Big night out

Jack Rayner (Athletics Australia)

It was a stunning night for Western Athletics athletes at the On Track Nights Zatopek:10 event.

Jack Rayner won his third Australian title in the 10,000 metres event in a race that provided plenty of drama.

Spectators witnessed a clash of titans as Rayner, Patrick Tiernan and Irish challenger Andrew Coscoran, who stole the spotlight in the later stages.

The trio maintained a hot pace, distancing themselves from the pack over the last three laps and setting the stage for a grandstand finish.

Front runner Tiernan dictated the tempo until the final 600 metres, when Rayner made a push, appearing poised to claim the victory.

The narrative took a turn when in the last bend, the Irishman unleashed. While Coscoran powered through the finish line first, Rayner, as the first Australian across the line, grabbed onto his third consecutive title over the distance.

Rayner said the result was a step in the right direction for him.

“To be honest the first half of this year was pretty crap for me, I went to Europe and wasn’t able to race anywhere near my best which was disheartening,” he said.

“I probably should have gone a few laps earlier, but I was still feeling the sting because Pat [Tiernan] was picking it up. If I was racing it again, I would try to run the legs out of him [Coscoran] a little bit more. I would have loved to have won the actual race, but I’m still happy with the Australian title.”

There was more joy for the Western Athletics squad, with their women’s 4×400 metre relay squad claiming gold.

Soumeya Biao, Honour Tobin, Morgan Mitchell and Ella Tobin finished in a time of 3.47.21 to win by more than one second.

Other Western Athletics athletes, Rochelle Kennedy, Lucy Cleveland, Aliyah Canepa and Liam Cashin also competed on the night.