Tamworth has a strong pedigree producing athletes and youngster Emma Klasen is certainly capable of taking the baton and running with it. The teen sprinter has made a name for herself on the track posting blistering times in state finals over a number of years. She doesn’t take a step back identifying the sporting dream she’s chasing down. As she explains, donning the fabled green and gold in the Olympics is a numbers game.
CALROSSY student Emma Klasen is making a name for herself as one of the fastest girls in the state after setting the track alight on a trip to the All Schools championships this month, and she has already set her sights on some bigger goals.
Klasen, 14, is turning heads with her blistering pace over 100 and 200 metres, and put in a huge performance to outrun the state’s best sprinters at the All Schools meet.
The year-eight student clocked 25.66 seconds to claim gold in the 200m final, remarkably, shaving more than one second off her preliminary time.
Klasen placed fourth in the preliminary with a time of 26.97.
“That was a big shock to me,” Klasen said.
“I was more going there to get the experience against the really fast girls in NSW, but getting that time and getting first was just awesome.”
The promising sprinter was edged out in the 100m final, with a run of 12.32 seconds, just off the 12.26 second-winning-pace.
But there’s no slowing down for Klasen who is now preparing to defend her 200m title at the Athletics Australia national championships next year.
With no race for 15 year-olds, Klasen will have to keep up with the fastest 16 year-olds in the land; a daunting challenge, but a great test for the young sprinter.
“It’s more exciting for the experience and the preparation for it,” she said.
“I’m not going there and expecting miracles, but you can definitely run faster times against faster people.”
Klasen has recently linked up with Sydney sprint coach, Michael Dooley, who counts Rio Olympians Ella Nelson and Jess Thornton on his CV.
Klasen travels to Sydney for sessions with Dooley, so she has to stay diligent, bringing her lessons home to Tamworth.
On the track, Klasen is working her way to “consistent 24s” in the 200m and looking to whittle down her 100m times to as low as 11.80, but her long-term dream is an Olympic berth.
“At camps, there’s Olympians there and they talk about their experiences and it’s just amazing listening to their stories and I want to experience that,” she said.
Tamworth was well represented at All Schools with Mitch Henderson, John Moore and Sam Ellicot also competing.