Cooper Weil will travel to Darwin for the national championships after winning a bronze medal in discus for Wide Bay.
Cooper Weil will travel to Darwin for the national championships after winning a bronze medal in discus for Wide Bay. Contributed

Nanango athlete excited to compete against Australia's best

THE South Burnett will be represented with pride on the national stage when Cooper Weil competes at the Australian school athletics championships in Darwin.

The Year 6 Nanango State High School student is proud to have the chance to come up against the best under-11 athletes in the country in discus and see what he is capable of.

"It felt good and I want to tell everyone about my success,” he said.

"I am excited to see what place I can get in the whole of Australia.”

For the first time this year he swapped the 500g discus for the 750g and had a run of good form leading up to qualifying for the championships which started with breaking his brother Harrison's discus record at the school athletics carnival.

"It was very funny when I broke my brother's record, he really wanted to kill me afterwards!” Cooper said.

Cooper then went on to set a new record at South Burnett athletics and scored another personal best at the Wide Bay championships.

He threw 32.52m to score a bronze medal at the state championships and another personal best for a competition.

His dad Brendan said everyone was very proud of Cooper's achievements and that his hard work was paying off.

"It is all a bit of a shock because he finished eighth last year and we knew he had improved but we didn't know how he would go and we are so pleased he placed and got a medal,” he said.

Cooper trains up to five days a week mastering his discus technique and keeping his fitness up with running under the instruction of his coach Taryn Gollshewsky who knows what it takes to make it to the top level having competed in discus at the Commonwealth Games.

While he has come in leaps and bounds so far this season he is still looking at making improvements before the national championships on September 18-23.

"I need to work on my speed through the circle and keeping my arm up,” he said.

Brendan said the national championships would be another step up and he was looking forward to seeing how Cooper rose to the challenge.

"It is difficult to say how he will go. He will need to improve again to be competitive and we are hoping he can throw over 35m, which is achievable for him.”