Personal best time secures national honours for Jackson Whiley

JACKSON Whiley slashed a massive 25 seconds off his personal best time to win the Australian under-15 steeplechase recently.

The Wodonga Athletic Club runner was one of five at the meeting at Sydney’s Olympic Park to go better than their previous best.

Kiahna Evans came home with silver from her personal best in the under-14 hammer throw, Ned Penny ran PBs in the heat and final of the 800 metres, while Myrtleford’s Amie Antonello threw a new mark in the under-16 discus.

Corowa’s Mitch O’Neill set new bests in high jump and triple jump without winning a medal.

Coach Greg Simpson said it was an outstanding effort by all five athletes.

“No one went there expecting any medals but in track and field you want to do better all the time and they all did that,” he said.

“It is no fluke — some of these kids are doing five sessions a week and would train harder if we let them.”

Simpson said Whiley chose to concentrate on the steeplechase.

“He had also qualified for the hurdles and 800 metres but decided to concentrate on just the one event with obvious success,” he said.

“He will be joining six other Wodonga athletes at the Australian Combined Events (heptathlon) Championship in Melbourne in April.

“Amie and Kiahna will head to the Victorian Little Athletic championships later this month.”

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