Nationally identified high jumper Cassie Purdon goes through her warm-up drills before competing in her recent Australian championships event in Sydney.
Nationally identified high jumper Cassie Purdon goes through her warm-up drills before competing in her recent Australian championships event in Sydney. Contributed

Cassie leaps into Aussie squad

RISING regional high jumper Cassie Purdon is enjoying her end-of-season break with an added sense of satisfaction.

Apart from some terrific performances at state and national level, the Lanefield-based athlete has received deserved recognition.

The 15-year-old has been included in the Athletics Australia under-17 Development Squad.

She'll join other promising athletes for clinics and training programs at the Australian Institute of Sport from April 26-29.

The clinic will interrupt her break after her last major competition at the state titles recently. However, the Faith Lutheran College student is excited.

"I think it's really good," she said, having won the under-20 high jump and placing second in the under-17 event at the Queensland championships.

Purdon has been working with experienced Ipswich and District Athletic Club coach Bailey Pashley since last August.

"She was observed at her College Sports Day as having untapped potential using scissors technique," Pashley said.

"She started the new technique of flop in September last year.

"Cassie possesses an extraordinary natural explosive take-off ability."

Pashley said being involved in the national junior development squad would help Purdon in a variety of areas, including being part of a team atmosphere.

"National coaches will oversee training programs and squad members will be educated in other aspects of the sport - nutrition, progressive training loads, peaking for competition, programming training with home and school commitments and other activities that impact on a young person's life as an athlete," Pashley said.

Purdon came fourth in her under-17 event at the national titles in Sydney in March. She jumped 1.70m.

Her personal best of 1.73m was achieved at a Gold Coast meeting in December last year.

"He (Pashley) has helped my a lot, just in my technique because I started doing flop," Purdon said.

Relaxing at her home near Rosewood, Purdon enjoys horse riding on her property while having a break from athletics.



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