Jack strives for Nationals


Jack Fairfield-Smith has taken his first steps towards representing Jindabyne Central School (JCS) at the Australian school athletics championships in Tasmania.

The 12-year-old Year Six student achieved a clean sweep of the track events at JCS's primary athletics carnival last week.

He hopes to make it to the state titles in the 800 metres in October for the third consecutive year and plans to go all the way to nationals in November.

Jack ran an impressive 2.32min in the 800m at the JCS carnival but is working on getting below 2.20m to be a challenger at the Australian championships.

The top three place getters at the state championships advance to nationals.

Jack finished a disappointing sixth at last year's state titles, something he put down to having just had a bad day.

In 2012, Jack finished second at the NSW titles to secure, what he thought, was a berth at the Australian Championships only to be told he had been disqualified for crossing the line too early.

"I'll never make that mistake again," he said.

Jack trains six days a week on his property outside of Jindabyne.

His training schedule includes 6x600m sprints up his steep driveway, 3x1km sprints and a 10-11km run most days in the high altitude.

On his day off from running, Jack trains for rugby.

"I was happy with my performance at the school carnival," Jack said.

"It's made me more determined to keep working hard to improve my times."

The NSW primary school record is 2:10.44 set back in 1995.

11-year-old Zoe Inches achieved at the JCS athletics carnival what Jack could not - a clean sweep of every event in her age group.

Zoe won the 100m, 200m, 800m, long jump, high jump and shot put to be crowned senior girls' champion.

Jack was beaten by Aiden Gibbs in the senior boys' long jump and shot put while Nick McLennan won the high jump with 1.25m despite having a badly injured ankle.

Special mention goes to Tom Milliken, who despite being the shortest boy in Year Six, came second in the high jump and third in the 100m.

Competitors who finished in the top two in their events will represent JCS at the district athletics carnival in Cooma on May 22.

It's then on to regional championships, state titles at Sydney Olympic Park on October 15 and 16 and nationals in Penguin, Tasmania in November.

JCS' age champions were Zana Evans, Fletcher Thew, Jackson Connelly, Josie Baff, Reagan Holliday, Zoe Inches and Jack Fairfield-Smith.

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