BROOKE Hosgood made the right call before the start of the final of the girl's under 17 1500 metres at the State Little Athletics Championships in Sydney.
"I'd never run in spikes before,'' Brooke explained.
"I usually run in joggers. But it was raining and slippery, so I thought I'd try the spikes out.''
This proved to be pivotal. Brooke produced a strong finish to win the race and claim her first medal at State level. She's the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.
Brooke was in isolation at home at Cundletown when she spoke to the Times as she was diagnosed with COVID soon after returning from Sydney. But she said she was still on a high after her performance.
She explained the plan was to stay in the top three for most of the journey and then produce a sprint in the last lap.
"I wasn't sure how I'd go in the spikes, but because it was so wet, I'm glad I wore them,'' Brooke said.
"I think I'll wear them all the time from now.''
Her game plan worked pretty much to perfection, Brooke gaining the lead in the last little bit and holding on in what she said was a 'pretty close finish.'
Despite the conditions Brooke clocked a PB of 4.54, comfortably inside her previous best of 5.05. The final was combined under 16/17s, so Brook, who turns 16 in July, was among the younger starters.
Brooke qualified for the State after winning the regional event at Tamworth in January. She was determined to medal at State and would have been happy with any colour.
She trains most days a week, usually running on dirt tracks near her home, while she also has one or two sessions at Taree Little Athletics under coach Jenny Wyllie. She's been competing with the Taree club since under 8s after first showing promise at cross country.
"I just wanted to mix it up a bit by doing athletics and cross country,'' she explained.
Brooke's still running cross country and heads to the Hunter Independent Schools championships next month at Avondale, representing Manning Valley Anglican College.
She started in 100 metre sprints on the track and gradually increased the distances.
"I got to 400 metres and just kept going from there to 1500,'' Brooke said.
Brooke's also a regular at the Taree parkrun on Saturdays, with her dad, Mark. Both have clocked more than 100 parkruns. Brooke usually finishes in the top five and is consistently the first female home in the 5km event.
Brooke has no preference for the track, cross country and parkrun courses.
"I get to run over different terrain with cross country, so that's good, but I like them all,'' she confirmed.
Brooke also mixes this with Crowdy Head Surf Club activities. She'll continue to train over the winter with a view of a strong athletics season in 2022/22, while it will be her last in little athletics. She hopes to progress to Athletics Australia events from there.
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