March 2016 Sportstar nominees

September 28, 2016

Basketballer Luke Rosendale, hurdler Caitlin Hawks and cricketer Taylor Beard are March 2016's Sportstar nominees.

Luke Rosendale isn’t Matthew Dellavedova – yet.

The 15-year-old is making every step of his junior journey a slam dunk as he continues to play his way to national recognition on the basketball court.

For someone playing in country basketball he is starting to catch the eyes of coaches and their talent spotters.

His latest success has been selection as an emergency in the Under 16 Victoria Country side for the country nationals in July where if all goes according to plan he will get a crack at taking on some of the best players in his age group in Australia.

That selection comes just two months after he won gold in one of two Victoria Country sides at the National Country Basketball Championships in Albury in January.

Rosendale has been training regularly in Bendigo as part of the National Intensive Training Program, marking him as a player to watch in the coming years for more state selection.

Hurdlers are expected to run fast – with such astonishing balance and rhythm they can jump hurdle after hurdle without slowing down.

However, that’s all on hi-tech running tracks, propelled forward by spikes grabbing the surface to launch each stride.

But put a sprinter on grass, in a handicap, and you soon sort out the guns from the goats.

Which explains how Echuca’s Caitlin Hawks reached the semifinals in this year’s Stawell Gift  women’s open field.

Hawks won heat 10 in 13.96 seconds over the 120m, a top 10 time in the remaining 40-plus runners.

She didn’t make the final, but unlike the winner, there was no concern about the veracity of her runs in the lead up to the nation’s richest footrace.

And before Stawell, Hawks won the 400m in Bendigo – both races setting her up for the nationals early next month where she has already said she will only contest the 400m hurdles.

Taylor Beard did everything he could – and more than most – to get Echuca to the Goulburn Murray A grade cricket grand final.

And when you can make the team on your batting or your bowling you know you have had a good year.

Which started with two scores in the 90s early on before a monster double ton – 201 off just 204 balls – in the final round going into the finals.

He also led Echuca with the ball as well; his 8/45 against Rochester Tigers was the best A grade analysis for the summer.

His 201 was the only double century in the competition this year, and the second-highest score in the history of Echuca Cricket Club, just behind the 210 by David Jackson in the 1993/94 season.

Beard later admitted he was playing some shots he normally wouldn’t as he was in a hurry to leave the ground to attend a family wedding.

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