Junior athletes in the Upper Hunter excel at the NSWCPS Athletics Championships

BUDDING young talent from across the state competed for top place on the podium on Friday at the NSWCPS Athletics Championships.

And, local students were not lacking in technique with a number of them qualifying for the state Polding squad.

Pupils traveled from throughout NSW –  including Bathurst, Tenterfield, Broken Bay, Dubbo and beyond to compete at the event – and the competition was fierce. 

To get to Polding level, athletes had to place in the top three at their school, zone and then regional level.

Five students from the Upper Hunter successfully made the team including 10-year-old Darcy Taaffe from St Joseph’s Merriwa.

Taaffe competed in the under-10 800m after placing second in the event on Friday, running her best ever time of 2:44.61.

Proving to be an all-rounder on the track and field, she also secured fifth in the 100m and 11th in high jump.

Her mother Tash Taaffe said it was the first time that someone from the school had made it to the team.

“Darcy said to me about three years ago that one day she wanted to be standing on the podium,” she said.

“She trains at home on the farm, running on our long country roads.

“Darcy takes her dog with her, marking 100m marks with ribbons along the fence-line.”

St Mary’s Scone Primary School student Oliver Schumaker, 12, also performed well in the 800m after placing thirdrd in the final running 2:31.78.

Taaffe and Schumaker were joined by Singleton and Muswellbrook pupils Alix O’Bryan, Kiya Shorter and Luke Marco competing in track, high jump and shot put.

The top three from the Polding championships now go on to represent NSW Catholic schools in Sydney.