Eungai relay team ready to scorch the Olympic track at States

Kasey Lawson, Manasa Bulatiko, Owen Neilly and Dominic Rouse. Not pictured: Abhijit Nagar.
Kasey Lawson, Manasa Bulatiko, Owen Neilly and Dominic Rouse. Not pictured: Abhijit Nagar.

Run, run, run, as fast as you can. But you'll never catch them, they're the Eungai relay men ... er boys.

Four Eungai Public legends of track are on their marks for Sydney, after securing their position in the PSSA State Championships 4x100m relay.

On Thursday, Kasey Lawson, Manasa Bulatiko, Owen Neilly and Dominic Rouse will thunder down the track at Sydney's Olympic Stadium in front of a crowd of thousands to try and claim the illustrious Nigel Bagley Small Schools Trophy for the Nambucca Valley.

Teacher and coach Stacey Johnson couldn't be prouder of the boys and their achievement; the team continued their pace through district, zone and regional carnivals in order to earn their right of passage to the big show.

"We've had individuals go to State in the past, but we don't believe we've ever had a relay team go this far before," she said.

Seeing them put in the work and improve at every carnival has been amazing to watch. I always hoped they'd make it this far. The school is incredibly proud of them.

There are actually a few firsts of note here: it will be the first time the boys get to run on a synthetic track, and the trip down south will mark Dominic's first time in Sydney.

He said he and his team mates are taking this opportunity very seriously - they're training twice a week after school to improve their pace, baton changes, and getting up off their marks.

"We've been working hard as a team and trying our hardest," he said.

They've also been doubling down since realising just how much their families are sacrificing to get them there.

Owen said he's really happy to have made it this far and is looking forward to his 10 king-size Twirls when the team scores a place in the finals.

But Kasey and Manasa are taking it all in their stride. Neither of them are expecting to bring home the gold, but are hopeful of a place at least.

"I don't think we're gonna win but I reckon we might get an ok place - maybe third," Kasey said.

With original relay member Abhijit Nagar on holidays in India, reserve runner Manasa is stepping up to fill his running shoes for the States.

"I've been working on getting faster. I've been training at school and by myself at home," he said.

After witnessing their speed at the Bowraville Memorial Cup last Thursday, I'd say they're more than in with a chance for some sweet golden glory.

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