A month after Hale’s landmark run, video of which has done an incredible 320,000 views on News Limited websites, Browning had his own freakish breakthrough, running a wind assisted 10.37s, and backing it up a week later with a legal 10.47s.
Throw in a couple more brilliant teen sprinters and Saturday’s Under 18 Australian All Schools 100m event in Adelaide is shaping as one of the most significant and exciting youth domestic track races contested in this country.
Hale might be expected to run away with the title but in Trinity Grammar’s Browning, his New South Wales teammate Jordan Shelley, and Queenslander Trae Williams — who ran 10.51 seconds in China in August to win bronze in the Youth Olympics — he will face intense pressure.
Last Sunday Hale, who followed up his 10.44 with a 10.42, clocked his third best time, a 10.48 to show he’s humming.
Browning is a relative newcomer to the elite level. He was focused on rugby, dabbling in athletics, but the coaching of Olympic triple jumper Andrew Murphy and the inspiration of Hale have him imagining a future he never considered six months ago.
“I reached a point in year 8 that I didn’t even win my high school 100m — that was my lowest point, and it was certainly a long way to climb from there,” Browning says.
In year 9 he moved schools to Trinity — where came under the tutelage of Murphy.
“He’s been awesome for me. It’s since I met him that I’ve started training so much.
“Jack running those times has been very good for me and a lot of runners around Australia because it proves these times can be run and I think it certainly gave me a desire to constantly improve and be competitive.
“As soon as it happened friends were tagging me on Facebook to read the Fox Sports story. When I went to school, Murph had heard about it.
“I asked him ‘what do you think I can do by the end of the year’?. He said ‘he’s gone 10.44, what’s stopping you from doing that?’. It was quite a profound moment for me because it was at that stage I thought there is nothing stopping me except myself and my commitment to sport.