SHAUN Lee, Liam O’Brien and Jacob Hawksworth are some of the finest athletes in Australia – and they have the results to prove it.
The three Gympie teenagers have returned home after the 2010 Australian Junior Athletic Championships held at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre from March 11 to 14.
Lee, in particular, had an outstanding national titles, bringing home a gold medal in the Under 15 boys 3000m as well as finishing a commendable fifth in the 1500m.
The Gympie distance runner’s winning time was nine minutes 20 seconds.
“I was really nervous before the race,” Lee said.
“I was nervous because I wanted to do well and because it was the national titles.”
The James Nash State High School student yesterday said putting in the hard yards in preparation for the event was the key to his success.
“Training with Mr (Keith) Brown has been a big help,” Lee said.
“I was training six days a week.”
It was more natural talent than hard work that propelled Hawksworth to sixth place in the Under 18 long jump.
The solidly built youngster leapt 6.5 metres.
“I wasn’t nervous at all. Athletics isn’t that big a deal for me – I have done long jump heaps of times,” Hawksworth said.
“I didn’t really train at all beforehand. I just play AFL.”
O’Brien’s success came in the Under 15 boys javelin where he finished fifth.
The tall athlete threw a personal best of 43.30m to achieve the impressive result.
“My throw was a personal best by about 50 centimetres,” O’Brien said.
“It was the first time I have thrown a 700 (gram javelin).
“I have always thrown 600s – the 700s are heavier, but they fly through the air better.
“I wasn’t very nervous, it was just good to be at the nationals.”
Another Gympie athlete, Jack Curran, performed very well.
He finished second in the Under 18 boys 1500m and seventh in the Under 18 boys 3000m.
Any budding Gympie school athletes can join in training sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at Gympie State High School.