10-YEAR-OLD Nambucca flyer Daniel Williams is just back from successfully representing NSW at the National Cross Country Championships at Hobart.
All States were represented as well as a small team from New Zealand.
The day before the championships the athletes walked the course and attended the opening ceremony. Later that day the weather turned for the worse and a dumping of snow fell on Mt Wellington.
So rain and freezing winds greeted the athletes on the Saturday morning for their individual races. Daniel ran a superb race, gaining speed over the last 500m to finish in 12th place from a field of 42. A technical difficulty saw his timing chip fail to record his time, resulting in confusion over team places for the medals. This was rectified late on the Sunday and the NSW 10-year-old boys were awarded the bronze medal in the teams event behind winners, Queensland, and second placed Victoria. South Australia had originally been awarded the bronze medal and remained a strong team heading into the road relays on the Monday morning.
On the final day of competition the NSW boys knew they had to give everything to stay in medal contention with Queensland, Victoria and South Australia equally strong. The 10-year-old boys and girls each ran a 1km leg to make the relays a 5km distance. Daniel was No.1 runner for the NSW team and ran a PB to hand over to the second runner. The NSW team remained strong, though the lead changed between States, until the Blues No.5 runner took the lead with 200 metres to the finish and crossed the line in first place. A gold medal for the 10-year-old NSW boys.
Daniel was understandably proud to come home with two national championships medals plus the experience and memories that will last a life time. He now hopes to gain selection in the North Coast team to compete at the PSSA State Championships.