Sophie Taylor chases more sprint titles at Australian Junior track and field championships
14 Mar, 2012
Bendigo sprint star Sophie Taylor believes she will need to run a world junior 100m qualifying time if she is to finish in the top-two at this weekend’s Australian Junior Track Championships.
Sixteen-year-old Taylor will also compete in the 200m and 4x100m relay at the national titles in Sydney, but she has set her sights on a blistering run in the 100m.
Taylor won gold in the under-18 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the event last year, but she will face tougher competitors after stepping-up to the women’s under-20s division.
“They will be heaps more difficult than last year. There’s a lot of girls at a really high level,” Taylor said.
“Hopefully I can get in the top-two.”
Taylor was a joint nominee for March, 2011 in the Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television and bankmecu-backed Sports Star of the Year award for 2011-12.
Also earning honours for March were national hammer throw champion Tim Driesen, and pole vaulting ace Madeline Lawson.
A year ago, Taylor became the youngest Victorian open 100m women’s champion.
She finished fifth in last weekend’s Victorian Open 100m final at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park, and was fourth in the 200m – just two weeks after competing against the likes of Sally Pearson at the Olympic qualifiers.
The Eaglehawk Athletics Club member ran 11.87 seconds at the Victorian junior titles to qualify for the Olympic showdown and she believes she will need to lower her time to about 11.8 seconds to be among the leaders in the under-20 national 100m race this weekend.
To qualify for the world junior athletics championships in Spain later this year, Taylor needs to run 11.83 seconds or faster.
The Catholic College Bendigo student said racing older and more experienced sprinters had helped her development as a runner in the past month.
“Especially at the Olympic trials it has because there were such high-quality athletes,” she said of racing at the Lakeside meet which also doubled as the Melbourne Track Classic.
National titles commitments mean the Maxine Crouch Trust Fund recipient at the 2010-11 Sports Star awards will not be at this Friday night’s presentation at Bendigo Town Hall.