Speed-skating queen outstanding
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
HER parents almost had to hire a truck to bring home the medals after Karlea Boyd's record-breaking performance at the Queensland Speed Skating Championships in Beenleigh recently.
Thirteen-year-old Karlea swept all before her at the three day event, winning nine gold medals and a silver in an amazing performance.
Her outstanding achievements also saw her selected as the most improved skater in Queensland and named as the 2004 junior girls age champion.
As a result, Karlea has been selected for her third State team for the National championships in Melbourne in February, while she will represent Australia for the first time in April.
A key to Karlea's success was her versatility as she collected gold medals over distances from 200 metres to 15 kilometres and on two surfaces - track and bitumen.
The quietly-spoken Karlea mentioned she had an enjoyable time at the championships and was looking forward to representing Australia next year.
"It should be fun, I had a good time in Beenleigh and hoping to go well for Australia,'' Boyd said.
Karlea trained three times a week under the guidance of Reef City Speed Skating club coach Paul McRae and her preparation was a key factor in the state championship success.
"I trained pretty hard and it paid off for me which was good,'' Boyd said.
Karlea is the only member of her family to be involved in speed skating, but her parents Alan and Pam have spent countless hours involved in training and travelling to events.
Her state championship performance was a feature of a strong effort by the small Reef City club who finished fifth overall.
Other members to perform exceptionally well were Kirsty McRae who finished with seven medals in the senior women division, Jim Mulherrin who picked up two medals, Tamson McRae who returned from a three-year break to pick up a bronze and Brendan Hair who is still recovering after a car accident, produced a big effort.