Held at the dust-riddled Cessnock Racecourse, athletes from both primary and secondary schools took to the track to compete in the annual event.
With distances varying from 2kms for the 8, 9 and 10 year olds, to 8kms for the senior high school students, runners were faced with the challenge of running through dirt, grass, sand and even horse hoof diverts.
Students from Medowie and Wirreanda Public Schools, as well as Medowie residents who attend schools further afield, took part in the event, as part of the Port Stephens Zone Team, with outstanding results.
Most notable of the achievements were the results of athletes from two well-known athletics families from Medowie.
Siblings Jai and Baylee Holland both placed in the top twenty of their respective events.
Jai backed up his previous form with a top 3 finish in the 12-year-olds’, primary schools event.
Jai said, “I won the Port Stephens Zone race in May and I just finished 3rd here at regionals.
“I’ve won twice before at regionals but this is my fourth time making it through to State,” he told News Of The Area.
With his time of 10.20mins for the 3km distance, Jai was a mere 7 seconds behind the leader and 2nd place runners, both from the Newcastle City zone.
Jai’s older sister, Baylee, finished thirteenth in the 13 year girls’ secondary students’ event.
Jai now moves through to the Stage Championships, to be held at Eastern Creek on 22 July.
Another of the fast finishing families from Medowie were the Conlons.
Dane, also racing in the 12-year-old boys’ race, finished thirteenth, whilst his younger sister, Dixie, finished 16th in the 8/9 year girls’ race, an age group she is still eligible for next year.
Dixie’s result is put into perspective further, when considering 12 months ago she spent 10 weeks in a wheelchair with a severely broken leg.
Several other Medowie students finished with personal best times or placings, all high achievements in their own right.
By Jenny BAXTER