Running over the competition
By ALEX CRAIG
ACCORDING to his mother Kim, Alec Franzke ran his first cross-country at the age of three, at a sports day at Omeo Primary School where she was teaching at the time.
Since starting school at Tawonga, Alec has won every cluster cross-country event in his age group and this year, at the age of 10, won through to the state finals in Bundoora, where he came second.
The young runner’s achievement earned him selection in Team Victoria, to compete in the School Sport Australia National Championships last weekend.
The event sees a wide range of both individual and team sports and on top of the competitive aspect School Sport Australia puts an emphasis on providing educational, social and cultural experiences.
This year the champion- ships were held on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and involved the top six performers in each sport from each Australian state, plus New Zealand.
Alec’s event was the 10 years and under cross-country individual event (2km) followed by a team relay.
The event was run over very hilly terrain, with Alec coming home in 14th in a field of 40.
He was just 20 seconds be- hind the winner with a time was 7mins 40secs, a result he was pleased with after a tough start.
Alec’s has followed in the footsteps of his father Evan who in 1986, at the age of 12, competed in the same crosscountry event, and was part of a winning relay team that year.
Alec’s activities as a serious cross-country athlete have included Wandi Cross, the Bright Fun Run, the Mt Bogong Conquestathon and the Jindera Fun Run.
Earlier this year when just nine, Alec crossed the line first in the under 16 males in the 4.2km Half Nail Can Hill event in Albury, in 17mins17secs.
At the Mt Beauty Half Marathon in May he completed the 3km distance in a time of 12.33 to be the third male overall.
Alec’s training regime is not formal, but he runs regu- larly with the Mt Beauty Park Run and a couple of weeks ago he recorded a personal best time of 19.40 over 5km.
With other students at Tawonga Primary School he runs laps around the school yard and has clocked up over 200 kilometres so far this year.
He also rides his bike to school most days, goes crosscountry skiing and practices soccer on Sunday afternoons with family and friends.
RUNNING TALENT: Alec Franzke crossed the line in third in the 3km race at the Mt Beauty Half Marathon earlier this year and the 10 year-old also recently competed in the School Sport Australia championships in Queensland.