Shawn primed to haul in gold at state school championships
WITH a shoe size bigger than his age, it's only fitting athlete Shawn O'Toole is making big strides.
The 12-year-old will slip into a pair of size 13 runners later in the month when he represents Capricornia at the Queensland School Sport Track and Field Championships at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in Brisbane.
The Bajool State School Year 7 student will spend plenty of time in his sneakers during the three-day carnival from October 13-15.
O'Toole will contest the 800m, 100m and 200m running events, and the shot put, discus and long jump field events.
The youngster has an intellectual learning impairment and competes in the athletes with a disability division.
He hoped to better the silver medals he collected in the shot put and discus events at the championships last year.
O'Toole has been training under the watch of local coach Brett Richards, who fine tunes his skills at the North Rockhampton Little Athletics Club twice a week.
The youngster heads into the championships on the back of a second placing and a fifth placing at the Australian AWD Cross Country Championships in Albany, WA in August.
O'Toole finished second in the 1.5km time trial event while he managed to cross the line inside the Top-5 in the 2km cross country event.
While he didn't pick up a medal for his effort, he was rewarded with something even more special.
"Only first received a medal there, but he's always got the memories," his step mum Polly White said.
"He'll have those forever."