Young athletes ready for run of titles

TAMWORTH coach Wally Warner is predicting good things from his young charges at this weekend’s NSW Country Athletics Championships in Newcastle.

Gunnedah siblings Jasper, Oscar and Yasmin Thomas, and Tamworth’s Ben Allen, Emily Sheppard and Lia Mills will take to the track from today.

For Allen, Sheppard and Mills the championships will be a hit-out for the nationals in March.

They’ve already qualified for those, although Allen still has the 200m to qualify for.

He’s hoping to do that this weekend, and will be competing in the U16s’ 100m, 200m and 400m.

“The way he’s running I don’t think anyone will get near him (this weekend),” Warner said.

Mills and Sheppard are also running brilliantly.

They’ll both be in the U15s and will race against each other in the 200m.

Mills is also in the 400m and Sheppard the 100m.

“They’ll go very well,” Warner said of the trio.

It’s more about the nationals for them though.

“All I want them to do this weekend is think they are running at nationals,” Warner said.

It’ll be the same when they compete at the State Championships in a couple of weeks.

Angus Richards is also off to those. 

He isn’t racing this weekend but will contest the 13yrs 100m and 200m at state.

The Thomases come to Tamworth  from Gunnedah to train three days a week.

Yasmin at nine is the youngest and will race the 100m and 200m.

Jasper (11) will also contest the two sprint races, while Oscar (13) is in the 400m.

“This is the first time that they’re racing against the top level,” Warner said.

“I think they’ll really shine out.” 

“They’ve been training hard and really consistently.”

“And they’re running beautifully.”

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