Long Flat will soon boast an athletics champion.
Nathan Graham has swept all before him in NSW competition where he remains undefeated in three different competitions – senior athletics, Little Athletics and schools competition.
The 14-year-old attends Wauchope High School and recently attended the Australian Athletics Championships at Homebush.
He came away with two silver medals.
In the under 16s javelin throw, Nathan threw a personal best of 50.27 metres and was leading all the way until the final throw.
In a nail-biting finish, Nathan eventually missed the gold medal by a mere nine centimetres. This result saw Nathan claim back to back silver medals after claiming silver in Perth the previous year.
The youngster also showed his athletic versatility by claiming a silver medal in the 200m hurdle – again with a personal best of 26.91.
And his career is beginning to take off after being invited to take part in the Australian Little Athletics under 15s camp held at the Australian Institute of Sport.
The high achievers camp was for all state champions for each of the disciplines.
“I am really comfortable at that level and the training has really helped me in my recent competitions,” Nathan said.
“Following the camp, I lengthened my run up and incorporated a longer stride.
“I took up the javelin when I started attending Little Athletics at Wauchope’s Blackbutt Oval each Friday night. Some of the parents would give me advice on how to throw the javelin – it is just something I enjoy doing.”
The rising athlete acknowledged that, one day, he would have to decide between javelin and hurdles.
“I will definitely continue with the javelin,” he added.
Although he regularly attends spring training sessions with Port Macquarie’s Wayne Whealy during the summer months, he is essentially left on his own to continue to improve his javelin.
“I just go out in the backyard and throw the jav,” he said.
While he continues to find a javelin coach to maintain his level of expertise, Nathan has an eye on future world athletics championships.
However, to quality he will have to throw an entry level 68 metres to reach the world stage.