In December, Queanbeyan’s Laura Warner and Tia Hatchman both traveled to Cairns to take part in the Australian All Schools Championships.
The girls, who normally represent the Queanbeyan Athletics Club (QAC), both competed well in what were very difficult conditions.
Laura, who is 15, finished 12th in the Under 16 Girls 200m Hurdles and sixth in both the Under 16 Girls 4x100m Relay and the 1000m Swedish Medley Relay.
Meanwhile Tia, who is 16, came 17th in the Under 18 Girls 100m, 19th in the Under 18 Girls 200m, sixth in the Under 18 Girls Swedish Medley Relay, and seventh in the Under 18 Girls 4x100m Relay.
While their results were middling, both girls struggled to acclimate to “near-cyclonic” conditions.
“It [the result] was alright considering we were in cyclone conditions and I had been training for the humidity and the dry heat,” Laura said.
“I wasn’t expecting it, but you can’t really control the weather, you just have to go with it.”
It was the first time either of the girls had competed on a national stage, and both Tia and Laura commented on the experience which they had taken away.
“Staying with different athletes and competing against everyone from Australia, you can definitely take away experience from the way people act,” Laura said.
“Knowing that you’re going to be competing in that age range for a number of years, [I was] looking for places to improve and see what I can come away with next time,” Tia said.
President of the QAC, Chris Hanna, congratulated both girls on their success and said that although they were representing their schools and not the club, it is proof that Queanbeyan athletes have a number of avenues for success.
“If they put the effort in, the rewards were there,” he said.
“We celebrate all their successes, whether they’re directly for Queanbeyan or whether they’re through other endeavours.
“It shows them what’s available to athletics … Because we’ve got the ACT next door and because we’re affiliated with them, athletes have a better chance than most to reach the national stage.”
Both girls thanked the QAC and its volunteers and officials for their support in making national representation a possibility.