Young Port Stephens athletes podium at national, state champs

TOP PERFORMERS: Lily Mullane, 12, Emma Cotton, 15, Shari Hurdman, 12, from Port Stephens Athletics Club and Jack Kenny, 15, from Raymond Terrace Athletics Centre.
TOP PERFORMERS: Lily Mullane, 12, Emma Cotton, 15, Shari Hurdman, 12, from Port Stephens Athletics Club and Jack Kenny, 15, from Raymond Terrace Athletics Centre.

Four young Port Stephens athletes have returned home from national and state athletics carnivals bearing medals.

Emma Cotton, 15, and Lily Mullane, 12, from Port Stephens Athletics Club, based in Nelson Bay, each won gold at the Australian Athletics Championships held at Sydney Olympic Park on April 6 and 7.

Lily, from Fern Bay, is the Australian champion in under-14 discuss after winning gold in the event. She came fifth in shot put and eighth in hammer throw.

Emma, from Salamander Bay, won gold with the NSW team in the under-18 4 by 100 metre relay and came fifth in the final of the under-17 400m.

Jack Kenny, 15, from Raymond Terrace Athletics Centre also attended the Australian Athletics Championships. He placed third in the under-17 boys javelin with a throw of 57.75m.

Jack, from Salt Ash, has been competing in javelin for three years.

"This is his best result so far," mother Alison Kenny said. "Earlier this year he came first at NSW Country Championships and second at the Little Athletics State Championships."

The Tomaree High School student recently won his school carnival, breaking the record by almost 10 metres.

Port Stephens Athletics Club member Shari Hurdman, 12, claimed two gold medals at the Little Athletics NSW State Competition at Homebush during the weekend of March 16-17.

Despite wet and unfavourable weather conditions, Shari's competitive determination kicked in and she gave it her best.

Shari, from Fingal Bay, won gold in the under-12 girls 100m sprint in a time of 13:26 seconds. She went on to win gold in the 200m sprint in a time of 27:10 seconds.

Shari's long jump event was cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions.

"Shari is thrilled about her achievements and has trained hard all season with coach Bob Walkley," mother Anja Hurdman said.

Shari has had a career best year. She set her fastest times in the 100m and 200m events in the under-14 age group at the NSW Athletics junior championship in February.

She followed this with two gold medals at the Little Athletics state championship and gold in the under-12 beach sprint at the NSW Surf Life Saving state titles, both in March.

"She is becoming a much stronger short distance sprinter now that she can deliver a powerful start," Hurdman said.

Shari will now enjoy a short break before starting training for the zone school athletics carnival where she will represent Tomaree High School.

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