Echuca's sprinter Tom Smith has recently returned from the Sports Travel Australia tour in Canada and Los Angeles.ERIN LYONS August 7, 2014 3:05am
Being the fastest 16-year old at the Sports Travel Australia tour in Canada and Los Angeles is not something every teenage boy can tell his friends.
But, Echuca sprinter Tom Smith can.
The St Joseph’s College student recently returned from overseas after completing a 19-day tour with Sports Travel Australia.
Smith was invited to the tour after winning the 200m final at the School Sports Victoria Secondary State Track and Field finals.
The teenager was proud to return home from the tour with three third-places and one second-place medal in his possession.
‘‘It’s only my third season of running so I’m really proud to be building my speed,’’ he said.
Smith performed in two different meets and finished second in the 100m and third in the 200m. He also finished third in 400m event twice.
The youngster competes in the 16-17 year old category and was only ever been beaten by top age competitors.
Smith said the 200m was his favourite event and his proudest sporting moment was finishing runner-up in that event in Canada.
‘‘It’s my best event at the moment. I hold a PB of 23.14 seconds,’’ he said.
Smith runs the 100m event in 11.24 seconds and hopes to break the 11 second mark before the end of the season.
Running was not always a part of Smith’s agenda.
His passion for running developed after he started playing football in the under 14s.
‘‘I started playing football at quite a young age,’’ he said.
‘‘I soon noticed that I was really quick and I kept getting faster and faster.’’
Smith trains twice a week with his coach Laurie Edmonstone and also attends football training with Moama.
‘‘At the moment football has taken priority because it’s so close to finals,’’ he said.
‘‘We are sitting second at the moment and we play Mulwala who are on top of the ladder this week.
‘‘It will be a pretty important game.’’
Unfortunately an ongoing shoulder injury interrupted Smith’s training regime at the end of last year.
‘‘I got a shoulder reconstruction in November last year. It had always been a little loose,’’ he said.
‘‘That set me back a few months and then I had to try and get all my fitness back.’’
Having fully recovered since the operation, Smith is hoping for a clear run injury wise over the next four years.
‘‘My goal is to compete at the next Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ll need to break 10.40 in the 100m event, so I need to come down about a second.’’
Smith said the support of family, friends and sponsors has been essential.
His next competition will be at the interschool sports competition in September.
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