One Ella-va year for McCarthy athlete

ELLA Heeney has topped off an incredible sporting year with a bronze medal at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships in Townsville.

The Year Seven McCarthy student took the school’s athletics program to new heights this year with her bronze in the U14 800m.

The young superstar also managed to qualify and run at the Australian All Schools Cross Country Championships in Tasmania after blitzing the region and state.

Heeney is also a triathlon champion and has this year also represented at a national level.

On her way to Townsville, Heeney broke both the track and meet record at the Combined Catholic Schools carnival at Homebush.

She then placed third at the NSW All Schools meet and was on her way to the Nationals for the second year straight.

After placing second last year in the same event, the young athlete was determined to do well again.

The northern conditions were anything but ideal for middle distance running and the brand new track was spongy, but this didn’t stop Heeney finding herself on the podium at the end of the day.

She ran a time of 2.18min, five seconds slower than her PB, although this could be excused in 31 degree temperatures with an amazing 91 per cent humidity factor.

Despite excelling at almost every other event and sport, the 800m is her favourite and the young star already has her sights set on winning the All Schools next year.

Training for next year began last Thursday when she hit the track again in preparation for the Junior Country Championships on the long weekend in Wollongong.

The NSW Junior Athletics meet is then in February, and then the All Schools triathlon is in early March.

The Cross Country Nationals are in Albany, Western Australia later in the year as well.

Although to make these events she has to go through the qualifying rounds all over again in the next age group.

So Ella is about to drag her family around the country again for another year of events and qualifications.

The Heeneys don’t mind though, after spending a few days in the Whitsundays after the Townsville meet.

“You only get to do these things once, so you have to take your opportunities when you get them,” Heeney’s mother and chauffeur Jodie said.

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