Meriden student, Claudia Meaker, is set to make history as the youngest-ever athlete to compete at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships, which are due to be held in Bathurst later this month.
Fifteen-year-old Claudia was invited by Athletics Australia selectors to represent her country after she displayed her exceptional strength and endurance to place fifth in the Under 20 Women’s qualifying event.
The World Athletics Cross Country Championships is known as one of the most gruelling events of the World Athletics Series. Top athletes from around the world will travel to Bathurst to compete on the challenging course, located on the iconic Mount Panorama Circuit.
Claudia will compete for both individual and team success in the Under 20 Women’s Team. For the Year 10 student, donning the green and gold for the first time in front of an enthusiastic home crowd is a dream come true.
“I am really looking forward to the whole experience of the event, including meeting other athletes from different countries and seeing how elite runners prepare for these big races,” said Claudia.
“I feel so lucky to be running in a major championship in Australia with my family and friends close by to share the excitement and experience with me. I am sure their support will bring out the best in me.”
Claudia, who is a member of the School’s Olympus Program for elite sportswomen, was six years old when she started competing in cross country.
“I ran my first school cross country in Year 2 and started Little Athletics soon after that. I have continued to play other sports, but running has always been my strength,” she said.
In December, Claudia pulled off a gold medal performance with a ten-second personal-best time in the Under 16 girls 3000-metre race at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships.
Claudia dreams of one day competing in the Olympics, a goal she looks well on her way to achieving. Congratulations and best wishes for the World Championships, Claudia. The Meriden community is right behind you!