Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Finley youngster breaks Australian junior discus record

Not even an injury scare before competition had even begun could stop Finley’s Leia Varley from breaking the 11 years girls Australian discus record.

December 11, 2013 4:09am

Leia Varley broke a national record on her way to winning a gold and a bronze medal at the School Sport Australia under-12 Track and Field Championships in Brisbane.


The Goulburn Valley Grammar School Year 5 student smashed the School Sport Australia record during the under-12 Track and Field Championships in Brisbane last month.

However, her shot at back-to-back Australian discus titles was almost derailed by a cartwheel attempt during the opening ceremony.

‘‘I was feeling confident (about winning) when I arrived at the track, but I hurt my leg doing a cartwheel,’’ Varley said.

‘‘During the warm-up I thought I was no chance, it was really cold and I was feeling sore, but the sun came out and I started to warm up.’’

Her opening attempt of 41.18m proved to be the record throw, with silver medallist, Sally Shorky from NSW falling short by more than 2m.

Living with the rest of her family at Finley and travelling to Shepparton for school, Varley said the record throw was a personal best in competition, but she has thrown better in training.

‘‘It’s a great achievement for myself winning for the second year — I’ve improved a lot since last year and I feel like I’ve got a good career in it ahead,’’ she said.

Varley also claimed a bronze medal in the shot put with a throw of 13.01m, but she said her injury stopped her from performing to her best.

‘‘With shot put you need more power through your legs and my injury restricted me a bit in that,’’ she said.

Varley’s sister, Sophia was also competing in Brisbane, but for NSW, as she attends school at Finley at St Joseph’s Primary School.

Sophia placed 10th in the 10 years girls discus with a throw of 25.65m.

The athletics prowess runs through the Varley family, with Leia’s elder brothers, Sam and Lachlan, competing at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships, which were held Townsville at the weekend.

Sam threw 48.21m to place ninth in the 16 boys discus, while Lachlan finished eighth in the 16 boys javelin with a throw of 44.43m.

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