ATHLETICS: Gunnedah’s Bella Sawyer has achieved state representation and is headed to the Australian All Schools athletics championships at Adelaide in December.

The talented teenager will compete in the under-16 girls high jump after placing a clear second with a jump of 1.60 metres at the recent NSW All Schools Championships at Sydney Olympic Park. 

“Although well below her personal best of 1.72m, we are not that worried about the height as it was in heavy rain and most of the competitors were under their best,” coach Maryanne Perkins said. 

“Bella is enjoying a week off before a heavy training program begins next week for the two-month lead into nationals. 

“Apart from the weekly speed and weekly jump sessions, Bella will be working on her power at Gunnedah Health and Fitness (GHFC) to try and get back to her new personal best achieved in August at the Armidale Diocesan athletics in Tamworth.”

Bella also nailed an exciting personal best of 5.03m in the long jump event at  the NSW All Schools, placing an impressive fifth in the state – her strongest result to date. 

Gunnedah’s Cooper O’Neill, also a GHFC athlete, had an awesome meet with a personal best in the 200m, which placed him 13th in the state. He also registered an impressive three-second improvement on his best  in the 400m which secured him second place in his heat. 

“Cooper then backed up the next day with another PB of 57.35 in the 400m final, after a nasty fall a few metres out from the finish line before which he was in a clear third,” Maryanne Perkins said.

“This is Cooper’s first year of competing in the 400m and so is an exciting result and indication of his strong potential.”

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