Why Rochelle is training through Christmas
AUSTRALIA'S leading under 18 hammer thrower is resisting the temptation to have a Christmas break to chase her international dream.
Redbank Plains teenager Rochelle Vidler is planning to train across the festive season to bolster her chances of qualifying for next year's Youth Olympics in Argentina.
With a personal best of 60.60m, the Ipswich Girls' Grammar School student needs to produce a 61.85m qualifying standard before the March cut-off date.
Although unleashing a 59.33m throw in winning last weekend's under 18 event at the Australian All Schools championships, Vidler was happy with her hit-out.
"It was just a nice, good meet,'' she said, enjoying the end of year competition.
She plans to step up her Youth Olympics qualifying quest in the new year.
With that on offer in October, Vidler and her coach Mick Moore recently attended a national under 17 development camp in Canberra.
Vidler said the four-day experience at the Australian Institute of Sport was hugely beneficial, covering a range of valuable topics and specialist training.
"It was a professional perspective,'' she said, especially enjoying the sessions on mental preparation.
"They go through what you really need to look at like nutrition, psychology and emotionally and all that.''
Vidler, 16, was among a field of 1100 competitors at the national schools event in Adelaide.
Adding to Vidler's gold were a silver and bronze from Ipswich club competitors over the three-day meet.
Other club medal winners in Adelaide were Erin Wright, Zac Caterson and relay runner Benjamin Thomas.
Wright set a personal best (12.43s) in finishing third in the under 14 80m hurdles.
Caterson won bronze in the U16 shotput (16.46m) and came fifth in the discus (53.53m).
Thomas collected a silver in the 1000m Swedish relay and a bronze in the 4x100m relay where he ran 42.87.
The 1000m Swedish Relay consists of 100m, 300m, 200m and a 400m to finish the unusual race.
In his individual events, the recent Noosa Gift winner came fourth in the U18 100m (11.08) and fifth in the 200m (22.58).
Other club athletes to set personal bests were Camryn Novinetz (7th in U16 3km walk - 14.42.94); Hayley Wright (5th in U/16 100m hurdles after PB of 13.93 in her heat) and Tyla Stolberg (5th in the U18 shotput - 13.37m).
Ryan Stewart came 10th in the U16 3km walk (16.36.58).
After the weekend championships, other Ipswich club members also represented their schools in the knockout competition that followed on Monday.
Caterson and an ever-smiling Thomas again shared in the medals, despite the tiring four days of competition.
Brisbane Boys Grammar School athlete Caterson won his Senior 700gm javelin event with a personal best throw of 55.36m.
Thomas won the 200m (23.12 timed) final and came second in the Intermediate 100m (11.27 timed) final.
He came 11th in the high jump and seventh in the 1000m Swedish relay representing St Edmund's College.
His St Edmund's College teammates also toiled hard.
Alex Davies came sixth in the Intermediate 800m final; Jude Thomas finished seventh in the Intermediate 800m final and seventh in the 400m leg of the Swedish relay; and Sony Vukelic had two seventh placings. They were in the Intermediate 100m and 100m leg of the Swedish relay.