Annie’s record-breaking reward provides timely lift
STATE recordbreaker Annie McGuire had an added reason to be satisfied with her latest athletic achievement.
Apart from being a massive personal best, McGuire's under-20 long jump feat provided a timely reward for her dedication - especially due to COVID-enforced training challenges.
The Ipswich-based competitor set the Queensland record of 6.49m at the recent Benita Willis meet at QSAC.
The 19-year-old also jumped 6.52m but that was ruled wind assisted.
Those outstanding efforts smashed her previous best leap of 6.39m two weeks earlier after her best jump was 6.30m last season.
The incredible improvement came after she recently finished her second year Bachelor of Psychological Science studies course at Griffith University.
"It was kind of good to have a break and just focus on long jump,'' she said. "So I definitely think that helped me get a big PB.''
The Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) athlete also had to train on her own for some weeks at the peak of the COVID shutdown.
She stuck to her QAS program doing regular sessions at Limestone Park.
"It was a bit tough for me to feel motivated to do gym and all that by myself but I got through it,'' the university student said.
When QAS training resumed, it was back to 45 minute morning trips six times a week.
"I'm still in Ipswich so it's a big drive,'' McGuire said.
"It's definitely a little big challenging but definitely worth it.''
She was pleased to produce her best effort earlier this month after the testing year.
"I knew I was getting in better shape than last season,'' she said.
"The previous record was 6.35 so I knew I could get past that but jumping nearly 6.50, I'll definitely take away that one.''
McGuire is still a member of the Lockyer District Athletics Club where she previously worked with elite coach Bailey Pashley.
When she was 17, McGuire set a Queensland Secondary Schools meet record in leaping a then-personal best 6.14m at the state championships in Brisbane.
She has also represented Australia, winning a long jump gold medal at the 2018 Oceania Melanasian Games.
The long jumper and sprinter's previous major competition was just before the COVID closure.
When all competition was shut down in March, she had to make major adjustments to her training program.
The long jump record came at a terrific time, greatly extended her 6.30m previous best leap.
Although being too old for next year's World Under-20 Championships, McGuire has set a new goal.
The Karribin athlete is hoping to compete at the 2021 World University Games in China, if that competition proceeds.
McGuire said she would also concentrate on open competition at state and national championships in the new year.
While long jump is her major event, McGuire will also enter some 100m events to keep up her speed.
She has an invitational meet in Canberra on Saturday.
As for her studies, McGuire is keeping her options open.
Her current work could lead her into a number of areas like sport, child psychology, clinical and counselling.
"After three years, I go on to something more specific,'' the busy but successful former West Moreton Anglican College student said.