Wallis aiming to up the ante over 800m track distance

TALENTED: Archie Wallis has achieved the 800m qualifying mark for the World Junior Track and Field Championships. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

TALENTED: Archie Wallis has achieved the 800m qualifying mark for the World Junior Track and Field Championships. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

HE has beaten the qualifying mark, but Archie Wallis will aim to go even faster in his race for selection to this year’s world junior track and field championships in Finland.

Wallis broke the selection criteria mark of 1 minute 50 seconds in his 800m heat at last month’s Athletics Australia championships on the Gold Coast.

The Bendigo-raised athlete’s time of 1:49.92 sparked a lot of emotion at Carrara.

 “I had been trying to beat 1:50 all season, but hadn’t,” Wallis said.

“Three times I had ran 1:50, so I was really nervous before my heat.

“Once I saw the time it was relief.”

The challenge is to achieve a top-two finish at the Australian junior titles in Sydney on March 12-14 as three athletes have times between 1:49.8 and 1:49.9.

Wallis has great support from parents Duncan and Emma, coach Sean Whipp, Old Scotch, family and friends.

The distance ace took on track racing when in year 9 at Scotch College.

He studied at Girton Grammar, Bendigo in years  7 and 8 and victory in an 800m final at a college sports carnival in year 8 sparked an interest in athletics.

By year 9, Wallis was at Scotch College and he began to star in Associated Public Schools events.

Victory in the 800m at an APS final rates highly on his list, as does his first national medal, silver in the 800m at the junior titles in 2016.

The world junior titles at Tampere in July will be an important step in the journey by Wallis toward Commonwealth Games, world titles, and possibly the Olympics.