Young Gladstone athletes join Australia's elite
THREE Gladstone little athletes are off to rub shoulders with Australia's elite.
Tallis Stanhope, Sophie Duff and Maddie Sherriff have qualified for next year's junior nationals in Sydney in March in conjunction with the open national titles.
The three aspiring young athletes will compete at Sydney's Olympic Games facilities among current and future Olympians.
Gladstone Little Athletics president John Sherriff said the local competition had received a shot in the arm with the three athletes qualifying and it was great news for the trio.
"I know our athletes are very happy and looking forward to travelling down to Sydney next year," Sherriff said.
"It gives every little athlete in Gladstone encouragement and something to aim for."
The Gladstone trio qualified by competing at the Athletics North Queensland Championships in Townsville last weekend.
Stanhope, 15, finished first in the steeplechase and second in the 1500m.
Duff, 14, won the girls long jump and triple jump. Her 5.41m long jump mark exceed her previous NQ record but wasn't ratified because of a tail wind. she also ran a 13-second 100m to finish in third place.
Sherriff, 16, won the Open womens discus, the under-18 womens discus, the under-18 womens javelin and finished third in the shot put. It will be her second time at the titles.
The Townsville games also featured former Gladstone little athlete Ashley Jones, 22, who ran a 55-second 400m to break her own record.
Jason Stanhope, 14, also competed in Townsville, acquitting himself well in the shot put, discuss, 800m and 400m races.