Port Stephens athletes win big at School Sport Australia's national track and field championship

Shari Hurdman and Lily Mullane have proven they are among Australia’s best young track and field athletes after returning home to Port Stephens last week with national medals.

The pair, both aged 11, competed at the School Sport Australia National Track and Field 10-12 Championships in Melbourne between November 23 and 27.

Hurdman, a Shoal Bay Public School student, won gold in the 11 years’ girls 200 metre sprint final and bronze with team NSW in the four by 100m relay. She also placed fifth in the 100m sprint final.

“It feels pretty good,” Hurdman said when asked how it felt to win gold. “I’m the fastest 11 year old in Australia.

“I’m a little disappointed with the relay. We were coming first but we fumbled the baton pass a little and dropped to third.”

Mullane, a Fern Bay Public School student, won silver in the under-12 girls discuss.  Her best throw of the day, the second from six attempts, was 38m and 53cm.

“I’m pretty happy with second,” Mullane said.

Lily Mullane, 11.

Lily Mullane, 11.

It is the second year the pair have attended the school national track and field championship, coming off the back of strong state level results.

Hurdman and Mullane represented their schools at the NSW PSSA Primary Athletics Championship in Sydney at the end of October.

At the state level Hurdman won gold in the 11 years’ girls 200m final, defending her 2017 title, and silver in the 100m sprint. Mullane won gold for the under-12 girls discuss.

The pair, who attend Port Stephens Little Athletics in Nelson Bay together, are now focusing on the regional athletics carnival which will be held in Glendale in February.

Both attended the Port Hunter zone championships in Raymond Terrace last weekend and qualified for three events each at regionals.

Hurdman won the under-12 girls 100m sprint, 200m sprint and 400m sprint. She came second in long jump. Mullane came first in under-13 discuss, shot put and javelin events.

Should the girls do well at regionals, they will then move on to the state level.

For the past three years, in under-9, 10 and 11s, Mullane has won athletics gold for shotput and discuss. 

Shari Hurdman, 11.

Shari Hurdman, 11.

It is a record she is looking to extend next March when the state carnival rolls around.

She also has her sights set on making the Little Athletics national team for the first time next year. The national team is for athletes in under-13 and 15 age categories.

Mullane travels to Wyong twice a week to train with her coach, Kerry Smith. She Port Stephens and Medowie Little Athletics.

Hurdman trains with her coach Bob Walkley twice a week, attends Port Stephens Little Athletics, gymnastics and Nippers in Fingal Bay.