PROUD: Nanango's little athletes have exceeded expectations to qualify for state championships.
PROUD: Nanango's little athletes have exceeded expectations to qualify for state championships. Claudia Williams

Country club punches above its weight

NANANGO'S youngest athletes are proving that country kids can mix it with the best on the coast.

The athletes exceeded expectations at the regional championships with all 16 competitors qualifying for the little athletics state championships in Townsville.

Kellie Pogany from the centre said they couldn't contain their excitement.

"I think it is fantastic, especially when we are against the Sunshine Coast,” she said.

"We are in one of the toughest regions and it shows the quality of our athletes from our small club.”

The centre's experienced athletes set an example and provided inspiration for Nanango's youngest athletes who are excited to compete at their first state championships.

"I am really looking forward to it because it is my first ever time and I am really excited to see where I am at,” Mia De Jong said.

"I felt really happy because I have been training really hard at home.”

Nanango's little athletes have exceeded expectations to qualify for state championships.
Nanango's little athletes have exceeded expectations to qualify for state championships. Claudia Williams

First place in the 1100m race and second place in the 400m sprint qualified the nine-year-old for the championships.

"I love the fact that when you are sprinting you can feel the wind and it is really fun,” she said.

For teammate Isabelle Winks, long distance running trumps sprinting, and she is looking forward to seeing what she can achieve in the 1500m run.

"It starts to hurt at the end but there are some people that are more sprinters and it is easier because you have got more time to overtake people,” she said.

"I am looking forward to watching everyone and cheering them on.”

Chelsea O'Connor will face a different challenge at the championships in the 1100m race walk.

"I like that it is more challenging because you have to make sure you have the right technique or you could get disqualified,” she said.

The athletes will compete at the Little Athletics Queensland state championships from March 22-24.