KINROSS runner Hamish Sheehan had to endure a little more than most to get his hands on a silver medal at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships at Homebush.
Sheehan was pushed to the limit last week, forced to run his 15 boys’ 400 metre final in scorching 35 degree heat.
But that wasn’t half of it.
Just as Sheehan took to the starting line, flames from a grass fire ripped through a nearby car park at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre destroying 43 vehicles and damaging a further 30.
The noise was akin to that of a series of bombs going off.
“It was 35 degrees, really windy and that was when all the cars blew up in that car park. All of these cars were blowing up so all of the officials ran away and the event got delayed,” Sheehan said, silver medal in hand.
Sheehan ran the 400 metres in 51.45 seconds, a strong time after qualifying fourth in 54.14s.
“I was pretty happy considering ... the conditions were pretty terrible. I was pretty happy with how it went.”
Sheehan wasn’t the only Kinross athlete happy with the way they performed at last week’s championships.
Kelsey Gray came away from the 14 girls’ 2000m steeplechase with a bronze medal, while Brigitta Holand finished second in the 16 girls’ hammer throw.
After coming seventh in both the 1500m and the 400m events, Gray was rapt to earn a medal in the unique steeplechase.
“I just gave it a go because it was the first year my age group was allowed to do it, I thought it looked interesting,” she said.
“And I found it fun.”
Participating in hammer throw for close to three years, Holand said winning a medal was a nice reward for persistence.
“It’s hard training by myself,” Holand said, throwing 39.19m to earn silver.
The winner, Parramatta’s Alexandra Hulley, threw an incredible 65.40m.
“It’s not really your average sport so it’s hard to kind of do it and perfect the technique by myself,” Holand continued.
“I always did discus and shot put and then someone approached me to see if I’d like to give it ago and I realised I liked it.”
George Jackson (Kinross) also performed well, finishing fourth in the 15 boys’ long jump with 5.68m while Joseph Arthur (James Sheahan) threw 42.00m in the 17 years boys’ javelin, good enough to place fourth.