Oceania double for Kelsie | The Guyra Argus

Kelsie Youman touched down on home soil last week with two new medals to add to her growing collection. 

JILL OF ALL TRADES: Kelsie Youman tried her hand at the 400m under-18 relay with great success – her team won gold and broke the Oceania record.

She joined five other Armidale Athletics club athletes but was the only member in green and gold, the others raced in the Regional Australia team. 

Youman was part of the record breaking and gold medal-winning under 18 400 metre relay team and also claimed a silver in her pet event of the 800m.

Although she qualified for the 2000m steeplechase as well, Youman chose to give the longer race a miss.

A fall at Nationals in the 800m race played on Youman’s mind as she lined up but she more than redeemed herself by claiming the silver at the international event. 

“There definitely was [nerves] and when I looked back at the livestream I even did things I didn’t realising I was doing while in the race, backing off in certain places,” she said. 

The race was run in bleak conditions but it didn’t fluster the Guyra athlete. 

“It was pretty windy when we did the 800m so in our race not really anyone wanted to leave,” she said. 

“Our first lap was pretty slow considering times that we usually do which affected my overall time but I was still really happy with the race.”

Youman said her performance in the 400m relay came as a bit of a surprise. 

In her leg of the race, she managed to beat the fourth-placed individual 400m runner. 

“It was really good, especially to be with the relay because I am not usually in relays but it was really fun,” she said. 

“I would definitely consider [taking up 400m running] especially because in the steeplechase next year I have to go up to three kilometres instead of two so I probably prefer to do 400m over that.” 

“Especially in a 400m, I haven’t really done many so I was really happy with how I ran it. All the other girls were either 400m runners or 400m hurdlers and at the start I was told I had to start with the blocks so they were all giving me tips on how to do that but it turned out I didn’t even have to.”

Youman’s fellow Armidale Athletics club athletes each scored a medal at the Championships. 

She said it was a great relief for the team and there was plenty of support for one another with the six athletes spending plenty of time training together in the lead up to the meet. 

“No one was left out so we were all pretty happy,” she said. 

“I used to do some training here by myself in Guyra but it is definitely better training here with the squad, you run faster and are more motivated.” 

The year 12 Guyra Central School athlete credited her parents and club coach Jay Stone with being major contributors to her success. 

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