Paige is now 19 seconds faster
By ADAM HICKS firstname.lastname@example.org SOUTHERN Cross K-12 runner Paige Single carved 19 seconds off her personal best time to run third in the Under-16 2km steeplechase at the Australian All Schools and Youth Championships last week.
The 15-year-old surprised even her family as she came from 10th position in just her third start in the event to claim bronze.
"I didn't start to overtake until the second last lap," she said.
"I was coming about 10th then I just came through and took over each girl one by one." With one lap remaining she had made it up to sixth in the tough event.
"I thought, 'These girls are going too slow', so I tried to go as fast as I could and catch up to the leaders," Paige said.
"I could hear mum and dad and my little sister and my cousins cheering.
"They were really loud and their yelling made me go faster.
"I had a really big smile on my face as I crossed the finish line but I couldn't really believe it until I was standing on the podium getting my bronze medal."
Paige completed the event in 7m30s in a remarkable run. After running fourth in the State championships, Paige turned the tables and was the quickest NSW competitor at the big meet.
Her father Ed said the whole family was proud. "We're rapt," he said.
"We were hoping for a top 10 finish but for her to come third ...
"We definitely didn't expect a medal but she'd been training pretty well and got herself fit and ran well.
"It was excellent. "When we could see she was a close chance we started cheering her on pretty fiercely."
Now that the representative athletics season is over, Paige will now turn her focus to triathlons.