Mount Isa Athletics had a team of two head off to Mackay recently to attend the North Queensland Games. The pair 10-year-old Alli Thomson and 52-year-old Ken Dickson faired reasonably well at the biannual meet returning with an array of medals and personal bests.
Alli with her mother and grandmother in tow, made sure their trip was not wasted by posting substantial personal best’s in her 800m and 1500m races.
And just to keep coach Ken Dickson happy she hit the goals he set for her on the trip down. The coach was particularly happy when Alli applied her newly acquired sprinting technique in the 200m.
“Alli is predominantly a middle distance runner, but at her age the last thing we want to do is box her into specific events,” he said.
“We were working on her sprint technique and she absolutely nailed it in one of our run-throughs.
“She then applied it in her 200m and was going great guns, but as most athletes find when discovering new techniques that the energy they expend is also increased.
“Alli’s excellent start gave her enough space within the field to bring home a bronze.”
In the eight events Alli contested she placed in all but three and scored herself four PB’s. She received silver in the 1500m with a time of 6mins 42.67s and bronze in 200m, 400m, 800m and high jump.
Dickson however had his work cut out for him in the throwing events. Not long after he gave up athletics as a teenager in his home club of Sarina there was a new kid on the block, Kevin Galea.
Galea went on to represent regional Australia at a number of Oceania Championships and usually placed well. Now with his son following in his footsteps he has returned to the sport as a master.
Dickson managed to stay in touch with Galea in most of the events but was relegated to second place in all the throwing events including the throws pentathlon.
“We had a running joke that there was a two metre rule and that he couldn’t beat me by any more than that which was working fine except that two metres was actually a really long way in shot put. But hey, that was his pet event when he was younger.” Dickson said.
“Mind you he must have forgotten in javelin as he pumped out four throws over 40m and a 39m all of which were massive PB’s for him. I managed a respectable 35m but so much for the two metre rule.”
Dickson did redeem himself on the track though scoring gold in the 60m and 100m races in times of 8.76 seconds and 13.95 seconds.