Tasmanian teenage sprint sensation Jack Hale has confirmed himself as a genuine superstar in the making, clocking 10.
13 seconds in taking out the Australian Under-18 All Schools 100m title.
On a breezy day in Adelaide, the 16-year-old ran the fourth fastest time ever by an Australian, of any age, until the wind reading showed an illegal tailwind of 3.4m/s.
Only Olympians Patrick Johnson, Matt Shirvington and Josh Ross have run faster within the allowable 2.0m/s wind reading.
New South Welshman Rohan Browning placed second with a 10.18, with Queenslander Trae Williams in third, running 10.33 seconds.
Hale had to work hard to chase down Browning, who got off to an explosive start in the final.
“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,” Hale said.
“I was coming second until the last 20 when I pulled it home.”
Billed as the most hotly anticipated race in Australian junior athletics history, Hale knew he could rise above the pressure to claim his maiden national title.
“That’s the only reason I ran that time because I had to run someone down over the last 20 (metres) – I enjoy the pressure, I’ve had it in Hobart and I had it today,” he added.
Officially, he sits at equal 47th on the Australian all time rankings list after he set a legal new Australian U18 record of 10.42s in October.
Hale ran 10.73 in his heat an hour earlier, into a -2.8m/s headwind.
With anticipation of fast times, the officials decided to make the unusual decision to run the final on the back straight.
“It was strong winds but hopefully I can go somewhere near that with a legal 2.0,” Hale concluded, before warming down to prepare for the 200m tomorrow.