ON TRACK: Talented sisters Brianna and Marlie Campton.
ON TRACK: Talented sisters Brianna and Marlie Campton. Contributed

Sister act on national stage

NOTHING was going to stop Brianna Campton from taking her place alongside the cream of Australia's junior athletics talent.

The promising athlete will join sister and fellow talented long-distance runner Marlie at this week's Australian Junior Track and Field Championship.

Brianna's participation was threatened after she was sidelined for six months during 2012 with growth problems, disrupting her progress and forcing her to miss valuable competition.

Facing one of her final chances to secure her spot, the 12-year-old came good with third place in the 800m at the recent Queensland championships, securing her slot at the national titles.

"We were so happy for her," proud mum Jannine said. "We weren't sure she could do it after what she has been through.

"It was great to see the look on her face. She was rapt."

The Binna Burra duo have established themselves as talents to watch in recent years.

Fourteen-year-old Marlie further underlined her potential at the recent Queensland event, winning both the 800m and 1500m races to secure a place in both contests in the under-16 division at nationals.

Brianna will take part in the U14s 800m race at this week's competition, which gets under way tomorrow at Perth's Western Australian Athletics Stadium.

The pair, who attend Byron Bay High School, train three times a week with top coach Brian Chapman's Border Striders Running Squad on the Gold Coast.

Despite their high-flying achievements, Jannine Campton said there was no sibling rivalry between the pair. "I don't think Marlie was enjoying competing without Brianna," she said. "They are always encouraging and praising each other."

The pair have been busy collecting money to help fund their trip, including hosting a sausage sizzle in Bangalow on Saturday morning.

Jannine Campton said the sisters were now determined to enjoy their trip. "I think the pressure is off both of them," she said.

"Brianna was not expecting to take part, while Marlie has been to a few events like this now. She knows what to expect.

"They are both looking forward to it."

Jannine Campton and husband Paul thanked the Bangalow community for its ongoing support.

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