Not one, but two national gold medals for Moruya High School’s Jaylah Hancock-Cameron.
Jaylah reached the 2017 national Australian All Schools Championships in Adelaide, and ran away with the 800-metre and 1500-metre titles.
Jaylah was understated about her achievement.
“It felt pretty good,” she said.
“I’ve been to the championships before – in Canberra, last year – so this was my second time.
“I was more prepared this year.”
Prepared enough to walk away with two surprise PBs.
“In the 800m I did a 208.44, in the 1500 it was 428.01,” she said.
“I didn’t expect PBs, because the races are for medals, so it was a coincidence.”
She was joined at the national titles by Asha Martin, who found something extra to smash her state final time and finish sixth in her age group for the 3000m.
At state level, Asha came 2nd in the 3000m, with a time of 10:30.98.
At the nationals, the 17-year old ran outside herself to best that time by 23 seconds and her personal best time by seven seconds, finishing in 10.06.
The Congo runner has just started year 12 studies at Moruya High School but is determined to run even faster.
She put her improvement down to “knowing it was the Australian championships and just pushing myself to do the best I can”.
There was also the minor matter of “lots of training beforehand” with Ulladulla athletics coach Andae Kalemusic, who worked with both girls twice each week at Hanging Rock. Asha now wants a finishing kick.
“We are coming out of cross country season, which is a lot of long distance, and we are just starting to work on speed,” she said.
“You need endurance to stay strong and run fast the whole way, but you need speed to finish strong at the end. I had nothing left at the end. I had no kick on me at all. I need to work on that.”
She still had plenty to celebrate in reaching the nationals.
“I was overwhelmed and happy that I got a PB. It gets me excited for races to come.”
Asha came 3rd in the 1500m at the state titles in 4:42.69
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