Teenage sprint sensation Jack Hale has defended his under-18 100 metres title at the Australian All Schools championships.
Hale, 17, had been hoping to better his national age group record of 10.42 seconds set last year in Adelaide – the same meet where he also clocked a flying wind-assisted time of 10.13 – but despite favourable sunny conditions and a slight tailwind at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday he could only clock 10.56, with New South Wales runner Anthony Gale second in 10.76.
Hale will get one more shot at bettering his under-18 mark later this month on home soil in Hobart.
His focus will then shift to the Australian junior titles in March and the world juniors later in the year.
He has also left the door ajar to tackle the Olympic trials in Sydney in early April.
“The senior nationals really aren’t a big thing at the moment for me,” he said.
“The Australian juniors is what I really need to push for and then have a bit of a break after it.
“But it could potentially happen.”
There was more hoopla surrounding Hale last year at the All Schools as he was up against three other runners who had bettered 10.60.
“It was a little bit different this year,” he acknowledged.
“The hype wasn’t that big but the field was still amazing … If everything went right I was aiming to break the 10.42 national record.
“It didn’t happen today but I’ve got one more comp to do it and so hopefully I’ll push for it there.”
National under-18 record holder Darcy Roper won the long jump with 7.66 metres, with Hale third with a best leap of 7m.
Topics: athletics, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia, tas