Four young racewalkers will fly the flag for our region and Queensland at the Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney later this month.
Phoebe Chadwick, from Kallangur, Upper Caboolture’s Seth Wasson and Arana Hills siblings Bailey and Lily Housden will make the trip to Olympic Park.
All are members of Queensland Race Walking Club and will be representing this state at the national championships which are from March 26-April 3.
Chadwick, who has been racewalking four years, will be competing in her second national titles having finished 10th in the 3000m last year.
The 15-year-old clocked 31 minutes 29 seconds to be comfortably inside the Under 17 Girls’ national target of 32 minutes for 5000m.
“Training is going well, I’m in better shape than last year and hoping to finish higher than last time,” the 15-year-old said.
Chadwick’s long-term targets include the world race walking series and 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane.
Wasson is in the Under 17 Boys 5000m and will be going to his third national titles having also competed at the All Schools Championships.
The 16-year-old was an “okay” long-distance runner before Karen Wolfenden, his coach at Caboolture Little Athletics, suggested race walking six years ago.
“I enjoy the technical side of it,” Wasson said, “you have to train a different way. Running is power, but I enjoy trying to perfect the technique.”
Wasson, who will be trying for a sub-25-minute 5000m in Sydney, reckoned about a third of the discipline was technique.
The Australian Championships will be Lily Housden’s first national titles having been with Arana Hills Little Athletics for just 12 months.
The 14-year-old qualified for the Under 17 Girls’ 3000m by winning bronze at the Queensland All Schools Championships last year.
Bailey Housden, who was fifth on his national debut last year, is preparing for the Under 16 Boys’ 3000m and Under 18 Boys’ 5000m.
The 15-year-old, in his third season, clocked 13 minutes 55 seconds for 3000m, which was well under the 19-minute national qualifying time.
He also posted 25 minutes 33 seconds for 5000m, again well under the 32-minute qualifying time.
In race walking, competitors must have one foot on the ground at all times and their lead leg must be straight in contact with the surface.