Ipswich and District Athletic Club allrounder Hayley Wright. Picture: Vic Pascoe
Ipswich and District Athletic Club allrounder Hayley Wright. Picture: Vic Pascoe

Ipswich athlete made of Wright stuff

A LATE decision to compete on a limited preparation highlighted the quality Ipswich club athlete Hayley Wright possesses.

She achieved five personal bests on her way to finishing fourth in under-20 heptathlon competition at this year's Australian Combined Events Championships in Brisbane.

"It was a last minute decision to be honest,'' Wright said.

"We only had about five or six weeks training.

"It was just to improve my fitness for my hurdles because my hurdles hadn't been going as I planned. So I thought 'why not have a go at a heptathlon'.''

Although she had done multi events as a younger athlete, she rose to the "one-off'' national challenge.

"I was pretty happy with the outcome,'' she said.

"It was a good change.''

Wright, 19, had achieved multiple successes in hurdling having come through the Ipswich Little Athletics ranks in under-9, progressing into the senior club system.

After having been forced to take six months off training in 2018, the former St Mary's College student has remained committed to battling on.

 

The closeknit Walloon athletics family - medal-winning sisters Erin and Hayley - with parents David and Vicki. Picture: Vic Pascoe
The closeknit Walloon athletics family - medal-winning sisters Erin and Hayley - with parents David and Vicki. Picture: Vic Pascoe

She's been assisted by her training partner and younger sister Erin, along with their supportive dad and coach David.

"He's been my coach forever really,'' Hayley said, appreciating his support.

"Erin and I both have chosen to stick with him.

"He's always been there. He knows his stuff.''

Hayley said under-17 national heptathlon champion Erin also provided healthy rivalry motivation.

"As she's getting older, she's getting a little bit closer to me,'' Hayley said.

Although some athletes recently took a forced break due to the coronavirus shutdown, Hayley was keen to continue working on the family's Walloon acreage.

"I'm just light with training,'' the state under-20 100m hurdling bronze medallist said.

"I can't really afford to stop because I've had some time off because of my injuries.''

A positive to come out of meeting her recent national competition challenge was it will help Hayley in her university studies. She gained valuable first hand experience.

She's in her second year focused on a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science degree, already looking to continue with extended masters study.

"It's been really good so far,'' she said.

Such dedication underlines her ongoing determination, built on since Hayley's most satisfying athletic moment.

That was winning a bronze medal in the 90m hurdles at the nationals in Canberra four years ago.