Young Mount Gambier runner Hayden Crowe (pictured) stormed past his rivals to earn multiple medals during a couple huge weekends of athletics. Crowe impressed at the 2021 State Championships in Adelaide before turning heads at the Ballarat Gift last weekend.
He said the busy period was hard work, but it made the five podium finishes even more special as he enjoys a hot streak in his career. “I am quite tired because it has been a couple of big and busy weekends,” Crowe said. “At the moment I would say I am in the best form I have been.”
Fresh from being awarded the Craig Elliot Perpetual Trophy from Mt Gambier High School, Crowe gave it his all in a thrilling 100-metre race at the State Championships. Despite smashing his personal best time and the 11-second barrier, Crowe came within 0.02 seconds of the win, but was satisfied with his performance.
“Obviously I lost by 0.02 of a second, but I was really happy with the race,” he said. “It was also my first sub 11-second time which I did not expect and I pushed myself a lot harder than I have in the past because the winner had such a sizable lead.”
Shortly after the 100m dash, Crowe returned to the starting blocks for the 400-metre event and almost snatched victory, but was caught in the last 50m and had to settle for second. He claimed another Silver in the 200-metre race and impressively overcame the Under 18 National qualifying time in all three events.
Crowe did not have much time to rest as he crossed the border to compete at the Ballarat Gift. The Mount Gambier speedster was forced to start at the very back in each event, but that did not stop him from charging towards victory in the restricted 400-metre sprint.
Crowe was ecstatic with his performance and said he executed the race plan perfectly. “That was an exciting race because the commentator was hyping me up and it was a brilliant run,” he said. “In the first 10m I drove out pretty hard and then relaxed a little bit, but once we went onto the first straight that is when I made my moves.
“Coming onto the curve there were a few people I got right up behind to set myself up, but I got stuck on the outside and had to run a bit further than the others. “So I stuck with them before coming onto the straight and started to explode because I think I had more energy in reserve.”
Crowe also scored two silver medals in the restricted and Under 18’s 120-metre events after being forced to start at the back. Leila Croker and Emma Lynch also exceeded the national qualifier times in their respective events at the State Championships.