GRIT AND DRIVE: Abelee Smith from Murgon State School takes the lead in the 200m sprint. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times
GRIT AND DRIVE: Abelee Smith from Murgon State School takes the lead in the 200m sprint. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times Keagan Elder

She's sprinting to the top

A TOP athlete may just have been discovered in the South Burnett after 12-year-old Abelee Stanley demolished one of the region's longest-held sprint records.

On her way to victory in both the 100m and 200m sprints, she smashed the 20-year-old South Burnett 200m record for her age group at the athletics carnival at Taabinga State School.

"She did it in 28.11 seconds - the record was 28.38," her mother Judy said.

Abelee's standout performance at the carnival will now see her heading to the Wide Bay athletic trials in the hope of getting through to the state representative team.

"Her dream is to run in the Commonwealth Games and Olympics," Judy said.

While she took the title convincingly, Abelee remains grounded.

"Everyone commented on her sportsmanship and humbleness," Judy said.

Drawing inspiration from the likes of Sally Pearson, Johnathan Thurston and Cathy Freeman, Abelee dreams of making it to the big stage, but she wants to be recognised for her own achievements.

"I want to be myself, Abelee Stanley. I don't want to be known as another Cathy Freeman - I want to be known as Abelee Stanley," she said.

Abelee said her family was her main inspiration: "My grandfather, my mum, my three sisters and two brothers too".

Her grandfather, Warry Stanley, has been by her side since the start, training Abelee to achieve her best.

"She can go on to bigger and better things. She's got all the talent in the world," Mr Stanley said.

"Sport is an avenue where you can climb a ladder to success, but it doesn't come easy - you've got to put the hard yards in."