Glenmore State High student Kelsey Mann won gold in the 100m 16 year girls sprint at the Queensland Secondary Schools Championships last week. Photo Guy Williams / Morning Bulletin
Glenmore State High student Kelsey Mann won gold in the 100m 16 year girls sprint at the Queensland Secondary Schools Championships last week. Photo Guy Williams / Morning Bulletin Guy Williams

The Beef Capital might just have a new Rockhampton Rocket

MOVE over Rod Laver.

The Beef Capital might just have a new Rockhampton Rocket.

Glenmore State High School student Kelsey Mann blasted into the Queensland Secondary Schools Athletics team 12 months after missing out on selection in the regional team.

Last year Mann couldn't even make the Capricornia side after finishing fourth in the 100m final of the Capricornia trials.

Now, she's the fastest girl her age in Queensland.

Coached by ex-Rockhampton track star Sarah Busby, Mann, who trains under the watch of Busby's mother Karen, won the 16 years girls 100m final at the Queensland Secondary Schools championship in a blistering time of 12.36 seconds.

Heading into the meet, the 16-year-old, who also collected a silver medal in the 200m, admitted she didn't have high hopes in the 100m.

"I didn't think I'd make the final for the 100 because I haven't really done it before," she said.

"I nearly false-started in the heats, and then I won the heat, and I was surprised."

Mann qualified fastest for the final in a time of 12.73.

After qualifying, she said her confidence grew as did her expectations.

"I had the fastest qualifying time out of everyone so I thought I'd have a good chance in the final," she said.

"(I ended up winning by) two or three metres."

Mann slashed nearly four-10ths of a second off her qualifying team in the final, beating the field by a lengthy margin.

Natalie Schuster (12.75) won silver, while Els Van Hooijdonk (12.78) claimed bronze.

"I was a little surprised but I knew Kelsey had been running good times throughout the year," coach Sarah Busby said.

"She's taken a second off her PB (personal best) in just under a year.

"They're (Mann and training partner Francis Busby) both really dedicated to the program, and follow the program really well."

And Busby believed there was plenty of room for improvement.

"She's quite timid so she holds back a little but out of the blocks," Busby said.

"Kelsey could be a bit more aggressive, and between now and the nationals I wouldn't be surprised if she could take a little more time off her PB."

Mann is off to Townsville in December to represent Queensland at the 2013 Australian Secondary Schools championships.

Ahead of the nationals, she's taking a similar approach to the one that brought home gold at the state titles.

"Hopefully I'll make the final, but I don't know," she said.

"I don't really know what my time was like and what the other girls ran from the other states so we'll see what happens."



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