BAILEY'S GOT SPEED TO BURN
Young sprinter a triple threat at state championships
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.