Going places fast
By MITCHELL DALE
FLETCHER Carney only knows one speed ? fast.
Whether he is running sprints or middle distance events, Fletcher invariably gets to the finishing line quicker than most kids his age.
The 11-year-old Mullaway Public School student last week claimed what is thought to be a first for the region in winning the 100m, 200m and 800m track events in the New South Wales PSSA championships at Homebush Stadium.
His efforts earned him the Queen Elizabeth Trophy for the best athlete of the meet.
Fletcher's results had respected athletics coach Bill Minard bubbling with enthusiasm.
Minard rates Fletcher a potential superstar.
"This type of athlete only comes along once every 20-30 years, he has got a big future," Minard said.
"I don't think the (100m, 200m, 800m) has ever been done by an athlete from this region before.
"Not in my time anyway.
"It is incredible, especially considering one was a middle distance event and the other two were sprints."
Making Fletcher's achievement all the more incredible was that he won all three on the same day.
"He ran the 800m final on Thursday morning, one hour later he had the 100m semi final, one and a half hours later the 200m and then later in the day he had the 100m final," Minard said.
"He has been about 0.8 of a second off breaking the 200m record, which has stood since 1979.
"I reckon he would have given it a real nudge if he hadn't already run the 800m. At this stage, I think he will be 200m and 400m runner, but that might change yet."
Minard says Fletcher has the temperament to match his running ability. "I could tell him to put on a suit of armour and run two miles and he would," he said. "He just loves running."