Port Stephens sprint queen Summah Harrison caps memorable 2023 with State athletics titles

Rising Corlette sprinter Summah Harrison shows her explosive running style at last year’s Australian All Schools Track and Field Championships in Adelaide.

HAVE speed will travel is the motto for emerging Port Stephens sprint queen Summah Harrison.

Dubbed the ‘Corlette Express’, seventeen-year-old Summah is carving her niche on the athletics track with gold medal winning performances in elite competition.

The teenage sensation has stamped herself the fastest sprinter for her age in the State with blistering times in her pet 100 metre event.

Under the guidance of leading Newcastle sprint coach Tim Eschebach, the future is looking bright for Summah who has developed into one of the country’s most promising sprinters.

It has been a meteoric rise for the quicksilver Harrison who has bounced back with stellar achievements after rupturing her ACL and tearing her meniscus back in 2021.

Earlier this year the talented Tomaree High schoolgirl was crowned the NSW Under 18s State champion and has followed it up with impressive victories in prestigious finals on the Olympic Homebush track.

Competing in the NSW Combined High Schools Athletics Championships, Summah showed the benefits of her intense training to claim gold in the 100 metre dash in a time of 11.98 seconds.

The Corlette flash was later named the Champion of Champions Sprinter as the fastest female 100 metre competitor in all age groups at the coveted schools meet.

Her explosive starts have been a feature of the gold medal haul.

She demonstrated her power and speed while running into a headwind to win the recent NSW All Schools 100 metre final – crossing the line first and posting 12.13 seconds for her efforts.

A dedicated Summah told News Of The Area that her tough training program was “reaping plenty of dividends on the track”.

“I am working very hard on my sprinting technique and have learnt so much from Tim who is a top coach,” she exclaimed.

“My sprinting has developed immensely and as my results have shown he has instilled the confidence in me to run fast at all the major meets,” Summah added.

A highlight for Harrison was being the fastest NSW runner at the Australian Junior Under 18 Track & Field Championships in Brisbane back in April.

The Port Stephens bullet recorded a personal best time of 11.80 seconds in the 100m Girls Final to finish fourth in a quality field.

Sixteen year old Queensland sprint sensation Zara Hagan – a Commonwealth Youth Games representative – won the final in 11.60 sec from Western Australian Olivia Dodds (11.72 sec) with Victoria’s Grace Kelly (11.74 sec) pipping Summah for a podium spot.

Another milestone for Harrison in that race was setting a qualifying time for the Australian Commonwealth Youth Games squad.

It has been a fascinating journey to date for Summah who took up athletics at the age of thirteen after leaving St Michael’s Primary School at Nelson Bay.

Blessed with raw pace, she represented Hunter in Oz Tag at State Cup carnivals and was a talented fullback in Ladies League Tag before joining the Port Stephens Athletics Club as a natural sprinter.

Since winning her first junior race in 2019, Summah has qualified for every State and National Championship Final during the past five years and has chalked up several Country Championship titles.

She trains three days per week with coach Eschebach in Newcastle – building her strength and conditioning – in preparation for the upcoming Treloar Race series in the Under 20s and Open divisions and State Relay Championships at Campbelltown.

Summah will be chasing more gold when she represents NSW at this year’s Australian All Schools Track & Field Championships in Western Australia during December.

Judging by her commitment, dedication and hunger to succeed, the Corlette Express is well on the way to realising her dream of representing Australia at a Commonwealth and OIympic Games.

By Chris KARAS

Port Stephens sprint queen Summah Harrison displays her gold medal after winning the NSW All Schools 100m Girls title at Homebush.

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