Noah Vaotangi hasn't been a part of athletics long, with the 10-year-old less than 12 months into taking part in Little Athletics, but already he's making waves.
Namely, the discus thrower has already picked up his first state gold medal in Sydney on Sunday, a mere six weeks after his first official lesson with athletics maestro Ernie Shackleton.
"I just started last year really but I started training with a proper coach six weeks ago," he said.
I was hoping for the top 10 but I came in first.Noah Vaotangi
"I was worried because they'd been doing it for years and I've only done it seriously for so little time."
Vaotangi threw 30.45 metres at the discus state final, his personal best in competition, overcoming Glenbrook's Ryan Cloey, who threw 29.54m.
Cloey threw further than Vaotangi in the regional trials, where the pair met, but Vaotangi was shocked to even be in contention for the top spot, saying his expectations were much lower walking into the event.
"I was hoping for the top 10 but I came in first," he said.
Despite battling hayfever, the Orange Public School student managed to overtake Cloey's mark by nearly a metre.
"I'm pretty proud of myself. I thank my mum for driving me to Sydney and got me the coaching from Ernie so without my mum I wouldn't have any of that," Vaotangi said.
"Mum, Ernie, grandma and grandpa, my neighbour Sarah has been really supportive."
Vaotangi also finished 13th in his boys' under-10 shot put event, and was among a plethora of Orange athletes on show.
Adelaide Pittis, Jocelyn Blair, Kaitlyn Hinrichsen, Chanel Knight, Jackson Willis, Fredrick Bangert and Hugh Payne all performed superbly in their respective events, with Pittis also picking up a gold medal in the girls' under-9 200-metre sprint.
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