To break a state shot put record is impressive, but to take more than a metre off one is astounding.
That’s exactly what Aiden Harvey did at the NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) athletics carnival on Thursday, September 8.
The Kurri Kurri High School student threw the 5kg shot put 19.11 metres in the 17-years plus event, which smashed the previous record of 17.99 metres.
His throw was still almost 40cm off his personal best, and came after a week of illness.
“To do it after being sick was something I was happy with,” he said.
There was daylight between Aiden and the second-placed throw of 15.4 metres.
The 17-year-old’s explanation for why his performance was by far the best in the CHS competition was simple.
“I just train hard,” he said, “a lot more than anyone else does.”
He trains three days a week in the gym and practices throwing four times a week at Maitland.
The teenager also travels to Sydney once a fortnight to see his coach David Bruce, who has trained world class junior athletes.
Aiden will now go through to the NSW All Schools state carnival in October, which falls the day after the HSC English Exams.
But Aiden said he was confident of nationals qualification, as he had made it to the Australian level five times before.
He will also have his eye on the NSW All Schools record of 19.60 metres.
It’s all part of Aiden’s larger goal of competing on the world stage and eventually at the Olympics.
I just train hard, a lot more than anyone else does.- Kurri Kurri High School student Aiden Harvey
He needs to add about a metre to his throw to qualify for the 2018 2018 IAAF World Junior (Under 20) Athletics Championships in Poland and a metre on top of that to make it to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Aiden is on track to get there, having averaged a two metre increase to his throws each year.
“There’s still a lot of things to improve on that will give me the extra distance,” he said.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing.”
It’s this kind of dedication that drove Aiden to succeed in the sport.
“It’s just a challenge,” he said.
“There’s other people throwing further than me in the world and I’ve got to try and catch them. It’s like a puzzle.”
Aiden hopes to study at Sydney University after graduating high school this year, and continue his training down in the state capital.
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