2015/16 QT-City of Ipswich January junior sports star Casey Bell has impressed at recent state and national championships.
RISING Ipswich athlete Casey Bell is thriving on competing against older girls at state and national level.
When asked what her favourite moment was after a busy couple of months, the Brassall-based 13-year-old showed her willingness to learn.
“Probably just the experience,” she said. “It’s really good to meet and watch different people.”
Competing at higher level competitions provided an added bonus for Casey.
She received encouragement from national youth high jump coach Sandro Bisetto at the recent Australian Junior Track and Field Championships in Perth.
“That was very exciting,” Casey said. “He just gave me a few tips when I was jumping and when I was running back and little bits I need to fix.”
She achieved a personal best 1.66m in the under-15 high jump.
Casey, who turns 14 in May, first displayed her promise at the Ipswich Little Athletics Centre, where she is still a member.
However, it’s been since moving up into the senior club she has excelled.
She won silver medals in triple jump, long jump and jump at last month’s state titles before top five finishes in high jump and triple jump at the recent national titles.
Casey’s dad Gavin said quality coaching and working with older girls at the Ipswich and District Athletic Club had helped his daughter reach a new level.
“It’s been a pretty good season,” he said.
“We’re just trying to keep her injury free. She’s been going well.”
Casey was happy with her progress.
“It’s really really helpful to get up to that higher standard,” she said of competing in under-15 events.
The West Moreton Anglican College year nine student has been participating in athletics for about six years.
Casey won the under-14 high jump and collected silver in the triple and long jump at the most recent Queensland Little Athletics Championships.
Gavin said she had been consistent since winning her first national long jump title in December 2014.
“After that, she’s been going from strength from strength,” he said.
Among coaches working closely with Casey have been club president Vic Pascoe, Ted Ruben and Theresa Stolberg.
Pascoe rates Casey one of the region’s most exciting all-round prospects and a future heptathlon star.
“She could do anything eventually,” Pascoe said.
“She can sprint pretty good too. Hurdles is probably her only weaker link at the moment.”
However, Casey has plenty of time to decide her future athletics direction.
“That’s certainly an option open to her,” Gavin said of Casey doing multiple events competition.
“It’s been suggested to her a number of times that she goes well in the jumps and not too bad with her throws and pretty good with her sprints.”
Casey said she’d wait and see.
Casey is the 2015-16 QT-City of Ipswich junior monthly sportstar for January in the annual awards backed by Ipswich City Council.
She joins earlier winners: darts champion Tiarna Smith (December), rugby league player Thomas Mikaele (November), hockey goalkeeper Emily Witheyman-Crump (October), golfer Louis Dobbelaar (September), karate exponent Tara Dodrill (August) and indoor netballer Katrina Smidt (July).