Almanac Athletics: The first pro meet of the SA season

The first SA pro meet of the season was held at St Michaels College in Henley on Sunday. This was the inaugural meeting at St Michaels, conducted as a tribute to one of its students, Jack Panuccio. A member of the College Track Club, Jack was a promising young sprinter, winning the Under 18’s 200m at the Flinders carnival last season in only his second start with the SA Athletic League.


The College Track Club is a ‘stable’ of athletes coached by Dylan Hicks, the head of the Health & Physical Education at St Michaels College.


Jack Panuccio suffered from depression and took his own life in April. The news of Jack’s death was devastating for all of us connected with the SAAL but in particular, the CTC squad. So Hicks, his athletes and the Panuccio family got together to put the meet on with the proceeds donated to Beyond Blue.


This is my review of the carnival.



Semmler wins a double as tribute to training partner


Blair Athol teenager Tomas Semmler enjoyed the perfect start to his SA Athletic League season, collecting a double when he stormed to victory in both the 120m Gift and the 100yds invitation at the inaugural St Michaels College Gift carnival on Sunday.


The College Track Club athlete (6m), who turns 18 in a fortnight, was 2 metres clear on the line to secure his first sash in 12.69sec. Camden’s Hayden Rothe (8m) held on for 2nd from race backmarker John Evans (4m).


In the 100 yards invitation, Semmler (1m) made the most of a blistering start to nudge out reigning Bay Sheffield champion Ryan Atkins (Scr) and last season’s athlete of the year, John Evans (0.75m) in 10.23sec.


Wearing a blue armband as a tribute to his former training partner Jack Panuccio, who died in April after battling depression, Semmler was inspired to win the invitation event, as it was included on the program in honour of his stablemate.


“I really wanted to win this to pay tribute to Jack” Semmler said.


“This meant a lot to the squad and the sash means so much more, being sponsored by Jack’s family.”


The Luke Buchanan coached Kayla Lemm also kick started her season with a double taking out both the women’s 120m and the 400m.


Running off 12.5m, Lemm crossed the line in the 120m, half a metre in front of Flagstaff Hill women’s footballer Czenya Cavouras (7.75m) and Mikayla Round (7.50m) in 13.96sec.


Lemm (46m) made it a double in the last event of the day, taking out the women’s 400m from state 400m hurdles champion Tayla Phillis (32m) and Camden’s Kirsten Fantinel (66m) in 55.11sec.


Mikayla Round beat home he stablemate Czenya Cavouras in the Women’s 100 yards invitation.


College Track Club’s Harrison Hunt produced the most emphatic performance of the meet, smashing the field in the 70m Open by over 2m. Hunt (4m) recorded the slick time of 7.59sec leaving Flinders’ James Bayliss (5.5m) and Grange’s Nicholas Krznaric (5m) in his wake.


After several years of competing on the circuit, Messenger Press journalist, Dan Jervis-Bardy broke through for a much deserved first sash in the 800m Open.


In the junior events, Coastals’ Charlie Hildyard was victorious in the Boy’s Under 18 120m, Reynella’s Ryelie McMullan took out the Girls’ Under 18 120m while Grange’s Jay Watson executed a nicely timed run to score in in the Under 14 400m.


In the Womens and Veteran’s 800m, Camden’s Courtney Ryder made it two sashes in succession following her win over the same distance at Brighton last week.

The Over 35’s 400m saw Team Townley’s Vince Musolino don his first sash after outlasting Camden’s Matt Cousins on the line.


During the carnival, over $500 was raised for Beyond Blue to assist those battling mental illness.


Lifeline (and hyperlink the word Lifeline to: ) is a free and confidential support service which can be reached on 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue (and link that to can be reached on 1300 22 46 36.



About Paul Young

As far as I know, I'm the only former VFA player to have won pro-running Gifts on two VFA grounds. But then again I don't know much so I could be wrong. AFL team: North Melbourne but I find they do like to test one’s allegiance by retaining Brad Scott as coach. UPDATE: We could be doing worse. Favourite sport: It depends on the season, the mood and the wife. Education: Went to Uni but discovered if you are street smart you can survive without it. Occupation: Pedestrianism pundit & handicapper ALSO coach of slow moving sprinters. Golf handicap: My temperament and I’ve found not owning any clubs or balls and having no interest in the game has dramatically affected my PGA potential.


  1. Paul Young says

    Just for clarification, the reference to the previous week’s Brighton win by Courtney Ryder was at a non-penalty pre-season warm up ‘mini’ meet at Brighton. A few 300’s and 800’s were put on to dust off any cob webs for everyone before it all started at the opening carnival St Michaels on Sunday (23/10/17).

    Yesterday the second carnival of the season was held at Flinders University. I should have a report posted later in the week.

  2. Paul Young says

    Sunday 22/10/2017.

  3. Tracks still a bit slow at this time of year PC? Plenty of grass on them?

    Who should I keep an eye on this season? Trying to get my daughter to run in a few, to get her fit for her footy? Where does your mob train?

  4. Paul Young says

    Most tracks in Adelaide are slower than you’ll find in Victoria. Buffalo grass or Kya Kua on most of the local sports grounds and parks. St Michaels was into a slight wind and the handicapper pulled the field back 1.0m at the start of the season. Novice mark has gone from 7.0 back to 6.0. So times are about the mark – 12.69; off 6m Semmler runs around 2m outside evens. He ran 11.15s for 100m on synthetic the week before, so that’s pretty consistent, given the grass & wind.

    For the Bay Sheffield, it is only early, but the 70m at St Michaels there was an eye opener in the 70. 18yo Harrison Hunt smashed the field by 2m plus off 4.0m in 7.59sec. He didn’t run the Gift. However off his 120m mark (6.0m), he would have gone through the 70m mark of the Gift in around 7.4 and given he’s run 21.8 for 200m, no doubt he runs the last 50m in ‘evens’, say 5secs – he probably runs around 12.4. He’s a stablemate of Semmler the Gift winner. So not running the Gift was a wise move.

    I’m based at Adelaide Comets Soccer ground, in West Terrace. I’ve got about 7 ‘in work’ including the backmarker in the Gift final, John Evans. He’s the best of them.

Leave a Comment