Youngster Riley Gould had one final chance to qualify for the Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney on March 21-29, when competing at the Athletics ACT Summer Series meet at the Australian Institute of Sport on Saturday.
Stepping out in the 800m Riley had to break 2:15.00, and with the help of older brother Jack Gould running as a pacemaker, Riley ran a new personal best of 2:14.73, securing his spot at nationals in March.
“It was pretty awesome,” Riley said.
“I went out as hard as I could and with Jack running with me and talking to me, I was able to hold my pace and get to nationals.”
The 14-year-old has been making massive strives in his training, working almost every day to get the best out of his running.
“Right now, I’m training six days a week,” Riley said.
“There’s quite a lot of jogging involved, hill runs, intervals and long runs.”
Riley, who is now focusing on running a good time at nationals, thanked those working with him.
“I want to go as fast as possible and make a new best time and hopefully I can make the final but I wouldn’t be going this fast without my father (Jamie Gould), my training and my coach Lisa (Corrigan).”
Jamie Gould, who assists in coaching his sons Riley and Jack Gould with former Australian representative Lisa Corrigan, was especially proud of Riley’s efforts on Saturday.
“It was pretty special,” he said.
“To get one kid to compete at a nationals is amazing, and two have two is really special,” he said.
Gould didn’t detract from the influence of Corrigan, who has really helped the Gould family and their aspirations of athletic success.
“It really is terrific but it all comes back to Lisa (Corrigan),” he said.
“At the end of the day, she is my mentor and she has been teaching me everything along the way.
“I am picking up and learning things every time I am with her or talking to her.”
Gould, who trains his children in Batlow, will be a very proud coach when nationals come around, having prepared four children for the premier athletic event.
Besides Riley and Jack, Gould will have Gundagai athlete Indiana Cooper and Wagga competitor Leyla Liakatos feature at Sydney.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Gould said.
“I am just making sure they are working to their regime and monitoring how they are feeling every day.”
Gould explained that working with young athletes can be difficult and that each of them were different.
“Every training session comes back to how they feel on the day and I need to take that into consideration,” he said.
“You don’t want to push them too far, just like anybody else, they have days they feel great and days they feel off.”
It will be all guns blazing in the next month though, as Gould and his four athletes make their finals preparations for nationals.