Cessnock Little Athletics member Drew Dodgson brought home the club's first state title in 10 years when he took out the under-17s boys' discus competition at the NSW championships last month.
Dodgson, of Millfield, threw 51.63 metres to secure the gold medal in his final year of Little Athletics competition.
After a COVID-interrupted 2020, Dodgson said it has been "good to get back into the routine", training at Cessnock as well as two days a week in Newcastle.
He joined Cessnock Little Athletics in the under-10s, and started competing in discus a year later, also competing in shot put and javelin.
He has competed at the state Little Athletics championships since 2015, with third place in discus in 2019 his previous best result.
The Mount View High student said he has competed against the same core group of athletes over the years, some of whom attend selective sports high schools in Sydney and train up to three hours a day.
Dodgson will now represent NSW at the Australian junior athletics championships, which will be held at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre from April 12 to 19 as part of the 2021 Australian Athletics Championships (the largest annual athletics event in Australia and the Oceania-Pacific region).
He was among a contingent of seven Cessnock athletes who qualified for the state championships, which were held at the SOPAC over the last two weekends in March.
Kobi Ryan placed seventh in the under-10 boys' long jump and ninth in the 70-metre sprint; Myles Crosdale placed eighth in the under-11 boys' shot put, and Mitchell Downes placed 21st in the under-9 boys' shot put.
Ella Hokin came 16th in the under-13 girls discus and 20th in shot put; Matilda Lemckert placed 22nd in the under-13 girls shot put, while Jasmine Kerr qualified for the under-15 girls' long jump but could not compete due to injury.
Cessnock Little Athletics Centre president Candise Hokin said the club is very proud of these athletes for their "awesome" achievements.
The Branxton/Greta club was also represented at the state championships, with Harlan Stewart competing in the under-10 boy's 70-metre sprint (finishing fifth), 100-metre sprint and 800-metre run, and Pyper Jacobs placing 14th in the under-14 girls' long jump.