Tamworth trio in the running for national finals

TAMWORTH’S Emily Sheppard, Lia Mills and Ella Heeney are hoping to run themslves into national finals reckoning.

The talented trio, who all train under Wally Warner, will next week compete in the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney.

For Heeney, it will be a busy couple of weeks.

Tomorrow, she’ll race at the Triathlon All Schools.

She’s been juggling training for that and the nationals, where she will line up in the U15s 800m and 1500m and is hoping to reach the finals.

“In the 800m I’d like to get a place and a pb.

“I haven’t done a pb since 2012,” she said.

“The 1500m I’d like to just get a pb.”

Warner reckons all three are a big chance of getting to the finals.

Sheppard and Mills would love him to be right.

“I’ve made the final the last couple of years,” Mills said.

This year the U17s 400m final will be held as part of the Sydney Track Classic, which is happening on the Saturday, and is expected to draw a host of international superstars as well as the likes of Sally Pearson, Mitchell Watt and Kim Mickle.

That would be a great experience.

Mills was carrying an injury at the state championships and “didn’t run very well” but had already qualified for the nationals by finishing second at the All Schools back in October.

She said as well as making the final she’d like to get down to 57secs.

“If I can run low 58 I should be right for the finals,” she said.

Sheppard will contest the U17s girls’ 200m.

It will be her second time at the nationals. 

“I went in 2012,” she said.

“Last year I was injured (hip injury).”

At last month’s state championships she finished third and, like the other two, would like to run a pb.

Ben Chick is another of Warner’s pupils doing well.

He’s qualified for this month’s Little Athletics State Championships in the U9s’ 70m, 100m and 200m.

Emma Klasen has also qualified for the U12s’ 100m and 200m.

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