ELLA Heeney carved more than seven seconds off her winning time of the previous year when the Kootingal Public School student won back-to-back State All Schools Athletics Championship 800m titles in Sydney last week.
The 12-year-old Year 6 student won the Under 11 800m at the State All Schools last year and repeated the effort in the senior girls’ 800m at Homebush, winning the final in 2mins 21.44secs.
She won by .57secs in a time that would have been good enough to claim fifth in the boys’ senior 800m.
“That’s a pretty good effort,” said Mike Cashman, who has been mentoring the little runner in recent months.
“Her time was 1.86secs quicker than the senior girls winning time from last year too and was 7.18secs quicker than she ran to win the 11 years title last year.
“I haven’t been coaching her but just giving her some ideas. She’s a terrific kid.”
Her parents, Anthony and Jodie Heeney are keen triathletes with Anthony a former premiership winning halfback with the Tamworth City Lions in Group 4 rugby league.
“She loves her running,” Jodie said this week.
“She was very excited about it (winning) and has been working hard. She trains with Wally Warner and runs with the older kids.”
Ella also ran the relay with her Kootingal school side and helped them make the semi final of the 4 X 100m girls relay running the anchor leg with Maddi Bowen, Kate Oianta and Kitty Barber.
This week she was down in Canberra on a school excursion but will head to Adelaide for the National All Schools Athletics Championships.
“She was down there for the national cross-country championships not long ago too,” her mother said.
This weekend the family is in Port Macquarie for the Port Macquarie Iron Man.