Hannah English on Black Envy gains a strong lead during race five at the Nanango Races on February 15. (Photo: Jessica McGrath).
Hannah English on Black Envy gains a strong lead during race five at the Nanango Races on February 15. (Photo: Jessica McGrath).

TOP 10: Moments of individual Burnett sporting brilliance

IN A year where sporting competitions were cancelled, these ten athletes dug deep representing the South Burnett at various levels of sport.

This list contains ten athletes who showed signs of individual brilliance through the 2020 year of South Burnett sport.

1. The future of South Burnett swimming

The Kingaroy Redfin's Alex Reddacliff
The Kingaroy Redfin's Alex Reddacliff

Alex Reddacliff has been swimming for as long as he can remember and being in a pool has become second nature.

The 13-year-old was crowned age champion at the Kingaroy open swim meet yesterday, which hosted over 150 competitors from all over the Wide Bay region.

Reddacliff was impressive all-day taking home four first place finishes and two thirds.

He also competed in regionals in March coming away with a second in the 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 400m freestyle and a third in the 100 freestyle.

2. From Kingaroy Boxer to world title contender

Liam Wilson vs. Jackson Woods at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Liam Wilson vs. Jackson Woods at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Aussie boxer Liam Wilson announced himself to the world with a savage highlight reel knockout in only his sixth professional fight.

Wilson (5-0) squared up against Venezuelan veteran Jesus Cuadro, (18-6) back in March in the National Boxing Series and put out his lights with a brutal left hook.

Cuadro was unconscious from the moment it landed.

The former Kingaroy lad has gone from boxing in Kingaroy to one of the biggest up and coming names in Australian boxing.

3. Nanango jockey makes the most of home track advantage

Hannah English on Black Envy gains a strong lead during race five at the Nanango Races on February 15. (Photo: Jessica McGrath).
Hannah English on Black Envy gains a strong lead during race five at the Nanango Races on February 15. (Photo: Jessica McGrath).

At the Nanango Races in February, local jockey Hannah English and trainer Glenn Richardson had a highly successful weekend.

English raced in all six races finishing with two firsts, one third, two sixths and a fifth.

She rode Black Envy to first place in race five and Arnwood to first place in race two.

4. Argent a woodchip short of grand final birth

Blackbutt's Mitch Argent in full swing at the Stihl Timbersports Australian Trophy
Blackbutt's Mitch Argent in full swing at the Stihl Timbersports Australian Trophy

Thousands of spectators converged on the St Kilda Foreshore to watch the Stihl Timbersports Australain Trophy with Blackbutt‘s Mitchell Argent finishing in third place.

The 24-year-old was narrowly beaten by two hits in his semi-final match up in the knockout style competition.

Despite making the podium, Argent‘s day did not get off to a great start with the Queenslander failing to make the top four in the time trial after an error on the Stocksaw.

In the elimination round, Argent posted a time of 1:10.40 to beat Tasmania Daniel Gurr and set up a match-up with longstanding rival Glen Gillam of Victoria.

Argent matched his time of 1:10.40 again for the four disciplines back-to-back which was enough to take down Gillam, who finished just a hit behind in 1:12.62, and progress to the semi-final.

5. Burnett athlete crowned junior sportsperson of the year

DIGGING DEEP: Paige O'Connor working hard at the Hervey Bay Triathlon intermediate lass
DIGGING DEEP: Paige O'Connor working hard at the Hervey Bay Triathlon intermediate lass

After winning the junior sportsperson of the year in 2018 as a runner, Paige O‘Connor put the bursary towards a new bike and now two years on has won the award again as a triathlete.

The 14-year-old has competed at both state and national levels for cross-country, but made the transition to triathlon two years ago and hasn‘t stopped since.

O‘Connor also competed at the Queensland all-schools triathlon competition, finishing fifth.

A tough swim left O‘Connor towards the back of the pack before an impressive ride and a strong run.

With few open-water training options available in the South Burnett, O‘Connor finds herself travelling all over southeast Queensland.

6. Nanango athlete walks away with win in NZ

FIRST PLACE: Summer Millard took out the 2km race walk event at the 2020 New Zealand athletics development tour.
FIRST PLACE: Summer Millard took out the 2km race walk event at the 2020 New Zealand athletics development tour.

Back in February Summer Millard representing Queensland at the 2020 New Zealand Athletics Development Tour where she claimed first place in the 2km race walk.

The 15-year-old has represented Nanango at both state and national levels and has added another accolade to her already impressive sporting resume.

7. Cherbourg Boxer one step closer to Olympic dream

Cherbourg boxer Pharrell Chapman has been selected to join the 2020 Boxing Australia Futures Squad.
Cherbourg boxer Pharrell Chapman has been selected to join the 2020 Boxing Australia Futures Squad.

Pharrell Chapman was one step closer to becoming an Olympic boxer after being selected in the 2020 Boxing Australia Future Development squad.

Chapman was selected based on his results throughout 2019 in the National Golden Gloves, Australian and Queensland Championships and his performances at club level.

The Futures program will get boxers podium ready for the 2020 Youth World Titles as well as have them attend Australian Institute of Sport camps and work with national level coaches and other high-level athletes.

Chapman isn‘t the first boxer to follow this path out of Cherbourg with Chapman saying he wants to follow in the footsteps of legendary Cherbourg boxer, Jeffrey Dynevor.

8. Saints duo on track for AFL draft

James Packer, South Burnett. DDAFL men Toowoomba vs. South Burnett. Saturday, 18th Jul, 2020.
James Packer, South Burnett. DDAFL men Toowoomba vs. South Burnett. Saturday, 18th Jul, 2020.

For the first time this year, the next wave of Queensland AFL draft prospects laced up their boots for a QClash match between the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns Academies on Sunday.

Among those players were two South Burnett products, James Packer and Shaun Pukallus.

Both players are no strangers to the Academy system that has produced the likes of Harris Andrews and Eric Hipwood who have gone on to star in the AFL.

9. Local rider on track for national success

Luca Turton at the Wondai MTB race. (Picture: Dylan Proven)
Luca Turton at the Wondai MTB race. (Picture: Dylan Proven)

SOUTH Burnett mountain bike rider Luca Turton finished in 2nd place in the U17 women‘s category at round one of the South East Queensland Mountain Bike Series in Wondai in August.

Turton finished three laps of the cross-country short track in 35 minutes in 22 seconds, narrowly beating Isabella St Pierre by one second.

The winner of the race was national champion Hayley Oakes, who is setting the benchmark for Turton to chase.

10. Hitting 150 a walk in the park

In another parkrun milestone, Andrea Wecker completed her 150th Wondai parkrun in March making her the first to clock up 150 events at the Wondai event.

It was also the first time the Wondai parkrun was held on February 29, with 2020 being a leap year.

Wecker, who has been with the Wondai parkrun since the beginning, said it was a great feeling to achieve 150 runs.

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