Ballarat sprinting group Pod Squad aims high at 2014 Victorian Country Track and Field Championships

BALLARAT’S athletics sprint group the Pod Squad has great expectations for Saturday’s 2014 Victorian Country Track and Field Championships held at the Llanberris Reserve.

The Pod Squad, which has more than 20 entrants in the championships, is looking to make itself well known by securing a host of medals in any division ranging from the under-14 to the under-50.

Sam Baird, the current 400-metre under-18 Australian champion, is hoping to place in the under-20 category, but is expecting stiff competition from Australian top-five ranked runner Sam Reiser. 

Baird’s goal for 2014 is to break the 46-second mark over 400-metres, with his current personal best time sitting on 46.97 seconds.

“Depending on the conditions I’ll come away with a decent time and will aim to break the track record,” Baird said.

“I want to be a competitive runner and obviously qualify for the Commonwealth games and world juniors.”

The squad also features talented juniors Liam Procaccino and Holly Dobbyn.

Head coach Peter O’Dwyer is confident that the squad will put in a solid collective effort.

“We should come away with quite a few medals,” O’Dwyer said.

“To a certain extent we know the track and the conditions it will be in, but more than anything else you always want to win at home.”