FUTURE STARS: 17 Gympie athletes go to Townsville for states
ATHLETICS: Seventeen of Gympie's brightest young athletes have secured their chances to mix it with Queensland's best at the 2019 McDonald's State Championships in Townsville next week.
The three-day event organised by Little Athletics Queensland will involve hundreds of youngsters from around the state shooting for new personal best times and the coveted title of State Champion in their respective events.
A total of 37 Gympie juniors between under-9s and under-17s qualified for the championships after impressive performances at regional level, with 17 on the final list making the Townsville trip.
Gympie Athletics team manager and organiser Leslie O'Connor said she was beaming with pride to see the region so well represented.
"I'm so very proud of them,” O'Connor said.
"They work so hard, they really put in and do some hard yakka. They train here twice a week and some of them do extra at club training.
"There's some new kids going this time who haven't been before, so it should be really good for them.
"I really couldn't be any prouder. My heart's right with them.”
Among the state championship newcomers is Blake Mullaly, chosen for a whopping five events in the under-14 category.
Out of the 1500m, 400m, 800m, 3kg shot put and 1kg discus events he qualified for, the 13-year-old said he favoured the distance running category.
"I just want to try and beat everyone else,” Mullaly said.
Fellow competitor Axle Fischer, 10, said he was most looking forward to competing in the 60m hurdles and the high jump but would also be aiming high in his other two categories, javelin and discus.
"I like high jump because everyone said I would be bad at it because I'm short, but I hold the record for every year I've been here. I hold the record in hurdles too.”
The high-flying duo said they hadn't given much thought to their long-term careers but didn't rule out trying for Olympic selection as adults.
The Little Athletics Queensland State Championships run from March 22-24 at the Townsville Sports Reserve.
Gympie Athletics Club - Junior State Championships participants
1. Levi Bourke, 11
2. Ariel Bunter, 13
3. Liam Bunter, 16
4. Tayah Ellwood, 9
5. Ashton Fischer, 12
6. Axle Fischer, 10
7. Terri-anne Knight, 15
8. Cooper Laycock, 8
9. Trinity Maher, 11
10. Declan McCabe, 13
11. Georgina McCabe, 10
12. Jorja McIntyre, 11
13. Rhianna McIntyre, 9
14. Blake Mullaly, 13
15. Tamara Mullaly, 15
16. Saul Roberts, 16
17. Aiden Warner, 14