Ipswich teen thrives on new steeplechase challenge

LIKE many teenagers, Emily Beston likes swimming and going to the beach.

However, it’s a new association with water that has the confident Redbank Plains athlete clearing higher hurdles.

Emily, 14, is off to Perth tomorrow to represent the Ipswich and District Athletics Club and Queensland at the Australian Junior Championships.

While her clubmates tackle more conventional track and field disciplines, Emily will be contesting the under-16 2000m steeplechase on Friday night.

“I’m very excited,” she said, preparing for her first national titles.

“I’m really looking forward to what the future has for me.”

Emily’s event involves four barriers and one water jump on each lap of the race.  That’s a total of 20 barriers and five water jumps over 2km.

Girls have to run over 76.2cm barriers and the water jump is 3.66m long with the deepest point of 70cm at the barrier.

The barriers are 3.94m long, allowing several runners to hurdle at the same time.

“When I first saw steeplechase, it was like a fun event to do so I tried it out and I really enjoyed it,” Emily said.

“It’s different and I like the fact that it’s a long distance event and you get to jump in the water.”

The former Goodna Little Athletics competitor hasn’t looked back since late last year.

Her most recent success was winning the state under-16 title at the Queensland Sports and Athletic Centre.

Emily came third in her new event at the Secondary All Schools State championships last October.  She also made finals for the 800m and 1500m.

Last December, she ran her personal best steeplechase time (7.31.62) at an All Comers meet on the Gold Coast.

The Redbank Plains State High School year 10 student also made the Australia A squad for steeplechasing.

Emily is the 2012-13 QT-City of Ipswich junior sportstar for January in the annual awards backed by Ipswich City Council.

She is coached by Brad Robinson, having enjoyed athletics with the Ipswich and Goodna clubs for seven years.

“Brad is a very good coach.  I enjoy training with him,” Emily said.

“It’s a lot of hard work and it’s fun.”

Her weekly training schedule includes lots of long distance work and sprints to keep up her speed.


Bursary Rewards

Other Ipswich City Council bursary winners in January were Nikki and Alex Dawes.

Nikki was selected to represent Queensland at the National Futsal Championships in Sydney.

After recently representing Queensland in Townsville, Alex was again selected to play in Sydney as part of the Queensland Country U14 futsal team.  Alex has captained his team for the past four years.

Ipswich City Council offers bursaries up to $300 to help young achievers with costs of competition.

To nominate a regional achiever for a bursary, visit ipswich.qld.gov.au or call 3810 6666.

Bursary winners become eligible for the monthly sportstar awards.