SPRINT ace Scarlett Southern and the multi-talented Abbey Hromenko are among the Athletics Bendigo Region's best bound for next week's national track and field titles.
Southern will compete in the under-15 400m and Hromenko in the under-20 heptathlon in Sydney.
The 10-day meet starts next Monday where Southern will race in the heats.
A rising star with Eaglehawk Athletics Club, Southern is another speedster from Cohuna.
Her personal best of 60.32 was achieved at the Little Athletics Victoria state championships.
Southern qualified for last year's nationals, but they were cancelled because of COVID.
A lot of her training is done on the grass at Echuca, but in recent weeks she has travelled for at least one session on the synthetic track at AB's home in Flora Hill.
"Tactics and speed play a big part in a 400 race," said Southern.
"The hardest part is the middle of the race when you have to work to keep up with the leaders.
"The finish is the strongest area of the race for me.
"It's something I have worked at for the past 18 months," said the Laurie Edmonston-coached athlete.
Southern began in Little Athletics in under-8s.
"I always enjoyed the aths carnivals at school."
Although 400m is her focus, Southern also contested the 100m, 200m, 800m, and 200m hurdles last spring/summer in Eaglehawk's run to lead division two in AVSL track and field action.
Hromenko's three previous national titles campaign were in high jump.
This time she steps up to contest the seven-discipline heptathlon.
Hromenko won the AV under-20 multi-event championship on home turf last January.
A memorable two days for her included personal bests in the javelin, hurdles, 800m, and equal PB of 1.60m at high jump.
"A lot of my focus since then has been on improving long jump and shot put," Hromenko said after another workout at Flora Hill.
"A goal is to better or go close to a PB in all seven events."
It's a joint coaching effort between Peter Barrett and Pam Farnell as Hromenko has spent three nights a week training.
"It's throws one night, jumps the next, and then run," Hromenko said of the April 16-17 showdown at Sydney's Olympic Park.
The talented athlete also played a starring role at goal attack as Elmore won the A-grade Heathcote District league netball match at White Hills on Good Friday.
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