COBDEN runner Drew Semmens is on track to tick off his goal of an improved performance at the national championships next month.
Nanjing Night Net

The 18-year-old is fresh from a promising campaign at the Victorian Open and Athletes With Disabilities (AWD) Championships at Albert Park over the long weekend.

He clocked in at a personal best time of 53.2 seconds in the AWD 400-metres to collect bronze, while he snared silver in the 800m after running two minutes and eight seconds — two seconds off his personal best.

He was the only Victorian competing in the long jump but was happy with his consistency, recording four jumps over five metres on his way to gold.

He also contested the open 1500m, which welcomed almost 60 competitors.

Semmens competed in the second heat, running two seconds quicker than he did a fortnight ago in warm conditions.

“I ran the perfect race on the Friday night (in the 1500m),” he said. “I was pretty happy with the way I went that night, although I was taking on open company.”

He described Saturday’s conditions as the toughest during the competition because of a strong headwind.

“A 53 seconds in a strong breeze was very pleasing,” he said. “I also had the opportunity to run against one of Australia’s greatest ever Paralympians, 10-time gold medallist Tim Sullivan, who is in preparation for his fourth consecutive Paralympic Games, which was great.”

Semmens’ next major event is the Queensland State Championships from March 30 to April 1, which will be followed by the Australian Championships from April 13 to 15 at Albert Park.

“The next stop is Queensland, which I’m looking forward to and hopefully it will be nice weather,” he said. “But I’ve got the nationals on my mind and I want to make amends from a disappointing titles last year, (when) I was going in with injuries a few weeks before.”

He said his focus was to continue to be consistent for the remainder of the season.

“I’m pretty happy to be in some good form,” he said.

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