Jay Meaney (left) and Sophia Hinrichsen.
Jay Meaney (left) and Sophia Hinrichsen.

Runners sprint to Tasmania

THE Ballina Athletic Club has put in a bold bid for national recognition with two 400-metre runners qualified for the Australian All Schools Athletic championships in Hobart next month.

However, it could have been three had Reegan Semmens (Southern Cross K-12) not had other commitments at the time of the titles.

Instead, Jay Meaney (St Johns College Woodlawn) and Sophia Hinrichsen (Southern Cross K-12) will carry the club’s hopes in their respective 14 years age divisions.

Both clinched their spots in the All Schools titles from December 4 to 7 with silver medal performances at the NSW All Schools Track and Field Championships at Homebush in Sydney earlier this month.

Although Reegan also finished with a silver medal in her under-16 run, her time of 1.03m was just short of the qualification time, but she could have still qualified for Hobart with a run at other championships next week.

Sophia’s qualification run was a determined effort after being disqualified on a technicality after finishing third at the NSW Combined High Schools titles at Homebush two weeks earlier.

“It was a great effort to put that disappointment behind her after being outed for touching one of the race lines,” Ballina Athletic Club president Brian Saxby said.

“Her time of 59.42 in the All Schools championships was even more credible under the circumstances and she was very excited about her prospects in Hobart at training this week.”

Jay Meaney is the grandson of former Canterbury-Bankstown prop Dennis Meaney and the son of Damon Meaney, a former successful coach with Marist Brothers rugby league club.

A class athlete, Jay was only beaten by .3s in his silver medal time of 52.03s by a runner from Griffith at the NSW All School titles and is heading to Hobart confident he can easily better that time.

On his way to the qualifying titles, Jay ran 53.4s to win the All Schools 400m title at Homebush.



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