Six Broome Little Athletics champions compete in WA State Junior Track and Field Championships

Cain AndrewsBroome Advertiser
Max Mitchell, 11, Kayleigh Howard, 10, Oliver Ferguson, 11, Sonny Palazzo, 12, Brinley McGaffin, 9, and Chad Ford, 10.
Camera IconMax Mitchell, 11, Kayleigh Howard, 10, Oliver Ferguson, 11, Sonny Palazzo, 12, Brinley McGaffin, 9, and Chad Ford, 10. Credit: Supplied

A squad of six Broome Little Athletics champions made their way to Perth to compete in the 2023 WA State Junior Track and Field Championships, joining young athletes from across the State in a battle for athletics supremacy.

Despite facing challenges such as limited resources and extreme weather conditions, the young athletes proved their mettle by achieving commendable results.

Chad Ford, 10, secured fourth and fifth place in the State for 70m and 100m sprinting, while Brinley McGaffin, 9, finished fourth in the State for 60m hurdles.

Kayleigh Howard, 10, impressed with a sixth-place finish for 80m hurdles and eighth for high jump, and Max Mitchell, 11, clinched sixth place in high jump.

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Despite having no experience running on grass before, Sonny Palazzo, 12, secured 8th and 10th places in the State for 200m and 100m sprinting respectively.

Oliver Ferguson, 11, was the only thrower from Broome, and despite spraining his hand a week before the event, toughed it out and finished an impressive 16th in the State.

Broome Little Athletics president Kelly Ford praised the young athletes for their commendable performances in the face of adversity.

“The metro and southern athletes are all in their current season. Our season finished in September 2022, so for these six athletes to continue training and place in the top 6 and 10 in the State is impressive,” she said.

Ms Ford said that the championships provided a great opportunity for the young athletes to assess their performance and identify areas for improvement.

“Every athlete has walked away from the event with things to work on,” she said.

“When you are up against the best of the best, it is a great way to assess where you are at and reflect.

“We envisage some podium finishes at States next year and hope to take a larger team down to experience the amazing event.”

Looking ahead, Broome Little Athletics will be participating in the Northwest Championships held in Karratha in September later this year before gearing up for the Country Championships held in Geraldton in early 2024.

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