NOAH O’Brien-Hangan has proved he can go the distance for long jump.
Making literal leaps and bounds, the Kyabram P-12 student came fifth in his event in Adelaide at the 10th annual Pacific School Games held from December 2.
His jump of 4.32m put him safely in front of his Victorian teammates for the boys 10-year-old long jump event.
Noah said there were a lot of mixed emotions when it came to competing at a high level.
“I was a bit nervous but it was wonderful at the same time,” O’Brien-Hangan said.
“All I was hoping to do was beat my PB.”
His interest in long jump was sparked after the school sport carnival where he beat the previous record of 3.81m.
From there, Kyabram P-12 teacher Daryl Wegmann helped him to hone his skills for coming events.
“He was a really big help, I don’t think I would have made it this far without his support and mentoring along the way,” he said.
The pair would train at the school after Noah had competed in the inter-school sports carnival. Noah was then accepted into the state team where he headed down to Melbourne to train for two hours every weekend.
His mother Christylee O’Brien said Wegmann played a pivotal role helping Noah to represent Victoria.
‘‘Mr Wegmann has been a massive support, he’s the one who encourages Noah and helped us apply for grants to get the Team Vic uniforms,’’ Mrs O’Brien said.
She said the family were bursting with excitement when they found out her Noah would be competing against athletes from around the country.
“I remember when we found out he was accepted, I cried because I was just so happy,” she said.
“We headed off as a family to Adelaide and even my parents came along. When he was competing I looked across and my dad had tears in his eyes.
“Noah’s really progressed and I’m so proud of him.”
Noah’s proud of his achievement and he said he’s ready to do it all again next year.
“I want to get back there again next year and possibly get into the nationals for little athletics,” he said.
‘‘I have this opponent in Kyabram Little Athletics so we have a bit of a competition going on to see who can go the furthest, they seem to win when I’m nervous.’’