Rising teen primed for race bid
HARD-working Prenzlau athlete Melissa Hamer is so close, she can nearly throw her arms in the air with delight.
With just 1cm more needed, the 16-year-old discus thrower could achieve her dream as early as next weekend.
Hamer is striving to qualify for the World Junior Track and Field Championships in France in July.
After achieving a personal best 44.69m throw at open club competition last Friday night, she needs a slight improvement to join the Australian team.
Her latest throw at QE2 added a metre to her previous best.
While happy with her tremendous improvement this season, the Lockyer Valley athlete is anxious to reach the qualifying standard at next week’s Australian Junior Track and Field Championships.
“I’m pretty keen. I really want to make it,” she said, excited about the prospect of competing at the world junior titles.
After tackling some big assignments this week, the year 12 Lowood State High School student will head to Sydney next Wednesday to prepare for her Friday competition.
She’s lining up in the under-18 and under-20 discus events, hoping to achieve the 44.70m throw she needs.
Hamer’s steady progress has been built on a platform of dedication and extra effort.
“I’ve been doing weights and training in the off-season,” the Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitor said.
“When everyone else was on holidays, I was training.
“It’s paid off.”
Hamer maintained her pleasing progress with a 43.55m throw at last month’s Queensland Junior Championships. Her second in the under-18 event was also a personal best throw.
“I’m really excited about that now,” she said, looking towards next week’s nationals.
“I’m fit and ready to go.”
Hamer has felt confident about her throwing since a personal best at the Ipswich Winter Carnival last year.
While completing her school work is important, Hamer finds athletics helps her focus.
“It’s hard to juggle but I get there,” she said.
Hamer is part of an impressive Ipswich contingent preparing for next week’s nationals.
Other club representatives competing are Ashlee Stieler (U/14 80m hurdles), Rhiana Webber (U/14 triple jump), Tanika Marshall (U/15 200m hurdles and high jump), Madeline McGuire (U/15 400m and 800m), Isabelle Harland (U/16 200m hurdles and 90m hurdles), Larissa Chambers (U17 200m and 100m), Jacqueline Griffin (U/20 high jump), Kara-Lyn Hodges (U/20 long jump) and Joshua Kemp (U/18 110m hurdles).