Mitch carves up on the track and in the shed
JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON OF THE MONTH: MITCH Christiansen does everything he can to get the most out of himself.
On the athletics track, he is focused, determined to achieve clearly set goals.
In Year 12 at McAuley Catholic College, he is thinking big and is currently building a home bar as his major woodwork project.
"Woodwork is definitely my favourite subject," the budding handyman said.
"I made a table last year and a bar this year."
Mitch, who recently turned 18, lives with cerebral palsy. But he is breaking down all sorts of physical barriers.
On February 7-8, he competed in the NSW Under-20s Track and Field Championships, winning gold in the 400 metres and bronze in the 200 metres in T37 class.
He smashed his personal best times in both events - running 1:02.15 for the 400m and shedding a whole second off 28.19s to 27.17s in the 200m.
His 200m time broke the Australian Under-18 record - which he missed eligibility for by a month. But he now has his sights in the Australian Under-20 record of 26.74s - with a couple of years still up his sleeve.
"I've been training real hard and have got a lot more power," Mitch said.
Just last weekend he was at it again, winning silver in the 400m (1:02.23), silver in 200m (27.22s) and bronze in 100m (13.74s) at NSW Open Track and Field Championships - all three times just outside his personal best.
There is no sign of slowing up with a huge month coming up.
This weekend, Mitch and fellow AWD athlete James Bertalli will compete in the Queensland Open Championships, followed by the Australian Under-20 Championships in Sydney a week later and the Australian Open Championships in Brisbane on March 28.
Junction Hill coach Terry West has been credited with helping progress so far on the track.
"He's been very good and he's on target for nationals," West said.