By Justin Robertson
PAKENHAM’S Matthew de Bruin scored two personal bests and three gold medals at the Victorian All Schools Track and Field Championships at Olympic Park earlier this month.
The Beaconhills College student proved too good in the under-15 100 metre hurdles, long jump and 200 metre hurdles, and also claimed a silver medal in the high jump and a fourth in the 200 metres.
De Bruin said he felt a real sense of achievement running against some of the best athletes in his age group throughout Victoria.
“It was pretty exciting, just to be part of it and running at that venue,” he said. “I’m really happy with what I achieved.”
The 14-year-old has been running and jumping since he was four and has been a part of Casey’s Little Athletics Club for eight years.
De Bruin has rejected an invitation to train with TAC football team Gippsland Power and will instead focus on athletics this summer.
“I’m only 14, so I guess I have plenty of time to think about football,” he said. “I do love my football, but I think for now I’ll stick to running.”
On Sunday he heads to Warrnambool with his athletics club to take part in the State Pentathlon Championships. He is looking to take his red hot form from Olympic Park with him.
While de Bruin had a stellar weekend at the state championships, four local athletes were selected in the 154-member Victorian team to compete in the Australian All Schools Track and Field Championships at Doncaster over the first weekend of December.
Beaconhills College student Mikaela Davis (Narre Warren South) claimed silver in the under-14 200 metre dash and a fourth in the 100 metre sprint. Karlee Bailey, of Pakenham, who attends Berwick Secondary College, won gold in the under-14 200 metre as well as collecting silver in the 100 metres.
Phil Backman from Kooweerup Secondary College came third in the under-16 100 metres and Danielle Cameron (Beaconsfield) from Berwick Secondary College won gold in the under-16 high jump.
By Justin Robertson