote:5 years is a long time between new 48 runners. dont think we will have to wait another 5 years for the next one.
is saliu the next to run under 48?
are there other runners around in sa ready to break through?

I think Alex Saliu will certainly break 48 seconds, and possibly do it this season, once the track re-opens here in SA. He opened with a mid to high 48 earlier in the season, while juggling a few sore spots, when fresh Alex 'the horse' Saliu will push that 48 second barrier.

Other young SA runners who potentially will be around the mark in the upcoming years, if they continue their great progression may include: Jack Harvey, Jono Sinclair and Jarrad Watkins. Other athletes that run predominantly the 800m in SA, but have a great turn of speed and when in great form and decide to run a flat out 400 who may run low 48's and with a touch improvement, could go under would include the likes of Bryce Watkins and Chris Stapleton (hopefully when Chris gets back on track and gets some consistent training and racing under his belt).

I believe Jarrod Sims has run 48.03, so he is also close and the other one if injury free and running at his potential would be Ben Koschade. So lets hope with some good training, and consistent racing and less injury (with a pinch of luck) over the next few years for these guys, we can see others join the sub 48 group.



Jarrod Sims has run:

2007 48.03 (1/12/07)
2008 48.04 (9/02/08)
2009 48.03 (3/01/09)

Due to the restoration of the track and work commitments he didn't run too many 400's in 2010.

Three successive years of missing by a mere few hundredths of a second. He would have to be the closest anyone has gotten to sub 48 without breaking it.

Interestingly that in the last 10 years those who got to low 48's but never broken 48s (besides Sims) were:
Ben Koschade (48.35 on 25/02/2000)
Gerard Doyle (48.44 on 25/01/2002)
Ryan Rossouw (48.17 on 01/11/2008)

Last edited by Admin on Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total



To break 48sec, you need to do some sort of speed training. Given the landscape and training groups, I doubt it very much if Stapleton is doing the required speed work to break 48sec. Stats show this is not easy to do. Considering only one SA middle distance runner has broken this barrier in recent years, I doubt it very much that other 800m runners will follow in his foot steps. Remember Boden just ran 11 flat for 100m. Can you see any other SA 800m runner clocking a similar time over 100m?

I do agree with Saliu, however he needs ONE coach to achieve this. To much input = inconsistent performances. Heres one for you, if trained for it, Brusnahan would run an interesting 400m considering he rans a pretty good 200m. Similar to Bubnar in a way.



Wouldnt Mark Ormrod be there?



Morgan Coull Stephan Landers and Brad Jamieson are others who come to mind



Next time Spike, pleae read, comprehend and understand the gist of the thread before commenting.

The thread is about SA athletes, who since 2001, ie: in the last decade, have broken through the 48s barrier for the first time.

Ormrod ran under 48s for the first time in 1999 - that has already been previously mentioned.

Jamieson would have achieved it some time around the mid to late 90's.

Landers and Coull were Victorians who had run under 48s before moving to SA.

Coull never broke 48s whilst in SA. His best time in SA was 48.32.




145.21BruceFRAYNE24/01/1958SPCLos Angeles5/08/1984
846.99ChrisASTON31/01/1972CTCOSF Adelaide7/03/1992
1247.18RichardLUCAS28/10/1964ICOSF Adelaide24/03/1984
1547.68ChrisSAWYER10/04/1975PEMOSF Adelaide13/01/1996
1847.86PeterBUBNER12/05/1961SALOSF Adelaide23/02/1985
2147.98AlGREEN9/03/1957CTCOSF Adelaide16/02/1986
2247.99MarkHELIER3/12/1969SPCOSF Adelaide11/02/1989

Last edited by Admin on Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:51 pm; edited 2 times in total



Great result for James especially in the context of his 800m running. Interesting to note that all the SA runners who have broken 48.00 are sprinters or 400m athletes. The only one who took to national level 800m running was Tom Hassel. National level 800m runners need to be very quick over 400m and even 200m.



Interesting to note by the list above that Chris Burckhardt was the only athlete to achieve the 48 sec break through at Santos.Does that tell you how PATHETIC the SA track was or how good Chris could have been.
Wind the clock on 8 years ,Chris is no longer in the sport and achieved jackshit as an ammo runner.
Something real odd about that.



Wind the clock on 8 years ,Chris is no longer in the sport and achieved jackshit as an ammo runner.
Something real odd about that.

That last comment was pretty ordinary, especially towards a great bloke in Chris Burckhardt. To date, Chris Burckhardt (for me) is still the hardest working athlete in athletics I have met! He may not have raced as much later in his career in amos (but 47.91 is still a great run), but in pro running Chris Burckhardt has one of the best CV's ever in SA. Life changes....chris got married and has a house, and priorities change - there's not much that's 'odd' about that!



Just to add to what Nitta said about Chris. If you knew his history you might appreciate his career a little more. He was not a great runner to start with and at one stage was running off 36m in a 400m and won the 550m at the Bay off 44m.

He only took it up because of Leon and to assist his footy. He certainly wasn't naturally gifted - he wasn't a schoolboy prodigy or exhibited anything as a junior to suggest he would be an elite athlete. He was a better footballer than a runner, trying his luck at South Adelaide and then later, Glenelg.

That particular day Chris ran 47.91 in December 2003, he beat Keith Sheehy who ran 47.95. Keith had been to the world juniors as a 400m runner, had a PB of 47.01 and was 4 years Chris's junior. So to beat Sheehy off the peg in sub 48s at SANTOS was a superb effort.

Chris had concentrated on pro running up until then and in the occasional run in the amateurs hadn't broken 49secs.

I reckon 47.91 for him considering the more naturally gifted athletes who have never broken 48secs, is a pretty good effort.

He tried to better it but hovered around the low 48's.

He did end up with a top quality pro running resume - winning races from the 70m at Mt Gambier & Maryborough to the 550m at Stawell and the Bay Sheffield, including a Mt Gambier Gift and the 400m at Keilor and a special invitation 400m at the Bay Sheffield when it was held at Adelaide Oval.

In latter years including this year Chris has got back into footy. He gets paid reasonably well playing footy so that's where his focus has been.

He might have achieved 'jack schitt' as an amo runner, but given the limited talent at his disposal I reckon he got more out of his ability than 90% of the more talented SA athletes running around in the last 10 years.

Just one more thing - based on the top 50 all time 400m Australian rankings - the average age of a 400m athlete running a PB is 23 years and 3 months.

Coincidentally Darren Clark was 23 years and 3 months when he ran the Australian record of 44.38 (his PB) at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Chris Burckhardt was 25 years and 9 months when he ran the 47.91. So it took him quite a few years to build up the fitness and the speed to finally dip under 48s.

Have a look at the SA list, not too many runners running PB's past their 25th birthdays.



You South Australians are the laughing stock of the athletic world.
You come on this forum bragging about a YOUNG MAN running under 48 sec for 400m on the fastest track in Aust.
In Victoria we have SCHOOLBOYS running these times.
Instead of looking at whats been done in SA get out of the little fish bowl ,look at the big National pond and then you may have some success at the National Champs.
In Vic we compare ourselves against the best not our own State.



A South Australian just won the Victorian Under 20's 200m title and another won the 400m Hurdles title last weekend.

I agree SA has under-achieved in 400's and more so in other events like the 800, but with 28 more synthetic tracks than SA and with something like 10 times the athletic population, it's ludicrous to compare Victoria with SA in any athletic discipline.

Currently there are twelve athletes under 48sec on the Australian rankings. Victoria has two and SA has two.

That's right only two, same as SA. They might be school boys but it's not exactly worth bragging about. (Unless you coach one of the two Vic lads....)



TOP 20 SA 800m times

61:48.8StewartCUMMINGS31/04/1951WDOSF Adelaide12/03/1980
71:48.92JamesBODEN30/05/1988TTGSantos Stadium17/03/2010
91:49.2DavidFITZSIMONS23/04/1950AUOSF Adelaide26/02/1978
111:49.5DavidPENTELOW28/06/1951AUOSF Adelaide17/03/1973
121:49.7SimonTRAVIS26/06/1976SPCOSF Adelaide20/01/1995
131:49.7JohnWETHERELL13/06/1946AUOSF Adelaide27/02/1977
151:49.8KevinFRANCIS14/09/1948PAOSF Adelaide23/02/1969
161:49.9DavidGRAHAM25/07/1967SALOSF Adelaide22/12/1990
181:50.05MarkARENS23/03/1962TTGOSF Adelaide27/01/1985
191:50.4PeterWOON26/06/1942PAOSF Adelaide18/02/1967
201:50.4GeoffFRAYNE15/02/1956SPCOSF Adelaide22/02/1981
In respect to 800m running, SA lags a long way behind the rest of Australia. The state record is only a manually timed 1-47 and it's been held for 40 years.

Only two athletes have an electrically timed PB inside 1-49.00 and five inside 1-50.00.

The last male SA 800m runner to make a national final was Tom Hassell (7th) in 2001.

No matter how you look at it, that is an embarrassing statistic and reflects poorly on 800m running in SA. Especially give the improvement in standard of 800m nationally in recent years.

Maybe there needs to be an interstate & nationally recognised 800m coach of some renown brought in to coach our coaches?

Something needs to be done, otherwise the mediocrity will continue.

PS: I think 'Bubba's' comment about the speed element has a lot of merit. It's these sorts of issues that need to be thrashed out.



Totally agree our present coaches have somewhat lost their way.
Interesting to note that only 5 athletes make the list above after 1990.
I think that theres to many underage competitions that our coaches in SA place emphasis on, in otherwards they place to much importance on an underage champion instead the longivty of the athlete.
For example approx 5 years ago the Sinclair twins were way ahead of anyone else.Poor selection of coach and injury ridden campaigns they have improved very minimal.Paige Graham is another.Chris Stapleton another ,the list goes on.We do more damage to our potential guns by not,as youngy mentions coaching them properly

T Noakes



There is plenty of material available for coaches to make the astute judgement of how to coach middle distance runners (800-1500m). I'm sick of 'distance coaches' subscribing to the notion, that to run 'X' distance, you must run 'Y' amount of km each week. Its BS. Often to the ill-informed these are just 'junk miles' regardless. The problem in SA is that too many top level athletes are lost to the sport once they retire, for one reason or another (family/work/other interests). We need some of those newly retired athletes to try and 'give-back' something to the community. If we dont, we get athletes going to same coaches doing the same 'ill-informed' programs. Rudisha is the classic case of how much speed is needed by a top level 800m runner. Any thoughts?



T Noackes--if you examine the list of all-time top 20 800m runners in SA you will notice that at least 90% of them have 1500 time under 3m50s. The top 20 all-time 800m runners in the world (average 1m 43s) have a best 400m time in the mid 46's and 1500m times of 3m 36s. This should give you some clue as to the importance of an aerobic base. I suggest you read Renato Canova's view on 800m training as he coaches many of the worlds top 800m athletes. Sheer speed is not the only answer, it is ability to run at high sustained speed.
Thiss state has produced many potential national class 800m runners as juniors but they fail to progress into the senior ranks. It is possible to run in the low 1m50's as a junior on 80% natural ability and 20% training, but to progress into national class this percentage has to be reversed and this is not happening.
I do agree that many distance athletes neglect the development of speed and they preceed into distance events far too young. If they fail to develop an efficient sprinting mechanics when they are young they won't manage it when they move into their 20's.
Let's look at what the best in world are doing and learn and make sure that we don't just look at one athlete (ie Rudisha).

22SA 400m running & breaking through the 48sec barrier. Empty SA CHAMPS Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:22 am



Anyone got a link or can post the SA state champs timetable?


23SA 400m running & breaking through the 48sec barrier. Empty Over 25's 400mts Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:47 pm



No reason why an over 25, or over 35 can't run a 400mts PB (or sub 48). Check out NSW State Champs 2011...

Doubt it


NSW state champs on in two weeks. history says once past 25, its harder to pb in 4s and 8s. doubt too many over 25's will run a 400m pb there. wait and see.



As this thread contains the lists of the all time top SA 20 male 400m & 800m athletes, I thought I would bump it up.

12 months later and no additions to the lists......

And...In 2008 SA had five male sub 47.10 400m athletes.
Today we have none. Embarassed



Some great statistics in this thread.

I feel the rise of amos this season.

Dylan Stenson in his 3rd ever 400m and first of the season runs 47.87. Backs up the next week with 1 51.33 in the 800m. We also had Mick Heron open his 2nd only track season with 1.53 08 in the same race. We have also had Bryce Watkins finally break the 1 50 barrier over 800m with an impressive 1 48.78 which puts him a cheeky 6th SA all time and second faster electric time. Why have we not heard about these performances yet?

In the 800m we also have Jordan Hewitt, Matt and Andy Axford, Rhys Jones, Harry May, Andy Giam, Robbie Kilmier, Sam Russel, Brett Fisk and Mathew Ferber who have all run low 1 50. If these guys can race consistently against each other in SA we will see multiple people going under 1 50, potentially breaking the state record and bring 800m running in SA to where it should be.

Mark my word 400-1500m at Santos will be more interesting than who has cheating the best out at pros.

Amos on the rise.



Well it's taken a few years, and certainly no help to guys like "12345678" who is way out of his depth in a decent ASA 400m field, but we might be getting back to a 400m race worth talking up at ASA.

I'm talking about the men's 400m field for this weekend's South Australian state championships.

Firstly there are 21 athletes entered making it the largest entry for a while. But the depth of the field makes it the best since 2008.

Just to remind people how good 2008 was we had a dead set classic between Steve Landers (46.75) and Duncan Tippins (46.78). Clay Watkins ran 47.48 for 3rd. Alex Bubner ran 47.8 (from memory) and missed a medal. See the race below.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

There are five former state 400m champions in this year's race -
Clay Watkins
Sam Russell
Dylan Stenson
Brett Fisk
Andrew Giam

The standard in some of those state champs was barely B Grade level with some guys making the podium without having to break 50secs. Fortunately it's gone up several levels this year.

Rarely do they run heats in the SA state 400m title but it's almost certain there will be at least two heats this Sunday. And if they all run, just to make the final an athlete will have to be in low 49sec shape.

Of the 21 entrants there are five who have recently run sub 49sec.
Clay Watkins 47.57s on Saturday
Dylan Stenson 48.53s "  "
Sam Russell 48.78s - 28/01/2017
Bryce Watkins 48.81s 09/01/2016
Brett Fisk 48.95s on Saturday
Another two who are sub 50s - Brian Wilson 49.46s 28/01/2017 & Deng Bulabek 49.68s 13/02/2016
Then there's also Harry May who has run sub 1-50 for 800m at his last two starts.

The 'X factor' is provided by the Camden Classic quinella of John Evans and Harrison Hunt. Based on Camden and in comparison to 3rd placegetter Sam Russell, it's fair to say both ran the equivalent of around high 48sec. Evans has not run a 400m at the ASA athletic track since his Little Athletic days while Hunt ran a 51.06s PB 12 months ago. No doubt Hunt will obliterate his PB this weekend.

Then there's also other winners of SAAL races this season in Tom Lancaster and Chan Mayol and SAAL sprinter Sebastian Baird.

Apart from Clay Watkins this field does not have the genuine elite 400m class of 2008 but it does have the depth where an athlete will need to be in national qualifying shape to get a medal.

Like 2008 which saw a big crowd turn up just for the 400m, it should be worth getting along to the state champs this weekend.

Heats of the open Men's 400m are scheduled for 11.10am and the final at 4.35pm.

2017 ASA Men's 400m Championship

Clay Watkins
Dylan Stenson
Sam Russell
Bryce Watkins
Brett Fisk
Harrison Hunt
John Evans
Brian Wilson
Deng Bulabek
Connor Verrall
Harry May
Andrew Giam
Sebastian Baird
Tyler Ford
Chan Mayol
Cam Rudge
Tom Lancaster
Aaron Williams
Thomas Goodman
Lewis Brown
Liam Sanders

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