TRAINING PAYS OFF: Matthew Rankin beside the track at the state championships.
TRAINING PAYS OFF: Matthew Rankin beside the track at the state championships. Contributed

Medals and PB's at states

ATHLETICS: Nanango State High School's Matthew Rankin ran personal best times to win two bronze medals at the Queensland School Sport track and field titles in Brisbane.

"I didn't know what to expect but I was hoping to medal,” Matthew said.

Matthew, a Year 11 student, achieved his bronze medals in the 1500m and 3000m events.

"I like being able to run freely,” he said.

"It is fun competing with a lot of different people and they pushed me to try harder.”

He was three seconds off the winner in the 3000m event with a time of eight minutes and 57 seconds and was in last place coming into the final 250m of the 1500m event to finish in third, two seconds behind the winner.

It was Matthew's first track and field state titles in the first year he has trained specifically for running.

Before now, his focus was on a different sport.

"I have been playing tennis since I was five and never took running until the start of this year,” he said.

"I still love tennis and want to keep doing tournaments.”

Matthew has devised his own training program for success.

He works in a three-day cycle, doing a 2km run and hill sprints three days in a row before having a rest day.

He then repeats the process regardless of the day of the week.

The approach of summer and longer days is good news for Matthew who times his training around the daylight.

"I get home from school and play tennis until it's 20 minutes until dark and then I do a 2km run and sprints,” Matthew said.

"I decided that myself, we have a five acre yard and I run around it, which works out to be 2km.

"I have little barbells that I run with that are probably 1.5kg each and they make a massive difference.”

Matthew's outlook is to simply be faster each time he takes the track.

He is looking forward to next year's track and field season.

"My goal is to beat my time and set goals and try and break my personal bests,” he said.