Masters athletes smashing records

By Tyler Maher

Some familiar faces have been tearing up the Masters track this season, breaking plenty of records along the way.

Shepparton’s Debby Kirne and Kyneton’s Anne Buckley have smashed three state records in Victorian Masters Athletics relays in the past six months.

In November it was the 4x200m women’s 45-plus relay record which fell by the wayside as Toni Phillips and Kathryn Heagney also contributed to the success.

Donna-Marie Elms and Sharon Barr joined Buckley and Kirne later on in the summer to smash the 4x200m women’s 50-plus record before Jennifer Payne and Barbara Bryant joined the dynamic duo to complete the hat-trick of records in mid-March.

This time it was the tougher 4x1500m women’s 50-plus category which stood no chance in the face of Buckley’s, Kirne’s, Payne’s and Bryant’s determination.

‘‘It’s an absolute privilege to run with all of these girls,’’ Kirne said.

‘‘I don’t even break records at club level, so it was pretty good, but you don’t go out there to set records.

‘‘I learn a lot from them and from going over to Bendigo and I’ve had a great season.’’

Kirne and Buckley are Athletics Bendigo competitors, but the former especially would love an open athletics team in the Goulburn Valley to be able to ply her trade closer to home.

‘‘If an athletics team could get up in Shepp that would be great,’’ Kirne said.

‘‘I know they are trying to get one up (with a few of the juniors who are getting a bit older now), but I think they can target the masters athletes as well. ‘‘You only have to look at how popular something like (Shepparton) Parkrun has become to see that there’s people out there keen to have a go.’’