PAYTON Smede continues to shine in the world of athletics, with the Dubbo schoolgirl winning selection in the NSW squad for next month’s Australian Championships in Hobart.
Payton, 13, was crowned NSW champion for her age in the 200m hurdles at the recent Little Athletics state titles at Homebush, winning the event in a time of 28.00s. The year 8 St John’s College student also claimed silver in the 80m hurdles and the 400m, and finished fourth in the 200m flat event.
Her efforts were enough to see her selected as one of 11 members of the NSW team for the Australian titles, which will be held during the upcoming school
Payton’s rise up the ranks has come at a phenomenal rate, with her father John Smede telling the story of how his daughter only took up Little Athletics a couple of years ago.
“Payton was always going in the athletics carnivals at school and would win events there but then when she went to the next level she would struggle because she wasn’t training,” he said.
“We never pressured her but one day a couple of years ago she came home and said she wanted to do Little A’s and it has just gone from there really.
“We’re really proud of her because she puts in so much effort and it is nice to see her being rewarded for that effort with the results she is getting.”
Unfortunately for Payton the 200m hurdles isn’t an event that is contested at the Australian Championships, meaning she will compete in the 80m hurdles, 400m, triple jump and the relay.
She has been training daily under the tutelage of Ross Doulton, Davie Williams and her father and the results are there to be seen.
In fact, after she posed for some photos with Daily Liberal photographer Belinda Soole she was scheduled to do some long running around Barden Park.
“She goes for 400m, then has a rest and does another 400m and every time she has to be within 10 per cent of a certain time,” John Smede said.
“It’s tough work and she needs to be dedicated to it but she’s doing well.”