All posts by Matt Beckenham

Elite track and field coach, 2000 Olympian

2018 AACT Champs MBD squad preview

Huge weekend for the MattyB DEPT (MBD) squad at AACT Champs
Josh Clarke and Lauren Wells will headline the MBD squad as they continue their preparations towards the nationals championships and Commonwealth Games trials.
Josh will race in a very competitive 100m event while Lauren will compete in the Long Jump and 400m Hurdles. Both her events are on Saturday night which will give her the perfect rehearsal for nationals where both finals will be held on the same day again.
The squad will be proudly represented by 18 athletes including 2 of our older athletes who have been running in career best form this season.
Adam Farlow (35) will be out to regain his ACT titles in the 100m and 200m after recently claiming the M35 National record in the 200m last weekend with a time of 21.93.
Leigh Bennett is closing in on a Commonwealth Games B qualifier in the 400m Hurdles. Former squad member Brendan Cole was able to run a PB at age 31 while competing at the London Olympics and Leigh will be using this as inspiration when he chases a sub 50 second time on Saturday night.
At the other end of the age spectrum many of the junior MBD athletes will be chasing PB’s this weekend.
These include:
* Chloe Smith (12 years) 100m, 200m, 400m
* Holly Abbey (15 years) 100m
* Molly Sturgiss (16 years) 400m, 400m Hurdles
* Chandler Leydon (16 years) 100m, 200m
* Matt King (18 years) 200m, 400m
* Nick McEwen (19 years) 100m, 200m, 400m
Tom Agnew (100m) and Tessa Constantine (400mH) are searching for World Junior qualifiers this domestic season and will both be out for strong performances this weekend.
Other athletes who will be proudly representing MBD this weekend include
* Jordan Shelley – The Australian Under 20 champion will look for some quick times in the 100m and 200m
* Sarah Blizzard – 100m and 200m
* Rachael Carnegie – 200m
* Will O’Neill (T35) – 100m and 200m
* Steve Hocking – 400m
* Matt Walters – 400m Hurdles
Unfortunately Melissa Breen will not race this weekend at AACT Champs
A quest for answers to a poor performance last week at the Down Under meet in Canberra has discovered some tendon and neural issues.
Biomechanical data showed a 15% drop in vertical power in her running gait and MRI scans also showed some tendon damage and neural symptoms.
We wish Melissa all the best for a quick recovery and she will hopefully be back for Nationals. The priority now is to have her at her best for the Commonwealth Games which are 70 days away and she wants to race in the 100m and 4 x 100m relay.

2017-18 MBD Squad

MattyB DEPT MBD orange font

Season 2017-18 begins this Saturday 7th October and it gives me great pleasure to announce the MattyB DEPT. (MBD) squad for this season. There are some additional athletes that will be named later in the year when they officially commence.

Limited spots are available please email for more information.

The squad contains athletes aspiring for selection in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 World Masters, 2018 World Juniors, National Senior and Junior Medals, Gift Victories and of course numerous PB’s.

Good luck to the entire squad

MBD Elite Ambassadors (Elite Athletes & Assistant Coaches in MBD squads)

MBD Elite Athletes (Achieved Elite Standards age 17+)

MBD Senior Squad (Athletes aged 18+)

MBD Development Squad (Athletes aged under 18)

  • Molly Sturgiss*
  • Clare de Salis
  • Kobe O’Neall
  • Holly Abbey
  • Matt King
  • Freya Dadswell
  • Chloe Smith
  • Chandler Leydon

* Athlete has achieved their age elite standard and therefore tracking towards MBD elite squad selection from age 17+

MBD – MattyB’s FIT4FUN Junior Squads (Athletes aged 8-15)

For athletes who wish to do 1 or 2 sessions per week. Limited places available check website for more details.

Official S & C Coaches –

  • MBD Squad – Scott Smith, Melissa Breen, MattyB
  • Lauren Wells & Josh Clarke – Ross Smith
  • Melissa Breen – MattyB

Official squad therapist – Myogen (Performance.Movement.Therapy)

Please contact them 02 5105 4109 or for Soft tissue therapy, sports massage, remedial massage, strength & conditioning and myofascial dry needling for active people in ACT and NSW.

Congratulations to the following athletes from within the squad have also been recognised on NASS, Gold Coast Gold Relay programs or ACT Target Talent Programs (TTP)

  • Josh Clarke (NASS and Relay), Lauren Wells (Relay), Melissa Breen (Relay), Molly Sturgiss (TTP), Tom Agnew (TTP)



Farlow and Stefaniak win Gold at World Masters

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It was a dominant display from Adam Farlow at the World Masters Games in New Zealand over the past week.

Competing in the 30–34 year age group Farlow will return to Australia with a medal tally of 6 Gold and 1 silver.

  • 100m Gold
  • 200m Gold
  • 400m Gold
  • 4 x 100m relay Gold
  • 4 x 400m relay Gold
  • High Jump Gold
  • Long Jump Silver

Fellow MBD squad member Jonathan Stefaniak also came away with Gold in the relay team with Adam Farlow.

To top of results both men were part of the Australian team that smashed the Australian (age 30-34) record in the 4 x 400m relay. Farlow also anchored the 4 x 100m relay to another Australian (age 30-34) record.

Huge congratulations from all in the squad for an amazing way to finish the season.

16 Titles at #AACT17 for MBD


The squad has taken advantage of the conditions to post some amazing results over the past 3 days at the AACT Championships for 2017 Clare de Salis and Molly Sturgiss lead the way for the MBD Squad with 3 Gold medals each over the weekend.

Clare took the 100m,200m and 400m treble in the under 18’s while Molly Sturgiss ran PB in all her events to claim the ACT title in the 200m Hurdles, 200m and 400m.

Adam Farlow and Melissa Breen took the honours as fastest ACT athletes in the Open 100m and 200m. Farlow at age 34 ran a new PB in the 100m with 10.94 (heat and final time).  Tom Agnew also took the 100m (10.87PB) and 200m double in the Under 20 age group.

The squad won the ACT title in the open Men’s and Womens 400m with Jonathan Stefaniak and Lauren Wells both running season bests to win.

Lauren also took out the Women’s 400m Hurdles title.

Matt King won the Under 18 400m title and also ran a PB in the 200m.

It was a fantastic weekend for the squad and a huge thank you to Scott Smith for his therapy over the 3 days.

Well done to ACT Athletics for a well run Championships.

Blizzard wins 2017 Ballarat Open 70m

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Congratulations to Sarah Blizzard for taking out the Open 70m at the Ballarat Gift weekend.

After strong wins in her heat and semi final Sarah maintained her winning ways to take out the final in a strong time of 7.50 off 12.25m.

Sarah also made her way into the final off the Women’s 120m Mars Gift. Running off 4.25m she finished 5th to top off a huge weekend of racing.

She will next run at Stonnington Gift where she finished second last year.

Noah Geleris also made a successful return to racing which was very pleasing running in the 70m and 120m Open Gift.