MORE medals and personal bests are in the sights of South Bendigo’s Chelsea Tickell in the run to the end of the 2021-22 track and field season.
Chelsea, 12, marked her first Athletics Victoria open and under-age championsips by winning gold in the under-14 1500m and 800m across two weekends at Lakeside Stadium in South Melbourne.
A time of 4:59.08 in the 1500m was a personal best and followed a run of 4:59.29 at a Milers Meet round on January 20 at Box Hill.
“The 1500 is my stronger event, but I will do the best I can,” Chelsea said going into the 800m showdown where she ran her heat in 2:30 and followed with a time of 2:24.54 in the final to strike gold.
Victory in her first final at AV level capped many hours Chelsea put in racing and training.
“I went into the race a lot more relaxed than I usually am,” Chelsea said.
Her time at Box Hill earlier in the year meant she was among the top seeds in the final.
“The goal was to stay at or near the front, and I was able to do that,” Chelsea said of race tactics.
“At 800 metres to go the pace really picked up. I was pleased with how I finished the race and to win gold.”
Chelsea said racing at Victorian Milers Meets in 800m or 1500m at Box Hill played a big part in building confidence and strength.
She ran in the B-grade mile at Lakeside on February 8 and clocked an impressive time of 5:28.66.
A big summer has included Little Athletics of a Saturday morning, and then some races in AVSL in the afternoon at the Flora Hill complex.
Chelsea was in hot form at the recently-run Little Athletics Regional Championships in Albury.
She won the under-13 400m, 800m and 1500m, and was second in long jump.
Little Athletes will be bound for Lakeside on March 12 and 13 to contest the Commonwealth Bank-sponsored state championships.
Athletics has played a big part in the Tickell family for many years.
Chelsea’s father, Lucas was a gun athlete and has played a key role in helping sons Zackery and Logan in their athletics and other sporting pursuits.
“Dad gives me a few racing tips,” said Chelsea who started in Little Athletics with the On-Track program.
“The support from all the family is great,” Chelsea said.
A year 8 student at Bendigo South East Secondary College, Chelsea is in ADP program where Andy Buchanan is athletics coach.
Buchanan did not place any great expectations on any of the athletes in the squad going into the state titles.
“State championships are a great goal and motivation for all athletes,” Buchanan said.
“For an athlete of Chelsea’s age it’s more about development and enjoyment of the sport.
“To win gold is a fantastic achievement for all her hard work. Enjoying what she is doing and looking forward to racing and training is more important.
“Her confidence has really grown.”