no team, no worries: Dayna Strikes gold at Arafura Games

Feature by Michael Hansford

Victoria’s Dayna Crees threw an Oceania record to win the Open F34 Javelin competition at the 2019 Darwin Arafura Games last month.

Competing in her first international competition, the 17-year-old threw 13.34m in the seated Javelin to secure the gold, following a surprise bronze medal in the Shot Put.

The youngest in the field, Crees narrowly missed the qualifying distance for the 2019 IPC World Para Championships held in Dubai later this year.

“It was very surprising,” Crees said, “but to do well there [at Arafura] was definitely my biggest [goal] for this season.”

Not shy of grand aspirations, the junior now sets focus on a long-term goal of qualifying for the next world championships.

“Obviously Dubai [world championships] this year isn’t going to be our focus anymore, and we [don’t expect to] make Tokyo [2020 Olympics],” Crees said, “so then 2021 [the world championships are] back in Japan … so that’s now our main focus to make qualifiers for that, and to target [the Australian championships] in the meantime.”

Dayna Crees’ gold and bronze medal from the 2019 Darwin Arafura Games. Picture: Michael Hansford

An interrupted preparation almost meant that Crees would have to wait a little longer for her international debut.

A wrist injury early in the season and low iron levels meant she had to forfeit most of the domestic season, and left her with underwhelming performances at the Victorian Championships and All Schools competitions.

Overcoming the early interruptions and coming in to form, she then had to compete in the sweltering Darwin heat and humidity.

“we had to prepare ourselves [for the heat] and being in a field of 12 we knew the wait [during the competition] was going to be very hot, and we didn’t know what order we were going to be throwing in,” she said.

Despite enduring challenging conditions and stints of up to three hours per event at the track, Crees was able to perform when it mattered most.

“It was a good competition … I don’t have any regrets with going.”

The Arafura Games was held in Darwin and featured competitors from 49 countries across 17 different sports with able bodied and para events held side by side.

Crees represented her state and wore her local club Casey Cardinia Athletics uniform despite it being an international competition, with Athletics Australia failing to send an official team.

Crees however was not phased, happy with the support of father Mark, coach Gordon Talbot and the Athletics Victoria’s Target Talent Program.

“the support team that I’ve got now is working for me and I don’t really want to change anything [at the moment],” she said.

Feature Photo: Dayna Crees and fellow medallists. Picture: Facebook


Meteorite Gift

Entries extended for another 24hrs so dont miss out enter now!

Thanks to our Friends at Cranbourne Little Athletics Centre we have been offered an opportunity to compete in a men’s and women’s 100m and a mixed 400m exhibition handicap race at the Meteorite Gift Saturday 5th, January 2019.

The places for the men’s and women’s 100m are limited to 10 and will be filled by order of entry.  There are no restrictions on numbers for the mixed 400m race.

This is a twilight event starting at 6pm – Event times to be confirmed.

Entries close on the 1st January 2019 @ 7pm.

It’s time to Get in the Chrismas Spirit

Seasons Greetings everyone!

AV Shield Round 8 at Lakeside Stadium on Friday 14th December is the Blue Zone Christmas Round.  Athletes are able to wear Christmas t-shirts and Christmas gear for competition, as long as they still have their AV Bib numbers.  Parents, Helpers and Officials are encouraged to enter the Christmas spirit too with what they wear to the event.

Photo by Matej on

Blue Zone will also be collecting items for the Methodist Mission’s Christmas hampers, so we encourage everyone to bring suitable items to help out.

Casey Cardinia Athletics will be holding our Christmas BBQ on Thursday, 20th December during training at Casey Fields.  $2 for a sausage and drink.  All Members, Families and Friends of the club are welcome.