NOWRA’S Samantha Peace has thrown a three metre personal best to take out the under 17 years girls discus event at the Australian Junior National Athletics Championships last week.
Peace was up against some stiff competition going into nationals, including one competitor from New Zealand.
Entering the competition Peace was ranked third with her personal best throw sitting at 44.64 metres.
Adding to Peace’s load was the fact she was still recovering from a back injury which she suffered three weeks before nationals.
Despite this, she continued her five days per week training schedule.
“I really shouldn’t have been training, but I was really determined to do it,” she said.
Peace also had a not so secret weapon on the day in the form of her Nowra High School PASS class and teacher Mason Keane, who had made the journey up just to cheer her on.
Peace was given three throws with the top eight earning another throw.
Peace’s first throw went 40 metres and although it was enough to get her to the finals she was not happy with it.
“I was really nervous. But I took a step back, was told to enjoy myself, and just put on a smile and went back there with a better headspace,” she said.
Peace’s second throw was a winning 47.59 metres, seven metres ahead of her closest competitor.
She backed this up with another throw of 47.10 metres.
“Just to show it wasn’t a fluke,” she laughed.
Peace said it was good to share the podium with fellow NSW competitors Grace Robinson and Tegan Fennell.
The same day Peace also competed in the next discus division, the girls under 20s.
Here she finished fourth with a throw of 45 metres, just five metres off the winner.
“I am really happy with how I performed as I was not expecting to throw 47 metres. I had high expectations from state, but not that high,” she said.
Peace will compete at the Little Athletics State Championships this weekend.
“This should be a bit more relaxed. It will be good to see if I can get another big throw and finish the season on a high,” she said.
Peace thanked the support from her school, especially the students who travelled up to cheer her on and Mr Keane.
She also thanked her parents and coach for their support.