Nathalie’s breaking down sprint barriers
Blink and you'll miss her. Brooms Head 12-year-old Nathalie Avery is just that fast.
At the New South Wales Junior and Youth Athletics Championships last month Avery won her first gold in the under-14 girls 100m - running the final in 13 seconds-flat.
It was a personal best for the pint-sized pocket rocket that did not stand for long. Just over a week later the sprinter won another 100m gold medal, this time at the Little Athletics Regional Championships when Avery ran the under-13 final in 12.98 seconds.
Avery also claimed gold in the under-13 200m event.
"I felt pretty great," she said.
"I have been pushing to break the 13 second barrier ever since I broke the fourteen barrier.
"Now I am trying to get it down to the mid-twelves.
"It was a really good track at the regional championships, there was a slight head wind but it wasn't too hard to run against."
Avery is now focused on the Australian Junior Athletics Championships next week where she is hopeful of getting a place.
"I think my time at the states champs is about fourth or fifth fastest heading into nationals," she said.
"Dad and I usually like to look at what the other states are doing so I know what I am coming up against."
With juggling three major athletics meetings in the space of a month and school work it can get hard for the 12-year-old to stay on track.
"It is pretty full on - I cope with it pretty well," she said.
"But sometimes I get a bit stressed out because I have a lot to do but it is okay."
Avery was not alone at the Little Athletics Regional Carnival with 11 athletes from the Grafton Little Athletics Club at Newcastle for the event.
In what was a successful weekend for the club nine competitors automatically qualified for the State Championships by finishing first or second in their event and three athletes set records.
Krystal McMahon received a gold medal for under-12 discus and a bronze medal for the 400m sprint. Lainie Casserly won gold in under-12 high jump.
Participating in the under-15 girls events were Erica and Megan Tillman.
Erica achieved gold and a new record of 1.58m for high jump.
She also won silver for triple jump, and a bronze medal in the 200m hurdles.
Megan received two silver medals, one in high jump, the other for javelin.
Daniel Lavender won a gold medal and set a new record in under-11 1100m walk in a time of 6:46.86.
The previous record was 7:41.11.
Damien Duroux won silver in the under-15 200m sprint while Liam Bloomer won silver in the under-17 200m sprints, and three bronze medals for long jump, triple jump and 100m sprint.
Kyle McIlveen won two under-17 silver medals for high jump and the 200m hurdles and bronze for 110m hurdles.