Gould wins two national medals
ISOLATION hasn't stopped Rachel Gould, but has instead spurred the young athletics champion on.
The Dingo all-rounder recently returned from the Australian Primary Schools Athletics Titles in Bendigo, Victoria with a gold and silver medal to her name.
Gould won gold in the 12 years Girls' multi-event, before returning to the track 10 minutes later to win silver for Queensland running the 200m leg of the 12 year girls' medley.
The multi features four events – a 100m sprint, long jump, shot put and the gruelling 800m middle distance event – spread out over three days of competition.
Gould won the shot put and 800m legs; finished a close second in the 100m, while in the long jump she finished eighth, an event she wants to improve on.
“My run up is not too consistent; I need to work it out,” she said.
Without a notable track and field coach in the small town of Dingo, 150 kilometres west of Rockhampton Gould travels the 70-minute round trip to nearby Blackwater to train three times a week. Under the guidance of Blackwater State School physical education teacher David Clements, Gould had been working hard leading up to the national titles, and surprised herself with the results.
“It's pretty exciting. My 800 metres was probably the best bit,” she said. “My coach and I made up a plan and I stuck to it,” she said.
Gould's plan was to go out reasonably quick in the first lap and then finish the race off quickly, and she did it to perfection.
Sitting in fourth place after the first 400m, Gould turned on the speed to finish strongly.
In the process, she eclipsed her previous personal-best time in the 800m, set at the Queensland Primary Schools Athletics Titles in Townsville earlier in the year, by more than eight seconds.
“I just wanted to run my own race and get my PB (personal best),” she said.
Rachel's mum, Wanda, travelled down to the national titles to watch her daughter compete and said she would be forever grateful to the local community.
“She's been so well supported by the town. Everyone has been doing their part with fundraisers and the like,” she said.
Moving into high school next year, where the medley event is no longer on the athletics schedule, Gould is hoping to find an event she likes and has earmarked arguably the most gruelling event on the card.
“I'd like to try the 400 metre race,” she said.
Gould justifies her attraction to the event for the very reason many track and field athletes shy away from it.
“You have to sprint the full 400 metres so it's really hard,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Emerald's Lucy-Ann Coutts finished seventh in the 12 year girls' shot put, while Gould's Capricornia co-captain Alex Smith picked up a bronze medal in the 12 year boys' discus at the titles.