HUNTER coach Tony Fairweather believes he has discovered the three ‘‘next big things’’ in athletics.
Sprinters Dallas Green, 17, Tia O’Carroll, 16, and Jacarna Bain-Fenton, 16, passed their first test against senior elite athletes with flying colours at the NSW Open Track and Field Championships on March 25-27 at Sydney Olympic Park, each making the finals.
Bain-Fenton was named NSW open reserve champion after placing fourth in the women’s open 400-metre race. She was the second NSW runner to cross the line. Training partner Pirrenee Steinert finished second overall to be state champion.
O’Carroll finished seventh and was the fourth NSW runner to finish.
Green was eighth in the 100m men’s open and sixth in the 200m.
That followed a fourth in the 100m and sixth in the 200m at the junior track and field national championships last month.
Running is in the blood for Moree-born Green, who is the cousin of Hunter-based 200m NSW champion Liam Gander.
‘‘I believe Dallas is the next big thing in athletics,’’ Fairweather said.
‘‘I know that’s a big call coming from me, because I used to coach [four-time Australian 100m champion] Joshua Ross, but Dallas catches the eye of anyone who watches.
‘‘He runs like [Usain] Bolt.’’
Fairweather said Green’s technique was solid but he lacked explosive power.
‘‘But that will come with gym work, these things take time to develop,’’ he said.
Green’s goal was to break the 11-second mark in the 100m this year and he achieved that at the junior nationals with a time of 10.83 (10.70 wind assisted).
Green needs to lower that mark by about 0.2 of a second to qualify for world junior championships in Barcelona next year.
Fairweather claims Bain-Fenton and O’Carroll are ‘‘the future of 400m racing.’’
‘‘Tia and Jacarna are going to work really well together and provide another element in training for Pirrenee, who now has two very talented juniors close on her heels in training,’’ Fairweather said.
Green, Bain-Fenton and O’Carroll now face a busy off-season as they strive to qualify for the junior world championships.
‘‘We will be going to worlds, I am sure of it,’’ Fairweather said. ‘‘I’ve had a lot of athletes come and go, but what’s really exciting for me is to get involved from the grassroots.’’