AN AWARDS shelf fills up pretty quickly when you are one of the fastest 13-year-olds in the country.
Gladstone's Seth Gould has that claim to fame, after he won bronze in the under-13 100 m sprint event at the Little Athletics Nationals in Melbourne on May 3.
"I'm starting to need to get another shelf," Gould laughed.
Gould competed at five events in Melbourne, breaking personal best times in the 100m final (12.02 seconds) and the 200m consolation final, which he won in 25.92 seconds.
"It was a little bit of a surprise," Gould said of his success.
The shortest competitor at the elite level, Gould's explosive start is his strong suit.
It's an asset that can be attributed to his dedication to strength training and harnessing pre-race jitters.
"I don't usually overcome them (nerves)," he said. "I use them to my advantage in every single event I do.
"I do lunges, sumos, high knees, bum kicks, a lot of jumps, tuck jumps and a couple of other things."
After starting athletics with the Gladstone Little Athletics Club two years ago, Gould trains most days for about an hour.
"I didn't really recognise my speed - my PE teacher over at Clinton State School recognised it and he got me into Little Athletics - so, it's because of him I came this far," he said. "I reckon I've improved my natural talent a bit."
Playing rugby league for Brothers and touch football also helps keep the youth in top fitness, but his busy schedule means there's no real off-season in sight.
"If I'm lucky, just a couple days of rest," Gould said.
The next big event on the calendar for Gould is the Winter Championship in Townsville during the next school holidays - an event where he may debut a block start rather than standing, as he used at the nationals.
"Since I'm starting to use the blocks for the 100m, I'm thinking about using blocks and trying to beat my PB using blocks," he said.
- 100m heat: time 12.34 seconds
- 100m final: 12.02 seconds, third place
- 200m heat: 26.04 seconds
- 200m consolation final: 25.92 seconds, first place and ninth overall
- 4x 100m relay: 48.87 seconds, fourth place
- Little Athletics Queensland won the Alan Triscott Trophy