Berwick athlete Dayna Crees has launched herself into the Australian athletics record books after breaking two national records at the 2021 Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney last week.
The 19-year-old threw a national record of 14.39 metres in the women’s F34 secured javelin, to claim gold in the multi-class event, before backing up with a 5.50-metre throw in the secured shot put for bronze and another national record.
For breaking the two records, Crees not only cemented herself as a rising Para-athletic star, but also picked up $2,000 for herself, and a further $2,000 for Cranbourne Little Athletics from the Coles Australian Record Challenge.
Dayna, who competes for Casey-Cardinia Athletics, now has her sights firmly set on a World Para Athletics Championships berth in 2022.
“I’m so proud of myself and my team to break the two records at Nationals, especially considering two years ago I thought I was going to throw in the towel because I wasn’t seeing any improvement at training,” Crees said.
“But I just stuck with it and can’t believe where I’m at now,” she said.
“I’m going to donate the Coles Australian Challenge Record prize to Cranbourne Little Athletics because they’ve got a really good multi-class program, one the best in Victoria, and it’s nice to be able to help them out so they can build that program up a little bit more.”
The former St Francis Xavier student has been breaking records since the age of 12, winning five gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the 2014 School Sport Australia Track and Field Championships held in Penguin, Tasmania.
Crees broke the world record in long jump that year, showing her versatility in all forms of athletes-with-disabilities (AWD) categories.
Cranbourne Little Athletics President Holger Philipp said the donation from Coles and Dayna will help the centre to grow its burgeoning multi-class program.
“We were surprised and thrilled with Dayna’s nomination of Cranbourne Little Athletics,” Philipp said.
“It shows that people are aware of what we do in the community and affirms Little Athletics’ standing in the local area,” he said.
“Being a not-for-profit club, $2,000 will go a long way to helping us to expand and grow our programs, especially our multi-class program to support kids of all abilities so that they can experience the fun and social and personal benefits of Little Athletics.”
A total of $22,000 worth of Coles gift cards were donated to Aussie athletes and Little Athletics Centres from the inaugural Coles Australian Record Challenge which recognised the record-breaking feats of athletes and their community clubs at the 2021 Australian Track and Field Championships.