Isabella Wall and Abbie Peet are two rising young running stars.
The Tamworth duo are training hard under the guidance of coach Wally Warner as they prepare for the National All Schools Cross-Country Championships in Maleny later this month.
Wall will go in as the fastest 10-year old in the state after winning gold at the NSW All Schools, while Peet picked up silver in the 10-years girls multi-class.
Warner is thrilled for both girls.
He’s been coaching Wall for about two-and-a-half years and has delighted in watching her progress.
“She’s developed into a really top class runner,” he said.
“Very fast and determined”, the St Nicholas’ student is also a “great” 100m, 200m and 800m runner, and Warner has no doubt she will enjoy similar success on the track.
Because of age restrictions this is the first year Wall has been eligible to go on to compete at the nationals.
“It’s exciting times,” her father John said.
He said she has just improved immensely over the last 12 months.
After finishing first at her St Nicholas’ carnival, Wall went on to win the Diocesan and Polding titles, the Polding championships incidentally being held at Eastern Creek, which was also the venue for the All Schools.
Putting her sprinting nous to good use, Wall pretty well went straight to the front. She was challenged mid-way through the race but kicked again to reclaim the lead and was never headed from there as she completed the 2km in 7mins 43secs.
Peet is a relatively new addition to Warner’s stable with her family moving up from Sydney in February.
“She is looking really good,” he said.
It is the first time the Year 4 Carinya student, who has mild cerebral palsy, has competed at at All Schools level for cross-country, although she did make it in athletics last year for the 200m, 800m and shot put.
All Schools silver followed a second at the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) championships, Peet shaving over a minute off her personal best between the two runs.
She was actually first across the line but in multi-class events placings are determined by percentage comparing the athletes time to the multi-disability standard for their respective classification.
“She’s very excited to be heading to the nationals,” her mother Connie said, adding that they are “very proud of her”.
“She always runs with a smile.”
The nationals will be held from August 24-27.
Peet has a couple of athletics carnivals to compete in before then, and was on Tuesday at the zone championships.