Students aim to follow Zoe
GRAFTON junior athletics received some huge recognition this week when local woman Zoe Buckman made the semi-final of the 1500 metres at the London Olympic Games.
Buckman, who started her athletics career at Grafton Public School, ran a personal best time early yesterday morning on the biggest stage of all.
Unfortunately for Buckman, her best time of 4min 5.03sec wasn't good enough to reach the Olympic final.
She was also unlucky to run in the fastest semi-final. Her time was faster than every woman in the first semi-final, but she finished 10th in her race, which left her short of qualifying by three places.
However, it was not just the seasoned professionals who were out there doing the town proud, with two juniors showing all the hallmarks of Graftonian greatness at the Grafton District Interschool Athletics carnival this week.
Following in Buckman's sprig tracks, Quinn Greedy, of Grafton Public School, smashed the field to win every event in her age division bar one.
Greedy is off to the regional championships in Coffs Harbour next week but there was none of the pre-event posturing that will haunt our London Olympians.
"I'm pretty nervous about regionals," she said.
Quinn's mum Lisa said her daughter was fourth at regionals last year.
"But she's sprouted up a bit and made it through for a lot more events. We have bought her some new runners as well," Lisa said.
Joshua Weatherstone, 10, was another standout at the meet.
Weatherstone won every junior event he entered, putting in a dominant performance to take seven first-place finishes.
He was inspired to take up athletics by watching Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt at the Beijing Games.
When we asked Josh about his prospects at regionals, he too was hesitant to oversell.
"Regionals? I dunno," he said.
His favoured event is the 200 metres.