Three district athletes are starting to excel in heptathlon, a sport which has risen to fame since the London Olympics.By Geordie Cowan
Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis provided one of the most iconic moments of the 2012 London Olympics when she crossed the finish line of the 800m event to win the heptathlon.
Three district athletes are also starting to excel in the sport after only taking it up in the past few months at the behest of their Echuca-based coach Terry Hicks.
Moama’s Rebekah Lock and Morgan Power and Kyabram’s Carlie Whitford competed in the heptathlon at the National Youth Multi Events in Adelaide last month.
Lock finished equal third in the under 17 event, while Whitford and Power finished fourth and eighth respectively in the under 18s.
Whitford in particular starred, scoring more than 4600 points and breaking the Bendigo centre record, finishing behind two athletes who achieved scores which would qualify them for Australia’s World Youth Championships team.
Heptathletes take part in seven different track and field events, comprising the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin and 800m.
For Lock and Power, the 800m was their best event, while Whitford did really well in the 100m hurdles and 200m in Adelaide, Hicks said.
‘‘But all their throwing events need a little bit of work because they only just started learning that stuff,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s probably where the next improvements will come.
‘‘All the performances were good considering they only just started doing a number of the events.
‘‘I’m very pleased with them.’’
All three athletes said they were pleased with how they competed and enjoyed the variety of events they took part in for the heptathlon.
Lock, 15, said she was really pleased to have finished equal third after returning from injury.
‘‘I was surprised because it was only my second run after the state (titles),’’ she said.
Sixteen-year-old Power said she improved her scoring in most events, but did not place that well.
‘‘It was really fun,’’ she said.
‘‘It was good to be doing different things instead of doing the same one thing.’’
The teenagers represented Eaglehawk Athletics Club at the Adelaide event.
They train about five times a week and usually compete in Athletics Bendigo, school or Athletics Victoria events on Saturdays.
Whitford is also competing in the under 18s at the Australian Junior Championships at the Western Australian Athletics Stadium in Perth this week.
The 16-year-old competed in the 200m yesterday and will take part in the 100m hurdles today and the 400m hurdles tomorrow.
‘‘I would like to try and get a medal because then it allows me to be in the running for the worlds,’’ she said.
Power had also planned on competing in Perth, but a hamstring injury halted her hopes.
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