Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Golden effort sees Maxine win another Australian title

Seymour College student Maxine Paholek is an Australian athletics champion - again.

March 20, 2014 4:57am

Maxine Paholek is an Australian champion — again.

A year after taking out the under-15 girls 2000m steeplechase in Perth, the Seymour College Year 9 student repeated the dose at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney.

She was originally scheduled to race the under-16 event at Olympic Park on Saturday night, but after a storm hit just minutes before race start time, Athletics Australia officials postponed the race to the following morning.

It didn’t dampen Maxine’s resolve as she overcame a field of 17 runners, including six state champions, to win back-to-back titles.

Maxine’s preparation for the champs started 11 months ago.

In that time she has collected gold medals in State cross-country and recently Country Victoria and Vic Junior titles in the 2km steeple event.

What was more remarkable is that she set a personal best time of 7.07 to win the national title.

Maxine waited and with two laps to go put in a burst of speed to take the lead and clear the last six barriers and two water jumps.

After the race she said: ‘‘I felt flat for the first kilometre, probably from the nervous night waiting for this morning’s race. But after that I thought I had to get going to catch the leaders.’’

Maxine is already looking forward to her next challenge — a triathlon.

‘‘In the off-season I will be cross training to keep up my fitness and build up leg strength,’’ she said.

In the meantime, there are a couple more senior athletic events in Melbourne to contest where she is out to drop her times in 800m and 1500m.

After that, her coach has enforced several weeks of rest before preparation for next year’s go at a three- peat.

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