Top Coffs Harbour athlete receives US college scholarship

Hayley Kitching has received a scholarship to attend Penn State University in the US.


JUNIOR state champion Hayley Kitching has accepted a scholarship offer to attend Penn State University’s track and field team in the USA.

The 17-year-old will compete in the Cross Country and Track and Field events for Penn State University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition, after she finishes her high school learning this year at the Coffs Harbour Senior College.

She shared with News Of The Area her excitement of taking on some of the best young athletes in the world in the US college system.

“Being part of a team and being able to race against a large number of high-level athletes from all around the world is what I’m most looking forward to about competing in the NCAA,” she said.

Kitching won both the Under 18 Girls 800m and 1500m events at the NSW Athletics Championships in December.

These victories would have secured her a spot at the national championships but it was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19.

She also was the national champion in the Under 18 Girls 800m event last year.

Kitching is set to compete at the 2022 World Junior Athletics Championships in Columbia in August.

She has the fastest qualifying time (2:07.27) in the Under 20 Girls’ 800 meters and the fourth fastest qualifying time (4:28.63) in the 1500 meters in the country for the World Championships.

Kitching has faced a number of challenges in pursuit of her athletic endeavours during the past two year, however the state champion has been dedicated and trained consistently in the face of restrictions, lockdowns, postponements and cancellations.



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