AUSTRALIA’S fastest boy Jack Hale has run an astonishing time of 10.13 to win the national Under 18 all schools title, but a powerful tailwind means he can’t claim a new record.
Hale burst into public consciousness in September with his national record 10.44 s run. He later improved his mark to 10.42.
He dealt with the hype brilliantly in Adelaide on Saturday but a massive 3.4 metre per second tailwind prevented him from claiming the national mark, although it counts as a meet record. The wind must be 2m/s or lower to qualify for a record.
It was the fastest time run by any Australian in 2014.
The previous best 100m Josh Clarke’s 10.20 but that was also wind assisted with a +3.3 breeze at his back.
Hale edged out Rohan Browning of NSW in 10.18 with Trae Williams of Queensland in 10.33 and Jordan Shelley of NSW in 10.44.
Browning started the race strongly and led for the first 80 metres before the Hobart school boy chased him down to take out his first-ever national gold medal in the fastest school boy race in Australian history.
Hale said he was pleased to overcome the fast-starting Browning and take out the gold.
“I didn’t start badly but the guy next to me was one of the quickest starters you’ll ever see in your life over the first ten metres,” he said.
“I was coming second until the last 20 when I pulled it home.”
Hale will compete again tomorrow in the 200 metres, against many of the athletes faces he held off today.
Hale, just 16, still considers himself first and foremost a long-jumper, but produced a colossal finish to win the 100m final.
Athletics Australia moved the final from the home straight to the back straight to allow the best 100m junior field ever assembled in Australia to go for broke with a tail wind.
Retired Australian sprinter Melinda Gainsford-Taylor was at the track for the final and declared it the start of a new era in Australian men’s sprinting.
“Can you believe it? When you sit there and think of that time, that is quite extraordinary and so young,” Gainsford-Taylor said.
“Even though it’s wind assisted, you actually have to run that fast. I know in the era I was running that was one of the things – you need to be able to run that fast regardless.
“And once you know you can, the amount of confidence that can give you can take you to a whole new level.”