2016 IAAF World Junior Championships Bydgoszcz: Meet The Aussie Middle Distance and Distance Team

By Grace Kalac for Runner's Tribe

Runnerstribe caught up with twelve of Australia’s up-and-coming middle distance and distance stars, as they prepare for the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The Australian Spark U20 Athletics Team will spend the next week competing and training in Germany, before travelling to Bydgoszcz on the 28th June. The championship will run from 19th July – 24th July.

Name: Lauren Ryan (VIC)

Ryan

Age: 18

Hometown: Springthorpe, Melbourne

Event Competing in at Poland: 1500m & 3000m

Personal Best: 4:20.99 & 9.27.77

Coach: Bruce Scriven

Favourite Training Shoe: Nike Zoom streak

Sporting Hero: Linden Hall

Favourite Quote: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”

What do you love about athletics? I love that, what you put in you get out of the sport.

What is your goal for the championship? I hope to make the final in the 1500m and run a personal best at some point in the 5 weeks over in Europe.

Name: Sarah Billings (VIC)

Sarah BillingsAge: 18

Hometown: Melbourne

Event Competing in at Poland: 800m, 4 x 400m

Personal Best: 2.05.77

Coach: Stephen Ellinghaus

Favourite Training Shoe: Training Shoes: Nike Zoom Matumbo’s, Racing Shoes: Nike Zoom Victory

Elite Sporting Hero: Cathy Freeman, Allyson Felix

Favourite Quote: Just do it

What do you love about athletics? I love the feeling of running and racing, there’s a massive rush of adrenaline and excitement.

What is your goal for the championship? To hopefully make the final and run a personal best.

Name: Lachlan Barber (VIC)

Lachlan BarberAge: 19

Hometown: Ocean Grove

Event Competing in at Poland: 800m

Personal Best: 1:48:06

Coach: Lisa Verstraten

Favourite Training Shoe: New Balance Zante’s

Sporting Hero: Pierre Bosse

Favourite Quote: ‘Can’t win ’em all’

What do you love about athletics? I love racing, and all the international opportunities it presents at the higher levels.

What is your goal for the championship? To make the 800m final or PB. Hopefully sub-1:47:50.

Name: Georgia Hansen (VIC)

Georgia HansenAge: 17

Hometown: Melbourne

Event Competing in at Poland: 800m

Personal Best: 2.07.08

Coach: Stephen Ellinghaus

Favourite Training Shoe: Nike

Sporting Hero: Gen Lacaze

Favourite Quote: “It’s just as tough mentally as it is physically. Think positive and you will always run better” (first piece of advice I received about running)

What do you love about athletics? Literally the feeling of putting one foot in front of the other, and seeing how fast I can do so!

What is your goal for the championship? To prove to myself that I am capable of more and walk away with a PB 🙂 (there’s nothing to loose)

Name: Georgia Winkcup (NSW)

BethCroft01Age: 19

Hometown: Sydney

Event Competing in at Poland: 3000m Steeplechase

Personal Best: 10:30

Coach: John Atterton, A-team

Favourite Training Shoe: Nike zoom structure

Sporting Hero: Ryan Gregson – he’s been injured so many times and come back to training just as hard as well as ever and he’s had such an incredible career when he was young, with the Australian record and all! And now he’s smashing out Olympic qualifiers and is running as well as ever.

Favourite Quote: Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

What do you love about athletics? The social side of the sport and the amazing opportunities and experiences offered by travel and competition.

What is your goal for the championship? My goal for this championship is to go into the race as prepared as I can be and hopefully smash out a PB… And absolutely love the trip and the people I get to share it with.

Name: Isaac Hockey (VIC)

Isaac HockeyAge: 18

Hometown: Geelong

Event Competing in at Poland: 1500m

Personal Best: 3:46.20

Coach: Bruce Scriven

Favourite Training Shoe: Saucony Ride 9

Sporting Hero: Linden Hall

Favourite Quote: “Smile on the start line” – Lisa Verstraten. “I’d rather be slow and known as a nice person than be fast, conceited and hostile” – Amy McCormick.

What do you love about athletics? Meeting great people and the consequent athletics banter.

What is your goal for the championship? To progress to the final of the 1500m.

Name: Joseph Deng (QLD)

Joseph Deng (1)Age: 17

Hometown: Ipswich

Event Competing in at Poland: 800m

Personal Best: 1:48.90

Coach: Diane Sheppard

Favourite Training Shoe: Puma Ignite, just because they feel really good

Sporting Hero: David Rudisha & Thierry Henry

Favourite Quote: “All pressure is self-inflicted. It’s what you make of it or how you let it rub off on you”- Sebastian Coe

What do you love about athletics? The thing I love about athletics is making long lasting friendships and travelling the world.

What is your goal for the championship? My goal for the championships is to make the 800m finals.

Name: Annabel McDermott (NSW)

Annabel McDermott (1)Age: 17

Hometown: Wahroonga, Sydney

Event Competing in at Poland: 5000m

Personal Best: 15.57

Coach: Jimbo Fitzgerald

Favourite Training Shoe: Nike Lunar tempo

Sporting Hero: Sonia O’Sullivan

Favourite Quote: “tell him his dreaming!”

What do you love about athletics? I love running and going to training with fun people and that is why I keep coming back! I like the challenge of the long distance events and how you never know how a race will turn out.

What is your goal for the championship? I want to be proud of how I raced and finish the race knowing I gave it everything!

Name: Amelia Mazza-Downie (VIC)

Amelia Mazza-Downie (1)Age: 16

Hometown: Seaholme

Event Competing in at Poland: 3000m

Personal Best: 9.28

Coach: Keith Fearnley

Favourite Training Shoe: Nike structures

Sporting hero: Genzebe Dibaba

What do you love about athletics? I love making so many friends and the travelling side of aths!

What is your goal for the championship? My goal is to get a personal best.

Name: Matthew Ramsden (WA)

ramsden

Age: 18

Hometown: Rockingham

Event Competing in at Poland: 1500/ 5000m

Personal Best: 3:45.10/ 14:01.89

Coach: Shane Ellis

Favourite Training Shoe: Nike Pegasus

Sporting Hero: David Cecchi

Favourite Quote: “nothing will work unless you do.”

What do you love about athletics? Being an individual sport, you can’t blame anyone else for your failure.

What is your goal for the championship? Podium finish.

Name: Amy Harding-Delooze (NSW)

Amy Harding-DeloozeAge: 17

Hometown: Tamarama

Event Competing in at Poland: 1500m

Personal Best: 4:16

Coach: Ken Green

Favourite Training Shoe: Asics ds trainer

Sporting Hero: David Rudisha

Favourite Quote: Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.

What do you love about athletics? It gives me a sense of self satisfaction. I love the feeling of training hard and meeting new people, being a part of a community.

What is your goal for the championship? To perform to my highest potential when it counts the most.

Name: Beth Croft (NSW)

Beth CroftAge: 18

Hometown: Chatswood, Sydney

Event Competing in at Poland: 3000m Steeplechase

Personal Best: 10:11.47, 5th fastest all-time Australian junior

Coach: Lindsay Watson, and Zsolt Zsombor for strength and conditioning

Favourite Training Shoe: Asics Gel Noosa Tri

Sporting Hero: Youcef Abdi. Not only because of his amazing achievements, but also because he puts back into the sport through his work with little athletics, and sometimes when I’m really lucky, he comes and trains with me, and he is the best training partner you could ever have!

Favourite Quote: Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you’re up to.

What do you love about athletics? There are so many awesome things about athletics. Obviously I love the feeling you get when you win big races. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how cool it was to clear the last hurdle when I ran my first World U20 qualifier, and running the last 40m knowing I was going to get the time. Or the feeling you get during a good hard run when you kind of transcend time and forget about everything else going on, and you’re just there in the moment.

Another awesome part is the people. My squad is like my second family, even if you have a tough session ahead of you, it’s impossible not to get excited for training.

What is your goal for the championship? To finish top 5 in the steeplechase, run the world university games qualifier of 10:02, and a big personal best.

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