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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Tjimarri ditches party life to be a Bay contender

Tjimarri ditches party life to be a Bay contender

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Party boy turns contender

By Matt Turner
Weekly Times Messenger
December 10, 2012

DITCHING late nights for hard work has helped Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera become a Bay Sheffield Gift contender.

Sanderson-Milera, of Grange, took up running in 2010 but says he did not take it seriously until the end of last year.

For four months after his 18th birthday in June, 2011, he would go out regularly on Friday nights and attend Saturday trainings tired, and sometimes hungover.

That stopped because of Saturday morning shift work as a Qantas customer service agent and a desire to improve.

Now the 19-year-old sprinter is shaping as a leading contender for the state's most prestigious footrace at Colley Reserve, this month.

It follows a stunning 12 months during which he has won a gold medal in the under-20 beach relay at the World Surf Lifesaving Championships in November, the 200m at the Flinders Athletics Carnival, the 70m sprint at the Sacred Heart Gift.

He also won the under-20 race at last year's Bay Sheffield.

"I've only really taken it seriously the last 18 months or so," Sanderson-Milera says.

"There was a period of four or five months after my 18th birthday where i'd go out if I wasn't racing.

"I wasn't a party boy - nowhere near it.

"But it definitely didn't help my running.

"I wasn't training properly because I'd be tired from going out.'

"These days I don't go out any more and that's probably why my running has improved.

"Being a favourite for the Bay Sheff puts the pressure on ... but I'm aiming to win it."

Sanderson-Milera competed in little athletics at West Lakes Shore as a youngster but did not return to the sport until years later.

He became a nipper at Grange Surf Lifesaving Club as a 10 year old then three years ago his coach at Grange, Peter

Burdett, introduced him to pro running.

Burdett says Sanderson-Milera is a chance of following in the footsteps of his former charge, Jordan Caldow, by taking out the Bay Sheffield.

"Going back 18 months ago he used to go out and party ... now he's very dedicated and won't let anything get in his way," Burdett says.

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