Kaila Kirkwood
Kaila Kirkwood

PHOTOS: Records for teenage pair in athletics

ATHLETICS:Nic Barton and Kaila Kirkwood are reaching new heights in their respective disciplines.

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Barton, 15, recently broke the Gladstone Athletics Club under-16 high jump record by 2cm.

He cleared the bar with a jump of 1.72m, which eclipsed the previous record of 1.70m.

Kirkwwod, also 15, romped home in the U17 200m sprint in a time of 32.27sec.

This bettered the time set by Maddison Smith back in the 2011-12 season (32.80sec).

Barton, who topped Cameron Fitzimmons's leap set in 2016-17, said he competed at a few high-level events during the year.

"I went to the Queensland School Sport 13-19 years track and field for high jump and triple jump held in Cairns in October," Barton said.

"I placed 12th in high jump out of the top 18 competitors in the state, jumping a height of 1.74m and I hopped, skipped and jumped a length of 11.78m in triple jump but did not place well.

"In triple jump I was satisfied with my results with consistent jumps, no fouls and close to my personal best."

Barton admitted he was a little disappointed with 1.74m in high jump because his best was 1.80m.

"If I did get my PB, or better, I would have got top six, which was a goal that I had set for the event this year," he said.

Barton's best event is high jump and this was the third year he represented Capricornia at the State Titles.

"I also got to represent Queensland in the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney earlier this year, which was a highlight for me," he said.

Barton thanked his coaches including his jumps coaches Trudy Sheppard and Ralph Newton as well as his gym and school coaches Tarquam Robinson and Tenille King.

"I also would like to thank Gladstone Athletics Club for being very supportive and making it possible for me to train and in particular I would like to thank the Gladstone Athletics Club president Shane Gibson," he said.

Barton said he hoped to break his own high jump record before the season finished in March.

"I hope to compete at the Queensland Athletics State Championship in March 2020," he said.

Kirkwood said she had exceeded her own expectations at a recent club meet.

"I wasn't expecting to break a record at all and I was quite surprised," she said.

Kirkwood said she was keeping her options open in athletics.

"I'm really interested in jumping while trying to learn all the other events," she said.

Kirkwood said her schoolteacher and coach Trudy Shepherd had helped her immensely to improve.

"I want to compete in the Regionals in February and I aim to improve my technique throughout the season and gain a lot more PB times," Kirkwood said.



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