Echuca's Walter Mitchell Jun. is hoping to head to Glasgow in July to watch his daughter compete for Commonwealth Games gold in the 400m.GEORDIE COWAN May 3, 2014 3:04am
Echuca’s Walter Mitchell Jun. pictured with his daughter Morgan at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in 2012. Photo: submitted
Echuca’s Walter Mitchell Jun. is a proud father.
Walter’s daughter Morgan recently won the Australian 400m title and qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
After a steady start in the final at Lakeside Stadium on April 5, the 19-year-old blitzed between nearest opponents Anneliese Rubie and former national champion Caitlin Sargent to win in 52.22 seconds.
She took more than 1.6 seconds off her personal best in the process, which had been set when she made the semi-finals of the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in 2012.
It was enough to be selected for the Australian team, just squeezing under the B qualifying time of 52.35.
‘‘It was great to see my kid doing that at that level,’’ Walter said.
‘‘I’m very happy for her because we have done a lot of of hard work with her.
‘‘She has done a lot of hard work for herself.’’
Morgan is one of three children Walter had with his former wife Lois, after arriving in Australia in 1992.
He then moved to Echuca in 1997 and is now a father to four children with Sharon Bradley.
Walter was an African-American professional basketball player who came from Miami to Australia to try out for National Basketball League team Melbourne Tigers.
After plying his wares around the world, playing in the US, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and France, Walter retired before attempting a comeback in Australia.
Although unsuccessful with the Tigers, he went on to coach the Waverley Falcons in 1994 and then coached privately.
‘‘The blood line is there,’’ Walter said.
‘‘My brother was a 100m and 200m runner and Lois (who is from Barham) was too.’’
Morgan, who lives in Melbourne, only committed to running about two years ago after playing netball through high school.
She was also on the Melbourne Vixens shadow squad and had a VIS netball scholarship.
‘‘I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes the final and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she gets a medal,’’ Walter said of Morgan’s hopes in Scotland.
‘‘I was not really surprised she won this thing.
‘‘She’s very hungry, she’s competitive as hell.
‘‘She wants to win and that’s how she’s always been.’’
Walter is hoping to attract some support which would see him travel to Glasgow to watch his daughter compete in July.
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