Representing Australia at next year’s world junior track and field titles is a goal Kangaroo Flat decathlete Blake Pryse is aiming for.
The reigning national under-18 champion in the gruelling 10-discipline contest is racking up many hours at the track and in the gym as he builds toward earning selection for the world titles to be run in Eugene, Oregon in July, 2014.
The young gun from the Bendigo Harriers Athletics Club is aiming to keep improving at jumps, runs, throws and vaulting.
Feelgood Fitness, based in Golden Square and Strathdale, has kicked in with a 12-month membership to help Pryse in his athletics pursuits.
The 17-year-old started training in the Golden Square gym just on six weeks ago.
“I had some weights for training at home, but being at Feelgood has helped me a lot already,” said Pryse, who now tips the scales at 80kg.
“The three gym sessions a week, most early in the day, are aimed at building leg and core strength,” said the year 12 student at Girton Grammar.
“The aim is to go into next season being able to throw further, run faster, and vault higher.”
As part of his strength training, Pryse is doing a lot of squats, bench press and bicep curls.
There are five track sessions a week with coach Brett Gilligan, while Steve Driesen provides tips on throws for the teenager who was the Cyril Michelsen Trust Fund recipient in the 2011-12 Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Teleivison Sports Star of the Year award.
Pryse achieved a career-best of 7079 when he won gold at this year’s Australian multi-event titles in Adelaide.
He was just 21 points shy of the qualifying mark for next month’s world junior titles to be run in Spain.
“To miss the 7100-mark was disappointing, but I was rapt to with a PB and to have won gold.”
Pryse said his greatest improvements last season were in the 400m and 1500m runs, shot put and discus.
Last month he was as the AIS in Canberra for a four-day camp with the national development squad.
There will be more training camps as winter rolls on, with the emphasis being on one discipline, or several.
Lining up in under-6 events at Little Athletics is where Pryse made his start.
“I liked having a go at a lot of events.
“A couple of years ago I decided to be more serious about multi events. Decathlons are a great challenge, physically and mentally.”
His feats in the 2012-13 sesaon earned the H.H. Hunter award as Athletics Bendigo’s athlete of the year.
Pryse is determined to be stronger, go faster and leap higher this summer and beyond.