Helen set for final hurdle
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
SACRIFICING the good times that most girls her age enjoy is starting to pay it's dividends for Toormina High student Helen McRae.
The 17 year-old has hardly gone out for the last four months, staying behind while her group of friends has enjoyed life but the rewards have been worth it.
The hurdler has qualified for the national championships in early December after winning gold in the state 110 metre hurdles, but that achievement itself brings more sacrifice.
"I have to leave schoolies half way through to go to nationals," the HSC student explained.
"To be honest I didn't even think about going to nationals until a couple of weeks ago.
"I really wanted to go to schoolies but with nationals now, I can't not go to Sydney.
"I've been looking at the other girls times and I'm up there so I have to go."
McRae's new found passion for her running has come from the depths of despair.
"My mum gave so much support to me with my running," she said.
"When she died in 2003 I decided that I wanted to get the gold medal for her. "When I started this year, I was doing it for her."
The motivation provided by her mother has certainly seen improvement come McRae's way in leaps and bounds.
The improvement no doubt can be put down to the efforts that coach Bill Minard has put in as well as the extra training that the talented athlete has put in.
"I've been with Bill for just over four years and this year I've been training four times a week," she added.
"Normally I've just been doing sprint training but I've also been doing weights this year and I've noticed the results with my strength in my technique."