TRACK CHAMPION: Danika Murray is on her way to the National Finals after a PB breaking performance.
TRACK CHAMPION: Danika Murray is on her way to the National Finals after a PB breaking performance.

Gold on the cards for athletics champ

ATHLETICS: A five hour plane ride is all that stands in the way of Danika Murray winning gold at the upcoming National School Athletics carnival.

Placing second in the 400 metres at the secondary Queensland School Sport athletics carnival, the 13-year-old qualified for the December competition in Perth.

Murray, who had previously qualified for the Darling Downs team on four occasions, was thrilled to have finally broken into the State side.

"I'm pretty nervous about making the team, and I don't really think it's sunk in yet," Murray said.

"We haven't really looked at the competition yet, I'm sure we'll start looking at them soon though."

Despite only qualifying in the track event, the grade eight student at Assumption College said she has other events she would have enjoyed competing in.

"My favourite is probably the long jump, but I only came fourth in that," she said.

"At states I was in long jump, triple jump, and the 200m."

It's been a long season for Murray, who started training for the competition year in April.

"It's been lot of hard work throughout the year, I'm really happy that I've been able to make the team," she said.

"I think we just have to train ourselves, I don't think there are any State training sessions that we have to attend."

While the season has been gruelling, Murray's coach Nathan Rogers said they'll continue to work with her until the event.

"We'll probably train one to two times a week with Danika now," Rogers said.

"We've also got her doing a four day program at home - so she will be extra prepared."

There is more to the 400 metres than just going flat out, according to Murray who has one mentality leading into races.

"We have four words to go by: hard, float, kick, kick," she said.

"To prepare for a competition, there's just a lot of stretching and warm-ups and stuff like that involved."

With the competition under two months away, Rogers said they haven't thought much about new personal best times.

"In the heat, Danika ran a 1.00.01 seconds which was already a new PB, and in the final, she ran a 58.55 seconds," Rogers said.

"I think if we're looking towards PB's now, they'll be a lot smaller, at least that way we'll see more improvement.

No matter the result, Murray is looking forward to the competition.



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