SUPERSTAR: Gladstone athlete Sophie Duff has played in the U15 schools touch championship and won gold in the triple jump at the U15 Schools Queensland track and field.
SUPERSTAR: Gladstone athlete Sophie Duff has played in the U15 schools touch championship and won gold in the triple jump at the U15 Schools Queensland track and field. Matt Taylor GLA301018DUFF

Gladstone's rising star just having fun at what she does

ATHLETICS/TOUCH: Athletics, touch, school, work and winning medals.

It's part and parcel for Gladstone rising star Sophie Duff and she has returned home with gold medals in two sports.

She was a member of the victorious Queensland team that swept through undefeated at the School Sport Australia National Touch Championships in Hobart. Queensland romped home in the final 7-1 against arch-enemy New South Wales.

"I think I contributed to the team by rucking well in the middle and with my running from half," she said.

"There are a lot of girls in the side with so much talent and we all had roles to play and every body executed their job.

"I was very happy with my form and we had several training camps before we went away which polished everything off nicely before the tournament.

"The coaching staff fostered a strong Queensland spirit."

Sophie said it was an honour to represent the Central Queensland region because she was the only Gladstone girl in the Queensland team.

Many things went right as the Queensland team gelled.

"We had a lot of speed right across park and we used this to our advantage," Sophie said.

"Many of us have played together for Queensland for the past few years."

Her efforts earned her selection in the Queensland U20 State of Origin side that will play against New South Wales in Deception Bay on November 9-10.

But there's more to her talents. Sophie then flew north to Brisbane and did her thing in the high-jump at the Queensland School Track Championships and delivered yet again.

"I think being in Tassie playing touch took my mind off the athletics and feeling the excitement of winning the national touch final was a relief, so I felt very relaxed when I got back to Brisbane Friday night which I believed helped me on Saturday," she said.

"I jumped 11.95m which was a 50cm PB which I was very happy with. I was surprised at how many girls were jumping (30) which is great for the sport."

Sophie's next athletics assignment is at the All Schools Australian Nationals on December 8. Her routine returns to somewhat of a normal one until next month's touch test.

"I have one day off a week and we alternate between speed work, skills, touch and triple jump and strength training," Sophie said.

"It's a balancing act because I also work at SportsPower one or two afternoons a week."