Young sprinter a triple threat at state cham­pi­onships

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

DO NOT be alarmed if you thought you saw a sand­storm near Woodgate last week­end – that was just Bai­ley Gra­ham get­ting in some ex­tra sprint train­ing ahead of the state cham­pi­onships.

The 10-year-old speed­ster trav­elled to Bris­bane on Mon­day for the cham­pi­onships, with Gra­ham sched­uled to fea­ture in up to four events.

He was locked in for the 100m, 200m and 4x100m re­lay and, in a dis­play of his ver­sa­til­ity and ath­letic abil­ity, first re­serve for the 800m.

The Year 4 stu­dent has blitzed Good­wood State School’s record book, eclips­ing pre­vi­ous best times set by dad Ben’s mates up to 20 years ago.

“Some of th­ese records are 20-odd years old and he’s beaten them,” Ben said.

“He’s knocked a few over this year and we’re wait­ing to hear back on a few oth­ers.”

Gra­ham ran the 100m in 14.38s to qual­ify for the state cham­pi­onships, less than half a sec­ond off the pace of the reign­ing state cham­pion (13.90).

With that mark in mind, Gra­ham needed to im­prove his PB by more than half a sec­ond to win.

On Tues­day he ran a time of 14.70 to fin­ish 31st out of the 44 over­all starters, almost a full sec­ond be­hind North Western’s light­ning quick Den­zil Perkins (13.78).

But the sprinter, who plays full­back for Brothers Ju­nior Rugby League (Bund­aberg), was happy enough just to be there.

“I just went out there and had a go,” Gra­ham said.

“I’m con­fi­dent but I don’t want to be too con­fi­dent. I’m ex­pect­ing a tough run and some hard peo­ple to go up against.”

Gra­ham, along with Coach Dad, has spent ex­tra time train­ing at Woodgate Beach to im­prove his speed and give him­self ev­ery chance of a top per­for­mance.

“No ob­jec­tives, just run­ning for 15-20 min­utes at a time,” Gra­ham said.

“I like the short dis­tances. Long dis­tance is good but I pre­fer short.”

Good­wood State School prin­ci­pal Steve Cole­man said Gra­ham had al­ways shown star qual­i­ties.

The school has thrust Gra­ham’s name in lights for the past few weeks, with a large “good luck” mes­sage on the school’s no­tice­board on Good­wood Rd.

“He’s al­ways shown great po­ten­tial in our events,” Cole­man said.

“He’s a very highly en­thu­si­as­tic and ath­letic sports­man and is of­ten bring­ing home age cham­pion ti­tles.

“This is his first chance at state level and he’s been itch­ing for a long time to have a go.”


GET SET: Good­wood State School’s Bai­ley Gra­ham will com­pete in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m re­lay and is a re­serve for the 800m at the state cham­pi­onships.

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