Sophie's just made of Duff stuff
ATHLETICS: Gun all-round athlete Sophie Duff has excelled yet again in a major event.
This time she jumped to golden glory at the Queensland Junior Athletics Championships in Brisbane held on the weekend.
Sophie jumped a distance of 11.32 metres in the final of the under-16 girls' triple jump to claim a gold medal, 5cm and 14cm respectively.
It was a reward for effort and she backed her training methods to get the best possible outcome. "It was very exciting, but also a relief knowing all my training has paid off," Sophie said.
"It was a very small field of girls but extremely strong so I was nervous before the competition started.
"But as the competition started and my jumps were getting better, I knew I just had to trust my training."
She came agonisingly close to a second gold medal in the U16 girl's long jump where she cleared 5.33 metres.
Both distances were new records for the Gladstone Athletics Club.
"The silver medal was very exciting in the long jump as I have never jumped this well at this stage in the season," Sophie said.
"It is is hopefully reassuring as school athletics is coming up later on this year."
The results qualifies her to compete at the 2018 Australian Junior Athletics Championships from March 14-18 at Sydney's Olympic Park.
Sophie's proud dad Richard Duff said conditions were challenging especially on Saturday.
"Saturday was pretty wet, but Sunday was good conditions for jumping," he said.
"She loves doing both triple and long jump and enjoys the 100-metre sprints as well."
In that particular event, Sophie finished eighth in a time of 13.24sec.
Fellow Gladstone athlete Maddie Sherriff fared well at the same championships and she posted a fourth place in the final of the U20 women's discus.
Sophie's next assignment is the 2018 National Touch League and Elite Eight Series in Coffs Harbour from March 7-10.
"She enjoys doing both and we'll wait and see, but we'll let the sport choose her," Duff said of her choice between athletics and touch.
Sophie will play alongside Australian World Cup and Commonwealth Championship winning Australian Jillaroo Chelsea Baker and Hannah Slaughter in the Women's T-League category.
The other Gladstone players who will feature in the Coffs Harbour event will be Tallis Stanhope (boys) and the Men's T-League Gladstone contingent are Matt Baker, Brad Hansen, Lyncoln Rebel and Jason Stanhope.
The port city will also be well represented in the Men's 40's Senior Division with Dennis Black, Steve Stanhope and Michael Cavanagh while Sonia Anderson and Nicole Lowe are in the Women's 27s Senior Division team.