Local athletes shine at nationals

Eastern Shore athletes have enjoyed extraordinary success at the Australian national championships in Brisbane, with several returning home with medals.

More than 20 locals were selected to represent Tasmania in the Australian Open and Under 20 Championships (30 March – 2 April) and the Australian Junior Track and Field Championships (13-16 April).

The team enjoyed great success on the track, with Jessica Smith leading from start to finish to win the U/17 2000m steeplechase – considered one of the toughest events in track and field.

Jack Woodberry ran a blisteringly fast final lap to snatch the lead and claim gold in the U/16 3000m in 8:32, breaking the Tasmanian U/16 state record in the process.

Alexander Kwa won silver in the U/20 3000m steeplechase, which was his final race before heading to the US on an athletics scholarship.

The standout performance in the sprinting events came from Jacob Despard, who took bronze in the open 100m in a lightning-fast time of 10.26 seconds.

One of the youngest members of the Tasmanian team took home the most bling from the field events, with Jemima Gaeppen flying for gold in the U/14 long jump (5.30m) and silver in the triple jump (10.98m).

Tasmania sent a large contingent of javelin throwers to Queensland, spearheaded by local Olympian Hamish Peacock. Marz Kwa won silver in the U/15 javelin, breaking both the Tasmanian U/15 and U/16 state records with a throw of 40.63m.

Xavier Leauma claimed bronze in the U/16 hammer with a massive throw of 55.80m.

Anyone inspired to have a go at athletics can contact a local club like Clarence Little Athletics (for kids aged 5-14 years), Eastern Suburbs Athletics or Athletics South.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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