Masters inspire at north Qld champs

SIXTEEN athletes from the Emerald Athletics Club, from seven years to masters, travelled to Townsville to compete in the three-day Athletics North Queensland Championships.

Masters athletes Gary Free, Sheril Buchanan and Paul Ryan inspired the young members to hang in there and give it their best as the level of competition was fierce.

Gary Free finished a respectable second in the men's 45-49 decathlon with total points of 762.

The first time to Townsville's tartan track did not discourage Sheril Buchanan in the women's 30-40 year bracket.

Buchanan, who has taken up athletics this year, said she is now at the level of competition she was at during her school days and plans to attend more competitions in 2012.

Buchanan was the first athlete from the Emerald club to also take part in the 2000-metre steeple race with a time of 10:12.63.

Buchanan's eight-year-old daughter Takiah-Lani also joins her mum on the track competing in track and field events.

Fellow Masters athlete Paul Ryan competed in the men's 45-49 javelin throw achieving a distance of 42.81m.

Troy Graham also competed in the 14 year men's javelin throw winning the event with a throw of 42.10m.

Eighteen-year-old year old Matthew Free also had a very successful meet placing first in 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump.

Jessica Marks won the women's 14-15 throws pentathlon with a total of 2680 points.

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