Student takes gold in championships

MILESTONE: Kelsie Youman has returned from the Oceanic Melanasian Championships with a gold medal to add to her collection. The 17 year-old runner visited Fiji to compete in several events in the competition.
Nanjing Night Net

A YOUNG runner has made a marathon effort at the Oceanic Melanesian Championshipsand hit the jackpot.

At her first international meet Kelsie Youman has surpassed her own expectations, to take home a gold medal in the Under 18, 800m final.

Kelsie was also placed fourth with a personal best time in the 1500m.

The talented runner was competing in at the Oceanic Melanesian Championships in Fiji, where she represented the Australian Regional team, competing against 13 Oceanic countries with 700 competitors.

It was the moment of a lifetime for the 17 year old Guyra High School student who ran the race according to plan, placing herself strategically behind the leader for the first lap of the 800m.

In the last 300 metre Kelsie put the challenge on the leader, overtaking her in the last 200m to create a convincing lead to take the Gold Oceanic medal for 2016.

It was also a moment of great excitement for her family and her teammates who were in the stands, cheering her on as she crossed the line in first place.

Family and friends at home were also able to witness the action which was streamed live on Fiji One and a collective roar could be heard across the streets of Guyra as the event unfolded.

Kelsie worked extremely hard with her coach Jay Stone and the Viper squad in Armidale,as well as training in Guyra with her mother Nadine.

“My goal was to achieve a personal best time in both events and I did,” Kelsie said.

“To get the gold was a bonus and I would like to thank to my coach Jay Stone and my mum for all the support and guidance to be able to achieve this dream.

“Thanks also to my father Scott and brother Austin as well as everyone else for supporting me over in Fiji.

“A huge thanks goes to everybody that was involved with fundraising for the Armidale Athletics club to help the members of the Viper squad who were selected to compete in Fiji.

“There are way too many names to mention but the support was overwhelming from such a wonderful community.”

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