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AFLW: Bates smashes 2km time trial

AFLW: Stronger and Fitter AFL Reporter, Michael Whiting, once again jumped on the track to run with our AFLW team in their first time trial for the season.

The Lions AFLW team are fitter and stronger than this time last year, according to AFL reporter Michael Whiting, who is also a professional endurance running coach.

For the second time in a week, Whiting took part in a Lions’ running session, this time with Craig Starcevich’s Lions AFLW side on day one of 2019 pre-season.

“That was heaps of fun tonight, getting to run with the girls tonight at QSAC,” Whiting told

Whiting has followed the Lions women’s team since their inception in 2016. Last year he watched them compete in their 2km time trial at Yeronga and said there has been a remarkable improvement in 12 months.

“I felt like as a group the girls were so much fitter this year,” he said.

“I felt like last year there was probably three, four or five standouts probably running good times.

“But this year I felt like there was ten or 12, I felt the level has gone up so much, so I think that’s good early pre-season signs.”

Whiting was originally going to run at a 90-second handicap and try to catch the lead group, but Emily Bates lobbied to have him as their pacesetter for the evening.  And it worked. Bates not only won her first-time trial but set a personal best.

“Batesy was right on me the whole way,” he said.

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The time trial winner with our pre-season running guest! It’s good to be back 👊 #Uncaged

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Bates was one of eleven players to set personal best times for the evening. With Bates, Bre Koenen, Megan Hunt, Nat Exon, Sharni Webb and Shannon Campbell all shaving more than 30 seconds off.

Whiting said he believes the group will run even faster at their next opportunity.

“Next time they do this they might have a better understanding of their body,” he said.

“A lot of them might not come from running backgrounds. The more you do it, the better you learn the body and the better you can judge pace.”

Top ten finishers in 2km time trial:

  • Emily Bates
  • Nat Exon
  • Paige Parker
  • Kate Lutkins
  • Krystal Scott
  • Jessy Keeffe
  • Krystal Scott
  • Ally Anderson
  • Jesse Wardlaw
  • Sam Virgo
  • Bri McFarlane

This coach is very happy to be back! (Picture credit: David Layden)

Draftee McKenzie Dowrick leads the warm up.

Draftee Lauren Bella.

Kate McCarthy (front), Kate Lutkins (left), Nat Exon (right), Jordan Zanchetta (back). 

Off and running for the 2km time trial.

Draftee Jade Ellenger holding her own.


After her first pre-season session as a Lion, Lauren Arnell speaks with Assistant Coach David Lake.

Day one in the bank! 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs