WHEN Kane Simmons started seriously pursuing javelin success just over a year ago he never could have imagined that he'd find himself on the national stage in such a short space of time.
Not only did Simmons make his way to the recent Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney, he came back home with a bronze medal from the under 18s javelin throw.
Simmons fired a 55.83 metre throw with his second attempt of the finals, which had him sitting in second place, before he was relegated to third only late in the piece.
Still, it was hard to dampen Simmons' joy after finishing as the top-placed NSW competitor.
Only Bryce Cooper (59.31m, Western Australia) and Ben Roberts (56.28m, Queensland) finished ahead of him.
Simmons held off Nathan Graham (54.96m) in the battle for third to get his revenge from the NSW Junior Athletics Championships.
Simmons has been stunned by how smoothly he's progressed through the javelin ranks.
"Last year was more about getting to know the sport and this year there's been more of a professional approach," he said.
"There's been a lot of training, commitment and sometimes a bit of sacrifice to get to where I am.
"I was quite shocked with the bronze. I went to the championships just hoping to throw a new PB, which I did with a 56.83m, and then managed to sneak into third place."
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Cooper laid down a big mark of 58.11 with his first throw of the finals while Simmons left himself almost 10 metres to make up following his opening attempt.
The Bathurst competitor switched things up midway through the finals and it paid off.
"I entered my own implement because I train with that one. The first couple of throws were pretty good but then one of my throws didn't land so I watched over to one of the implements they had there and that ended up being my third place throw," Simmons said.
"On [Roberts'] second last throw he bumped me down to third and that got me psyched up a little bit.
"I went to throw it and it had the distance but the tip just didn't manage to land in.
"I was so happy that all my family were there to support me and my coach as well."
Simmons' Bathurst High School classmate Zen Clark was the city's other competitor at the championships.
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Clark came home sixth in the under 20s 100 and 200 metre sprints.
Those were some seriously impressive results for the talented sprinter who was racing against much more experienced opponents.
Clark finished third in his 100m heat with a 11.17 second run into a headwind and was consistent with an 11.20 in the final under similar conditions.
He ran 22.29 in the 200m final to finish just two hundredths of a second off fourth place.
"It was my goal just to make the final because I'm competing in under 20s, up from my age, so I'm racing against people born in 2000 whereas I was born in 2001," Clark said.
"I had a good run up to nationals considering I had very little training in the lead up. It's got me very excited for next season."