After only 18 months in the sport 2016 National all schools champion Venita Mailei has added another medal to her impressive 2016/17 tally after taking out the U17 women's Shot Put at the Australian Junior Championships at SOPAC.

The 16 year old Campbelltown Collegians athlete was in severe doubt after rolling her ankle during a basketball game just several days prior to the championships. However, Venita was determined to compete at her first AJC meet consequently doing all she could in treating her injury in the days prior to her event.

Venita arrived at the championships and had her ankle well strapped prior to the event to help give it as much support as possible. In the early rounds of her event she was giving it her all, however she was struggling to get any explosive power and speed into her put due to the throbbing in her right ankle, as a result she was sitting in equal second place after three rounds with a best put of 14.32m.

Spurred on by her support base of over 20 students and several teachers from her high school at Airds, Venita knew it was going to take everything she had in the fourth and final round if she was going to walk away with the National title she had trained so hard for. So she put the injury and pain aside and dug deep, punching the shot out to 14.77m to claim the Gold Medal by just 11cm to the delight of her fellow students, teachers and coach.

Also competing at her first Australian Junior Championships was fellow MTS athlete Breanna Griffiths in the Hammer Throw. DSC 0009

The young Campbelltown Collegians athlete who only took up the discipline six months ago did herself proud after claiming the Silver Medal in the U14 women's Hammer Throw with a best of 38.40m. Bre also placed 6th in the older U16 women's hammer throw event with a best of 37.41m.

Adding a national silver medal to her tally was a great way for Bre to windup what has been an outstanding 2016/17 season in which she also claimed the 2016 NSW All Schools and the 2017 NSW Junior Championships hammer throw titles.

Another youngster who has had a bright start to the discipline of hammer throwing is MTS member Unitty Ta'uo.

At 11 years of age Unitty has just completed her first ever season of track and field. But what is even more impressive is that this young lady only commenced hammer training in January 2017. In February she qualified for the Australian Junior Championships after claiming the Bronze Medal at the NSW Junior Championships in the U14 age group.

Unitty's was entered into the U14 women's hammer throw at the national championships as a strategy to gain some experience for next season. However, she had other plans and took up the challenge against the older girls, smashing her personal best by over 4 metres and placing fourth with a best of 32.97m, just 18cm shy of the bronze medal.

Nicole Pili threw a new personal best of 45.24m and placed sixth in the U17 women's hammer throw. Fellow MTS member Ellie Dimoulas placed tenth with a throw of 41.10m.

Jayden Duncum also competing at his first nationals placed ninth in the U15 men's discus with a best of 38.27m

Well done to all. Making it to nationals is a great achievement in itself.


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