Nation calls upon young Queanbeyanites

THE Queanbeyan Little Athletics Centre appreciates just how small it will be when they take on the best young athletes around Australia at the Little Athletics Australian Championships in Melbourne on May 3.

But for the never-say-die organisation the goals will be personal bests and a state victory over Tasmania when it sends the most little athletes to a national championship since 2011.

The five mini superstars are in the names of under 13's athletes Zane Bijorac, Caitlin Hanna and Hannah McPherson and 15-year old's Ben Cassie and Courtney Hopkins, who will drive a mountain of effort in no less than three different events each.

The five prodigies came from a 21-athlete QLAC team that finished the ACT state titles seventh from 16 centres from the region.

They will travel to Melbourne as part of a 22-athelete ACT representative squad.

Competing in the most events each will be Cassie and Hopkins, who will aim for personal bests in hurdles, long jump, discuss, and 100 and 800 metre runs.

Cassie has competed at multiple national events in the past, and said the competition at that level was much tougher than in the ACT.

"I've won at ACT, but nationals I haven't done well at," he said.

"I train nearly every day, not just running, but strength and core as well, so Melbourne should be a new experience."

Hanna came away from the state titles with a team best achievement of four gold medals, and hopes to continue this form in what will be her first nationals tournament.

"I competed in the primary schools nationals in Brisbane last year and came fourth in high jump and got a PB of 150cm," she said.

"That's what I'll be aiming for in Melbourne."

The five athletes will head to the southern capital next Wednesday in what will be a first trip to Melbourne each.

The ACT state team's next closest opponent by size will be Tasmania, and as such, will be out to beat them across all events.

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