Alexandra athlete Jess Lake aims to go the distance in the javelin field.
Lake (15), who is an Athletics Alexandra member, picked up the javelin for the first time last year, but has had limited opportunity to compete in the discipline.
Until now, Lake has dedicated herself to running and high jump Covid-19 restrictions allowed.
Ankle surgery last year also forced her off the field.
Now she has recovered and is looking ahead to new goals and the chance to show form in javelin.
She will also try her hand at the hammer throw.
Javelin, in particular, is a discipline she stumbled across.
She attended an Athletics New Zealand coaching clinic in Wanaka with her parents, Tina and Jason Lake, who were taking part on behalf of Athletics Alexandra.
The aim was to increase their knowledge of various disciplines.
“Jess went along as well and basically that’s where the door swung open.”
She now has Raylene Bates as her coach.
Bates, an Athletics New Zealand para lead coach, but who supports all athletes, was looking forward to working with Lake this year.
She said Lake had already shown a lot of determination.
“There is a saying seven years to become a thrower of elite level, so she has a lot of growth going forward.”
Lake, a Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil, attended the secondary schools athletics nationals in Tauranga at the end of last year, where she was placed in the top 10 for javelin.
She was also named Waitaki Girls’ High School’s junior sports champion.
Lake got 2021 off to a good start when she competed in the Lovelock Classic in Timaru, where she won the open women’s javelin and finished fourth in the high jump first time she had jumped since surgery.
Lake is determined to put in the hard yards to achieve further success, including her dream to one day represent New Zealand.
Training resumed last week in Dunedin.
Once she returns to school, training will involve two trips to Dunedin a week, plus competitions on Saturdays.
Lake appreciated her parents for their commitment and support.
She was also grateful to Athletics Alexandra for its ongoing support and Alexandra ITM, which provided sponsorship to help her purchase a javelin and other necessary gear.