Teen sprint sensation Jack Hale has rounded out a stellar week at the national junior athletics championships by blazing to victory in the Under-18 100 metres final.
The 17-year-old Tasmanian blitzed the rest of the field, winning in 10.38 seconds from Queenslander Brandon Herrigan and NSW’s Jordan Shelley.
The time was faster than the national U-18 record of 10.42 which Hale set at a school carnival in Hobart in October, but it was aided by an illegal tailwind of 2.8 m/s and will not count officially.
It capped a stellar championships for Hale who also won the Under-18 200m and ran anchor for the victorious Tasmanian 4×100 metre relay victory.
Injuries had restricted Hale’s preparation and prevented him from competing in his pet event, the long jump.
But Sunday’s victory ensures that Hale will contest the 200m, along with the 100m, at the world junior championships in Colombia in July.
“My real goal is the 200m-100m double at world youths and I just had to come out today and produce,” Hale said.
“I don’t want to say it too much because I don’t want to put any excuses out, but I had about a week’s preparation so to run that time, I’m really happy.”
Hale rued not being able to tackle the long jump as well.
“I love long jump, so it was a hard decision but I’ve got to do what’s best for me and trying to back up with long jump after winning 100 and 200 here is just too much.
“After world youths, I’ll definitely be putting in the pre-season work to hopefully shine in the long jump next season.”
Hale attracted headlines when he clocked a time of 10.13 for the 100m at the Australian All Schools Championships in Adelaide in December, but that time too was deemed unofficial as it was aided by a 3.4m/s tailwind.
He said the spotlight on him these days hadn’t negatively affected him.
“I just run my own race, do my own thing, set my own goals.
“I don’t really let other people push things onto me.
“People are saying I’m going to run a 10.2 or a 10.3 or something, but I know what I can do and I’ve just got to do it on the day.”