Meet Josh Darby – the fastest 13-year-old in NSW over 100 metres.
The year 8 Mount Annan High School student recently earned the prestigious mantle after he secured the gold medal in the NSW All Schools Carnival 100 metre event.
He also walked away with a bronze after a third place finish in the 200 metre race.
The scope of the achievements – particularly the gold medal which he won for the second consecutive year – haven’t been lost on the teenager either.
“It is still really hard to believe,” he said.
“It still hasn’t sunk in that I am the fastest 100 metre runner in NSW [in my age division] for the second year in a row.”
The teenager’s results are even more impressive given he is not a member of an athletics club.
While he trains five nights a week, three of those nights are spent training with the Macarthur Rams – where he plays goalkeeper in the National Premier League Youth League.
Another night is spent focusing solely on goalkeeping while he spends another being put through his paces by personal trainer Blake Johnson at Fitness2SuitU in Mount Annan.
Josh said he believed the combination of training programs played a major role in athletics results.
“It makes me laugh that people think because I’m a goalkeeper I can’t run fast,” he said.
“(But) I think it is the core work I do for my goalkeeping, that helps with the running.
“Blake has really helped a lot with my technique and fitness and is good to talk to before a race.”
The teenager will test himself against the best in the country when he competes at the All Schools Championships in October.
He said the aim was to continue to train hard and improve his times.
And who knows where that might lead?
“My main goal is to always better my PB (personal best) from the previous race, but eventually it is my goal to one day qualify for the Commonwealth and Olympic Games,” he said.
“I find running great fun and really enjoy it.
“I like the competitive side and my aim is to always better my time each time I race.
“It gives me something to keep working hard for.”