Natalie McDonnell, left, Paige Single, Reegan Semmens and, inset, Sam Petterson.
Natalie McDonnell, left, Paige Single, Reegan Semmens and, inset, Sam Petterson.

Students shine at athletics in Canberra

ALL EYES were focused on junior athletics in Canberra at the Australian All Schools and Youth Athletics championships.

More than 2500 athletes – from all Australian States and 20 Pacific countries including Japan, China, the Philippines and New Zealand – converged on the AIS athletics field in one of the largest and most exciting youth athletics events held in Australia.

Ballina Athletic Club juniors and Xavier Catholic College students Natalie McDonnell, Reegan Semmens and Sam Petterson and Southern Cross K-12’s Paige Single managed top 10 finishes in their events.

Sam won an individual gold medal, Natalie a bronze and Reegan a team silver.

The students competed in multiple events on the track with some tight finishes.

Reegan lamented a bob of the head after she produced a personal best of 57.59 seconds in her 400-metre event to run fifth in a blanket finish.

Though competing as a 15-year-old she backed up to represent NSW in the 18-19 years girls 4 x 400m relay to take out the silver medal.

Natalie also produced her best result in the 400m distance in the 13 years event where she won bronze.

Paige continued to show her liking for the longer distances, finishing sixth in the 2000-metre steeplechase, ninth in the 3000m cross-country and 11th in the 1500 metres 16-year girls events.

Sam carried his recent top form into the competition when he won gold in the 1500m, fourth in the 800m and fifth in the 400m track events.

He showed his all-round ability by competing in the shot put and the discus.

The students are now focused on the World Youth Games to be held at Homebush, Sydney, this month.

Fifty-five starters from nine different local schools across the age groups from K-6 competed in the NSW Sport and Recreation junior triathlon.

They completed two courses of 50m/200m swim, 3km/6km bike ride and 1km/2km run.

The age group winners were Charlie Scotcher, Daisy Fahey, Lachlan Johnson, Riley Davies, Niva Ewald, Finn Sharpe, Ava Buckley, Max Hickey, Scarlett Fahey, Nicholas Meaney, Emma Sculley, Hayden Blair and Georgia Harding.


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