WAAIA'S Rhys Hansen has vaulted to gold at Athletics Australia's national track and field championships at Sydney's Olympic Park.
A first-year competitor with South Bendigo Athletics Club, Hansen cleared 3.25 metres to be the under-15 champion.
It was a dramatic improvement on a previous best of 3m by the Peter Barrett-coached athlete and caps plenty of hours travelling the 300km round trip to train in Bendigo.
Hansen cleared 2.70m, 2.85m, 3.00m and 3.10m on his first attempt.
The bar was dislodged on his first vault at 3.25m, but he soared over on the second.
He did lift the bar to 3.36m, but no clearance was made.
Day three action at the nationals included the under-14 800m in which South Bendigo's Chelsea Tickell ran 2:30.98 to be sixth in her heat and 22 nd fastest.
At javelin, Albury's Alex Pitt threw 49.93m to be 9 th in the under-20 final.
Pitt competed at several rounds of Athletics Victoria Shield League across the 2021-22 season.
Tuesday's meet included Eaglehawk's Angus McKindlay in the under-20 400m hurdles final, and Bendigo Harriers' Reeve Evans, under-16 200m hurdles, and South Bendigo's Kai Norton in the under-14 discus.
Highs of Wednesday include South Bendigo's Logan Tickell in the under-17 1500m, and Bendigo Harriers' Harrison Boyd to race in the under-18 1500m.
The talented distance runners are coached by Andy Buchanan.
Jake Gavriliadis from Bendigo Harriers will contest the under-17 shot put.
The teenager from Dunolly is coached by his dad, Frank.
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