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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Local Lonain Burnett keen on the Black Opal

Local Lonain Burnett keen on the Black Opal

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1 Local Lonain Burnett keen on the Black Opal on Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:12 pm


Story ran in the Bendigo Adbertiser last week';a bit late but still it's interesting to read about one of the new athletes in the sport.

Junortoun athlete chases Black Opal success

Bendigo Advertiser
10 Mar, 2012

Junortoun’s Lonain Burnett will chase the biggest victory of his athletics career in this weekend’s Bendigo Bank-backed Black Opal 400m at the Bendgio International Madison carnival.

Burnett kicked off the year by winning the SportsBiz novice 400m at Maryborough’s Highland Gathering, but has conceded the open 400m on his home track will be much tougher.

“To race the Black Opal was always a goal,” the 17-year-old said before his final lead-up training run at the Tom Flood Sports Centre in Barnard Street.

Burnett will race off 18 metres in the fourth of tonight’s six heats.

His opponents in tonight’s race at 7.52pm are Derek Collinge (6), Tom Paavola (11), Jayson Hayes-Hornibrook (16), Mattew Shiell (22), Rhys Parkinson (24), Bradley Armstrong (28), Noddy Angelakos (29) and Calvin Gook (34).

“A key will be to focus on my own race, rather than worrying too much about the rest of the field,” Burnett said of the race plan devised with coaches John Knott and Steve Hocking.

A big weekend for Burnett includes racing off 32m in the first of this afternoon’s three heats in the Ray Foley Memorial 800m.

“My main focus in training is on the 400m, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of the 800m,” Burnett said of competing at the madison carnival for the second time.

The year 12 student at Bendigo Senior Secondary College has racked up plenty of laps, especially doing interval work over 600m, 400m, 300m and 200m.

Highlights of Burnett’s 2011-12 campaign include the open 300m final at St Bernard’s and then winning his heat on the way to reaching the open 400m at the Ballarat Gift.

“Maryborough was the biggest win of my career.

“Hopefully, I can win on my home track, or make the final at least.”

There will be plenty of family support as Lonain’s parents, Craig and Roz will be trackside, along with older siblings Declan and Kirrily.

The Knott-Hocking team is well represented across the weekend’s carnival in VAL events or Athletics Bendigo classics.

The squad of Kaitlyn, Madi and Maria Bryce; Kathryn Heagney; Dane Heiden; Caitlyn, Kerrie-anne and Mitchell Hocking; Erin, Greg, Jake and Kyle Hilson; Jessica O’Hara and Tim Arnold has put in many hours training at the Tom Flood Sports Centre this summer.

After the two-day meet at home, Lonain Burnett will focus on racing at Daylesford and Euroa before the Stawell Gift on the Easter holiday weekend.

Race plans for Stawell include the novice 400m, backmarkers 400m, 550m and 800m at Central Park before Lonain then takes to the pitch with Strathdale Soccer Club.

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