Ben to compete at Australian Athletics Championships

Promising Cobar athlete Ben Griffiths has qualified to compete at the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney next week. Photo contributed

Local athlete Ben Griffiths will compete at the Australian Athletics Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre next week.

Ben will compete in the U16’s age group as part of the NSW team.

He qualified for the NSW team after putting in some great performances at the Dubbo New Year Open Carnival in January.

Ben ran 11.32 seconds for his 100m sprint and 14.29 seconds in the 100m Hurdles, both of which meet the National Qualifying Standards (NQS).

The Dubbo carnival is now a NQS carnival.

(Only times and distances at sanctioned carnivals can be used when trying to meet the NQS.)

“Dubbo being a sanctioned carnival is great, as we don’t have to travel to Sydney to try and meet the standards,” Ben’s mum, Claudine Griffiths, said.

“The NQS for 100m Hurdles is actually 15.44, so Ben qualified easily.”

Ben only started working with an athletics coach from Dubbo last November.

They have been concentrating on block starts and improving Ben’s technique.

He’s also had some training sessions and received support from locals Brock Martin and Khan Fugar to help build up his fitness and flexibility.

“Ben’s also gaining the mental strength to be able to compete at this level,” Claudine said.

“You will often see Ben at Ward Oval training, or even doing sprints up Fort Bourke Hill.

“It’s really exciting for him, and we are really proud of him.

“It will be a great experience for Ben before he heads to Canada in June to train and compete,” Claudine said.