Record breakers sprint to national athletics podium

ATHLETICS: Two of the Southern Downs rising track and field stars returned home this week having competed in the School Sport Australia Track and Field Championships in Canberra.

Lucy Bourke from Warwick and Zac Beckwith from Killarney represented Queensland in 12 years and under track and field events last week.

With no formal training outside school, Beckwith became an accidental hero when he won gold in the finals of the long jump.

The winning leap of 5.46m was a personal best for the Killarney State School student.

He also placed ninth in the finals of the boy's high jump.

Zac's mother Lisa Buggie attributed her son's success to a recent growth spurt.

"He's been doing some training with P.E. teacher Louise Rolfe at school but he doesn't do any private training or set schedule," she said.

"He's kind of just fallen into it.

"In the last two years he's really shot up in size and he started to really enjoy the sport when he began to do so well."

Zac's father Jeremy Beckwith passed away when he was two years old and the Year 6 student dedicates his growing collection of medals to his father.

"He's really got a collection going now, I'll have to buy a cabinet to put them all in," Lisa Buggie said.

"He does it all for his dad."

Beckwith and Bourke burst on to the junior athletics scene when they broke four records each earlier this year at the Southern Downs Athletics Championships.

Bourke goes to Scots PGC College and competed in the track events in Canberra.

She finished 11th and 12th in the 100m and 200m sprint finals and won a silver medal with the Queensland 4x100m relay final.

Lucy ran a personal best in the 100m final with a time of 14.04.

The gold medallist in the 100m and 200m was Gabriella Taylor from NSW who is the daughter of former Olympian Melinda Gainsford-Taylor.

It was the first time competing at the track and field championships for both young athletes.

They are hoping to hold on to their Queensland jerseys for next year when they can qualify for the All Schools Nationals.



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