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Lawson and Hawks excel at athletics titles

Kyabram's Emily Lawson and Nathalia's Caitlin Hawks have overcome injuries to put in impressive performances and the Australian All-Schools titles.

OLIVER CAFFREY December 13, 2013 4:10am

Emily Lawson and Caitlin Hawks have shaken off serious injuries to impress at the Australian All-Schools titles.


After sitting out last season with serious injuries, two Goulburn Valley athletes produced stunning comebacks to excel at the Australian All-Schools titles in Townsville.

Kyabram’s Emily Lawson was sidelined with stress fractures in her feet, while Nathalia’s Caitlin Hawks had 12 months in rehabilitation after tearing the ACL in her knee.

However, both athletes showed no signs of distress in North Queensland last week, as Hawks finished less than a second away from taking out the girls’ under-18 400m hurdles, running 65.53sec.

Hawks, who attends St Mary of the Angels Secondary College, Nathalia, said it was a long road back after knee surgery.

‘‘I’m almost back to where I was before I tore my knee; it was really hard training to get back into it, but the last few months I’ve felt really good,’’ Hawks said.

‘‘I was a couple of seconds off my PB (personal best), but it was really windy during the race and that slowed down the times a bit.’’

Hawks said she was confident heading into her race after watching the first heat.

‘‘We had two heats and a timed final, so after watching the girls run the first heat with their times a bit slower, I thought I was a pretty good chance,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, Lawson placed third in the girls’ under-18 200m and 400m finals, running times of 24.49 and 56.20.

She was also a member of the Victorian 4x100m relay team that came home with a silver medal.

‘‘It was quite a big shock, I wasn’t expecting much so soon after my injury, but I was really pleased,’’ Lawson said.

‘‘It was quite a slow process to get back, I was on and off training for the whole year.’’

Coached by Peter Barrett in Bendigo, the Goulburn Valley Grammar School student has her sights set on qualifying for next year’s World Junior Championships in the US.

‘‘That was my fifth national championships, so I’m hoping to push on to bigger events now,’’ she said.

Hawks, 17, has already qualified for next year’s Australian Youth Championships and will look to also qualify for the World Juniors.

‘‘I’m hoping to be running much quicker times soon, I have to get down to 59 seconds,’’ Hawks said.

Goulburn Valley Grammar School brothers Lachlan and Sam Varley also competed in Townsville.

Both boys finished ninth in their respective events — Lachlan in the under-16 javelin and Sam in the under-16 discus.

Benalla’s Chloe Robertson threw 42.71m in the girls’ under-18 hammer throw, to finish in eighth spot.

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