After proving themselves as some of NSW’s quickest on the running track, youngsters Mitchell Henderson and Emma Klasen will now have a chance to be named Australia’s fastest in their age groups.
Farrer student Henderson and Calrossy’s Klasen will both head to the School Sport Australia Track and Field Championships in Adelaide at the start of December after picking up gold and silver medals at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships.
It will be Henderson’s first time at the national event after he claimed second place in the 14 years 200m hurdles at the NSW titles last week.
“I'm pretty excited but nervous. I don't really know what it’s like yet so we'll see when we get down there,” Henderson said.
At the NSW championships, Henderson qualified for the final with the third fastest time before shaving more than half a second off his time to claim the silver medal.
A modest Henderson said he was a touch lucky in the final.
“It was quicker [his final time] but I got a bit lucky. Another fella tripped over,” Henderson said.
Klasen is somewhat of a veteran of the national titles having competed on several occasions and claiming victories along the way.
The Calrossy student progressed this time around in the 15 years age group following a gold medal 100m and a silver in the 200m.
In the 200m event, Klasen had qualified fastest but was beaten by Hawkesbury High’s Caitlyn Ferrier.
Klasen described the run as a good experience and will use the loss as motivation.
“I was leading the first 100 then this 400 runner [Ferrier], who I knew was running really quick times, she stayed with me, stayed with me and the mental game kicked in,” Klasen said.
“Thinking as I was the sprinter, I should have the legs to get her at the line but she had the fitness and she deserved to win.
“At the nationals I’ll have the mental experience. If they're in front of me, I can still try and catch up and just focus on my race.”
Leading into nationals, Henderson was focusing on running a complete 200m hurdles – he said his last 50 metres could be faster – while Klasen has been working on her starts and her technique and will continue to do so with her coach.
Other Tamworth athletes to compete at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships included Georgia Simm, Sophie Hedley, Lydia Higgins, Mitchell Reading and Annie Fotheringham.
All the athletes either finished in the top 10 or raced in the finals in at least one of their events at the NSW championships.
Prelim - 15th in 2:30.69
Prelim - 12th in 5:15.14
Final - 12th in 5:21.60
Prelim - fourth in 14.72
Final - fourth in 13.94
Prelim - third in 28.01
Final - second in 27.38
Prelim - sixth in 14.14
Final - eighth in 13.87
Prelim - 10th in 2:31.16
Prelim - eighth in 11.22
Final - seventh in 11.47
Prelim - third in 23.03
Final - fourth in 23.03
Prelim - first in 12.27
Final - first in 12.23
Prelim - first in 25.17
Final - second in 25.28
Final - second in 2:33.62
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