It lacked the head-to-head lustre of a four-way clash among Australia’s quickest boys last year but this year, like last, Jack Hale emerged as the country’s fastest schoolboy.
Hale claimed back-to-back 100m gold medals at the All Schools championships when he ran 10.56s to win at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park on Saturday afternoon.
Hale was hoping to beat his own national under-18 record of 10.42s in perfect warm conditions but was content with the win alone.
“I can’t complain too much. I am happy with it, I got the win so can’t complain,” Hale said.
“If everything went right I was hoping to break the 10.42 national record and it didn’t happen today but I still have one more comp to do it – Reunion Day at the Domain in Hobart – so hopefully push for it there.”
Hale turns 18 next year so technically he can only break the junior under 18 record before January 1 this year.
“The heat was a really nice run – 10.6s – then it just didn’t really happen for me in the final. The run itself was OK and the track is amazing to run on,” he said.
Hale is biding his time before attempting to step up to the open age field, focusing on the National Juniors next year and beyond that the World Juniors next year.
The World Juniors were to be held in Russia next year but it has been stripped of the event due to the recent drug scandal and the new venue has not been decided.
“Senior nationals aren’t really a big thing at the moment for me. I think the Australian Juniors is where I need to push for it and then have a break after it but it could potentially happen [competing at the National Juniors] yes,” he said.
Hale admitted the environment was different to last year when he entered the All Schools championships in Adelaide having just broken the national under-18 record and being pitted against three other runners – Jordan Shelley, Rohan Browning and Trae Williams, who had all run below 10.6s.
On that day last year he ran 10.13s with a strong and illegal wind at his back.
“It was a little bit different this year, the hype wasn’t that big but the field was still amazing. It’s always going to be at nationals so there is no issues with competition, it is always going to be good with people on your shoulder or just in front of you.”
Hale on Friday night was disappointing in the long jump, the event that he and his new coach Wayne Mason believe will in the long term be his primary event. He jumped 7m to finish third behind Darcy Roper who won with 7.66m.
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