Local athletes cash in on gold rush

LAST weekend’s Australian All Schools athletics carnival in Townsville saw two Shoalhaven teenagers walk away with gold medals. 

Rosie-May Davidson from Nowra Anglican College was the winner of the under 16 girls 2000 metre steeplechase, while Nowra High’s Samantha Peace took out the gold in the under 16s discus. 

Davidson’s winning time of 7:10.99 was an impressive eight seconds ahead of second and she had the lead right from the gun. 

“That was my strategy, to run hard to the first barrier and see how I could go from there,” she said.

“I was hoping for a pb or run around 7:10, so in the heat it was good. 

“As we only flew in on the morning of the race, I had to get used to the heat very quickly.

“At the NSW All Schools it was 38 degree heat so that probably would have helped a bit.”

Davidson also picked up a third place in the 800 metres to cap off what has been a great year for her. 

This has included wins in the steeplechase at the NSW country championships, NSW junior athletics championships and breaking the record at the NSW All Schools in Sydney. 

In cross country she placed second at the NSW All Schools and was a member of the winning NSW team at the Australian All Schools cross country in Tasmania.

For all of her efforts, she received an award for most outstanding athletic achievement and was named middle/long distance athlete of the year at the Illawarra Blue Stars Awards. 

Samantha Peace is no stranger to being at the top, having won the gold at the NSW All Schools, but she had doubts about whether she could do it again.

“Going into the last throw I wasn’t in the lead and there was a lot of pressure to come up with a winning throw,” she said. 

“I thought maybe it wasn’t my turn this time, but I overcame everything by having a positive mindset.” 

Peace was able to calm her nerves and came up with throw of 44.45 metres to take the gold. 

She said the huge amount of support she had from her family and Nowra High helped get her over the line.

Peace said being the best discus thrower for her age in the country is an unreal feeling and is looking forward to getting back out and competing. 

On the horizon are the country championships in January, the youth and junior nationals in March and the open’s nationals in Melbourne in April, which will be the first time she competes in the open’s section. 

While most people are preparing for the festive season, Peace is going to continue her intensive training. 

“You’ve got to prioritise,” she said.  

“Last year I actually had a training session on Christmas Day and I’ll probably do that again.” 

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