by Will Hunter
ATHLETICS: Proserpine State High School student Howard McDonald is preparing to take on the best javelin throwers in Australia.
Howard will compete in Adelaide later this year at the Australian All Schools Championships from December 8-10.
The Year 11 student secured a spot in the state team after victory in the 16-years javelin at the Queensland School Sport State Championships.
Howard said he competed under rainy and windy conditions at QE2 in Brisbane earlier this month.
"It wasn't a personal best given the weather. It's still good to get away with the win,” Howard said.
"It's pretty hard to get used to, you don't get much experience in that weather.”
Despite the difficult weather, Howard said he stuck to his normal style of competition.
"I've never really thought about it, I just kept it the same and stayed comfortable in the weather,” he said.
"I reckon nerves are already pretty good, they fuel me to perform better. I like to feel a bit of pressure and I build off of that.”
Howard will compete against athletes several years his senior at the national titles, and hopes to learn from the experience.
"This year is about trying to improve myself and perform a bit better,” he said.
"There's a couple of really good throwers who have represented Australia.
"It will be good to hang around them in a team environment.”
Three Proserpine High students competed for North Queensland at the state titles.
Jayden Lane placed equal fourth in the 16-years high jump and Cooper Lane placed outside in the top 10 in 14-years high jump.
It was the third time Jayden has competed in high jump on a state level.
"I just loved it from when I was little so I kept going from there,” he said.
The Year 11 student hopes to one day make the Queensland team, which means he needs to come first or second at a state level.
"It comes down to practising on a weekly basis, having a natural ability and not letting the nerves take over,” Jayden said.