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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Another Stubbs or Mitch Williams to watch for?

Another Stubbs or Mitch Williams to watch for?

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Beach sprinter is a rising star

By Steele Taylor
Sunshine Coast Daily
15th December 2011

Mooloolaba lifesaver Max Belcher, 17, is a rising star in beach sprinting.

SIPPY Downs teenager Max Belcher seemingly has the world of sand sprinting at his feet.

The 17-year-old talent has impressed beachgoers with his raw power in recent carnivals, emerging as a genuine force in the open men's division.

"I've been doing it for a while, but recently I've been going especially well," the Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club member said.

"My main goal is the Aussies (national championships) on the Gold Coast in March where I'll be competing in my age group and up in the opens.

"I don't have a clue how I'll go. Different people turn up every year. I just have to train hard and turn up on the day."

Belcher, who is also a talented rugby union player, can run the 100m on track in 11 seconds flat.

Mooloolaba SLSC beach coach Peter Roodveldt believes the teenager is a "huge talent".

"He's a big, powerful young man. A real up-and-comer," he said.

And Roodveldt has a well-trained eye for sprinters.

He is a former international and national athletics coach and has trained state and national champions on the sand.

Roodveldt reckons his young charge's best attribute in the sport is simply his will to win.

"He's a very tough young man who really competes hard," the coach said.

"He's very determined and focused in races."

Roodveldt compared Belcher to two other Mooloolaba sand sprinters who made their mark this year.

"He's from the same stable as Patrick Box (who won this year's edition of the Noosa Gift) and Nicole Kay (who won the 100m and 200m at the recent Australian All Schools Athletics Championships)," he said.

"Max has had one go on grass this year and missed the final, but not by a lot. He's a huge talent and some people in Brisbane have started to notice him."

Belcher finished in the top two in his past three beach sprint competitions and won the open men's race at the Ocean 38 carnival at Dicky Beach last weekend.

He has also been a part of Mooloolaba's open men's relay team, which has dominated at recent carnivals.

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