Ives eyes state cross country crown
THEY may not be great in number but the Clarence Valley contingent heading south for the CHS and PSSA state cross country carnivals will be tough to beat.
South Grafton High will send six runners to the CHS carnival while Maclean High will send four.
Maclean High's representatives have benefited from the expertise of accomplished runner and exchange teacher Ceri Mitchell.
"It's awesome for the school," fellow teacher Nicole Smith said. "Quite a few students made it which is great."
Maclean Public School is the only Valley school to be represented at PSSA after Kalani Ives won the regional event.
"She won the two stages before that as well," Kalani's dad Todd said. "She's pretty excited for it."
The North Coast teams will travel to Blacktown today before heading to Eastern Creek International Raceway for the carnival.
"It is a long trip down and back for one day so I'm not looking forward to it as much," Todd Ives said.
"She loves it so we're happy to do the travel."
Ives, who is already one of the top nippers in Northern New South Wales, will compete in the 8/9yrs category.
Her father said she had spent some time training in preparation for her tilt at the state title, but recent illness has slowed her down.
"At the start of the holidays she was running up the top of Clarence St hill and back," he said.
"The past week or so the kids got sick and we've got it too so we haven't done too much recently.
"Her big thing is nippers though, she does well in everything she tries. We often train with Jim Dougherty and Peter Rheinberger and a few of those guys from Yamba SLSC."
Ives' mother Jasmin said Kalani would have not been able to make it to Sydney without the help of the local community and businesses of the Clarence Valley.
"A big thank you to the anonymous donation of $250 for Kalani to attend state," Jasmin said.
Ron Skinner won the $500 cash prize for the 100 club which raised $500 towards Kalani's trip to Sydney.
NORTH COAST REPS
Maclean Public - Kalani Ives
Maclean High - Lachlan Culton, Jess Gumb, Sophie Lindner, Kelsey Sheehan
South Grafton High - Nathan Bagster, Barry Tylar (T20), Shiann Broderick, Selwyn King, Travis Woodhouse