All posts by Matt Beckenham

Elite track and field coach, 2000 Olympian

2019/20 MBD Squad

MBD is proud to announce the squad of athletes for 2019-20 season.

The squad is likely to have multiple representatives at the upcoming World Championships (able and para) and then all eyes will then be on Tokyo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

All athletes will be chasing personal bests during the Australian domestic season which will be highlighted by ACT Champs, Open and Junior nationals and Stawell Gift.

There is an exciting young group of athletes in the MBD Development squad (age 13-17) with several tracking towards the Elite squad by the time they turn 18.

2019/20  MBD Squads

MBD Elite (18+)

MBD Squad (18+)

MBD Development Squad (13-17)

*Athlete Performances tracking to elite squad

If you are interested in applying for any of the squads please send an email of interest to Matt Beckenham at

The popular MattyB’s FIT4FUN junior squad, coached by Jordan Shelley and Lauren Boden, will recommence its sessions for kids aged 7-13 soon. Please keep up to date on this group here


2019 Coles ACT Champs squad results

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A superb weekend of athletics has wrapped up in Canberra with 3 exciting days of competition at the Coles 2019 ACT Athletics Championships.

The squad was represented by 14 athletes and we witnessed multiple PB’s and a medal tally of 24 including – 15 Gold, 3 Silver and 6 Bronze. It was also fantastic to see so many of the squad who weren’t competing out there supporting everyone.

Thank you to ACT Athletics and all officials, volunteers and helpers for their contribution to another hugely successful event. I am proud to see our association’s showcase event being so well supported with over 700 athletes entered this year.


  • 30 year old Lauren Wells runs a World Championship in the 400m Hurdles with 55.47 and also backs this up with a new PB in the 200m 23.47.
  • Jordan Shelley runs a new PB and goes within inches of running of running sub 21 seconds with 21.01
  • 4 Gold for Molly Sturgiss in under 18 age group

Gold Medal (including 1st ACT athlete)

  1. Lauren Wells – Open 400m Hurdles
  2. Lauren Wells – Open 200m (1st ACT)
  3. Jordan Shelley – Open 200m (1st ACT)
  4. Tom Agnew – Open 100m (1st ACT)
  5. Sarah Blizzard – Open 100m (1st ACT)
  6. Sarah Walsh – Open Para Long Jump
  7. Sarah Walsh – Open Para 100m
  8. Tamara Hotten – Under 20m 100m
  9. Molly Sturgiss – Under 18 400m Hurdles
  10. Molly Sturgiss – Under 18 100m (1st ACT)
  11. Molly Sturgiss – Under 18 200m (1st ACT)
  12. Molly Sturgiss – Under 18 400m
  13. Charlotte Nicholson – Under 16 100m (1st ACT)
  14. Charlotte Nicholson – Under 16 200m (1st ACT)
  15. Charlotte Nicholson – Under 16 400m (1st ACT)

Silver Medal (including 2nd ACT athlete)

  1. Helen Pretorius – Open 100m (2nd ACT)
  2. Alesha Bennetts – Under 16 200m
  3. Alesha Bennetts – Under 16 400m

Bronze Medal (including 3rd ACT athlete)

  1. Adam Farlow – Open 100m (3rd ACT)
  2. Adam Farlow – Open 200m (3rd ACT)
  3. Chandler Leydon – Under 18 100m (3rd ACT)
  4. Alesha Bennetts – Under 16 400m
  5. Alesha Bennetts – Under 16 Long Jump
  6. Alesha Bennetts – Under 16 200m Hurdles

Full results


Australia Day weekend Athletics

The MBD Squad is out in full force over the Australia Day long weekend.

Yesterday a strong group competed at the Wangaratta Gift, part of the Victorian Athletic league circuit, with many pleasing results including

  • Sarah Blizzard runner up in the Open 70m
  • Ken Telfer runner up in the Masters 300m
  • Adam Farlow 4th in the Masters 120m
  • Brendan Matthews final of the Open 70m
  • Sarah Blizzard final of the Women’s 120m Gift

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On Monday the squad will be represented by a large number of athletes in the Canberra Track classic and also the ACT Athletics pre-meet held just before the track classic.

11.00am Long Claire Roberts
11.15am 100m To be confirmed
12 midday Long Lesh Bennetts
12.30pm 400m Lesh Bennetts, Charlotte Nicholson
2.00PM Long Sarah Walsh
2.31pm 100m C M Adam Farlow
2.35pm 100m C W Holly Abbey, Lesh Bennetts, Charlotte Nicholson
2.45pm 100m B W Tamara Hotten, Sarah Blizzard
3.31pm 400m H Lauren Wells
3.41pm 100m A W Melissa Breen
3.48pm 100m A M Tom Agnew
4.37pm 200m B W Tamra Hotten
4.43pm 200m B M Tom Agnew
4.55pm 200m A M Jordan Shelley

Weather is looking good and hopefully there would be a good crowd in attendance to support all the athletes.

2019 MBD Squad

MBD is proud to announce a squad of 28 athletes for 2019.

Some changes have been made to guidelines around the different squads to ensure there is a smooth pathway of athlete development. The main squad (age 18+) also has a specific squad that identifies those athletes who focus primarily on professional athletic events (GIFTED squad).

Sarah Walsh joins Lauren Wells and Melissa Breen as an MBD Ambassador which identifies athletes who are of international standard and play an active role in mentoring, coaching and promotion of the squad.

Including Sarah, Lauren and Melissa there are 8 athletes in the MBD Elite Squad (athletes who reach the 18 and above elite standards). This squad boasts multiple national champions and Australian representatives.

There are also 8 in the MBD Development squad (age 13-17) with several tracking towards the Elite squad by the time they turn 18.

2019 MBD Squads

MBD Ambassadors (18+)

MBD Elite Squad

MBD Squad (18+)

MBD Gifted Squad  (Compete in professional running events)

MBD Development Squad (13-17)

If you are interested in applying for any of the squads please send an email of interest to Matt Beckenham at

The popular MattyB’s FIT4FUN junior squad, coached by Jordan Shelley and Lauren Wells, will recommence its sessions for kids aged 7-13 soon. Please keep up to date on this group here

2019 ACT Multi Event and Invitational Events


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The squad has exploded into 2019 with some outstanding performances on a perfect day at the AIS in Canberra. Footage available on MBD YouTube page

Sarah Walsh jumped a new PB and Oceania Record for her class in the Long Jump with 5.29m (1.8w).

Lauren Wells wound back the clock today running what would have been a half second PB in the 200m with a time of 23.35 if not for a wind a mere 0.2 over the allowable.

Also in the 200m Tamara Hotten (24.37), Helen Pretorius (24.87) and Charlotte Nicholson (26.39) ran strongly. In the Men’s we saw Jordan Shelley (21.37), Adam Farlow (22.61) and Ken Telfer (25.67) blast around the bend.

Melissa Breen made a welcome return to the track for the first time in 8 months running to victory in the 100 yards (10.66 – 2.5w) and 60m (7.44 – 1.7w)

Tamara Hotten (10.91), Helen Pretorius (11.28) and Sarah Blizzard (11.43) also ran the 100 yards. Adam Farlow also ran 10.29 (2.2) in the 100 yards.

In the 1 lap events we saw Molly Sturgiss run 64.38 in the 400m Hurdles while Lauren Wells (53.47) and Charlotte Nicholson (60.32) completed the 400m.

Back to the shorter events we saw Adam Farlow claim the Men’s 35 Australian Record in the 60m (7.21 – 1.1w). Chandler Leydon (7.36) and Ken Telfer (8.13) also competed in the Men’s 60m.

In the Womens, Melissa Breen took victory in a legal time of 7.44 with Sarah Blizzard 8.10 and Charlotte Nicholson 8.28 representing the squad in the 60m.

In the under 18 Heptathlon Claire Roberts had a great opening day with numerous PB’s

  • 100m H – 15.54 (2.3w)
  • High Jump – 1.46m
  • Shot Putt – 9.08m
  • 200m – 27.00 (1.6w)

Day 2 of the Heptathlon for Claire Roberts was also a great day

  • Long Jump – 5.35m
  • Javelin – 28.66m
  • 800m – 2:31.72

Others results from Sunday included victory for Tamara Hotten in the 100m – 12.31 (-0.3) with Charlotte Nicholson running 13.40 in the same race. Chandler Leydon ran 12.11 (-1.3w)

Thank you to all officials and also Pease Photography for the great action shots. please follow them here

2018 Australian All Schools

MBD was proudly represented by Jeremy Maranan, Claire Roberts and Molly Sturgiss at the 2018 Australian All Schools in Cairns.

Despite the cyclonic conditions all competed well and a huge congratulations to them all.

Highlights included:

  • Claire Roberts 6th Aussie in Under 16 Long Jump (5.25m)
  • Molly Sturgiss 7th in Under 18 400m Hurdles (64.01)

Molly also ran a PB in the 400m with 58.87.

AACT Champs 2018 delivers great results again

Squad Medal Summary at 2018 AACT Champs – 15 x Gold, 2 x Silver, 4 x Bronze

Athletes were given fantastic conditions and they did not disappoint with multiple state titles, personal bests, season bests and a Commonwealth Games A qualifier recorded.

Congratulations to everyone and a huge thank you to all the AACT officials and volunteers for providing such an athlete friendly championship. It is simply the meet on the calendar that everyone wants to come to each year.

The two stand out moments over the championships for the MBD squad were (see video summary below)

  1. Adam Farlow’s performances at age 35
  2. Lauren Wells leading off the hurdles crew with a Commonwealth Games A qualifier and then seeing Tessa Constantine, Molly Sturgiss, Matt Walters and Leigh Bennett all follow her with new personal bests.


Lauren Wells – Open 400m Hurdles

Lauren Wells – Open Long Jump

Adam Farlow – Open 100m

Adam Farlow – Open 200m

Sarah Blizzard – Open 100m

Sarah Blizzard – Open 200m

Tom Agnew – Under 20 100m

Matt Walters – Under 20 400m Hurdles

Matt King – Under 20 200m

Matt King – Under 20 400m

Molly Sturgiss – Under 18 400m

Molly Sturgiss – Under 18 400m Hurdles

Holly Abbey – Under 18 100m

Chloe Smith – Under 14 100m

Chloe Smith – Under 14 200m


Tessa Constantine – Under 20 400m Hurdles

Chloe Smith – Under 14 400m


Leigh Bennett – Open 400m Hurdles

Rachael Carnegie – Open 200m

Chandler Leydon – Under 18 100m

Chandler Leydon – Under 18 200m

Congratulations to the whole squad and thank you to all involved in these results including Scott Smith, Melissa Breen Myogen – Performance Movement Therapy, parents, and partners.