Local runner Marie Warneke is fast getting a taste for gold with the athlete claiming her third 800m national title in April this year.
Warneke, who won the U15 Girls 800m event at the Australian Track and Field Championships this year, previously won the U14 Girls 800m event in 2017, the first year she went to nationals, and again in 2018. Now, she is striving to go even better.
“If I’m good enough, I want to see if I can go to a major competition like the Commonwealth Games.”
The Canberra High School student first started running age eight, but it wasn’t until her brother joined a running club that she decided to as well.
“I just thought I’d join for fun and then I started doing competitions and it went from there,” she said.
Training five days a week, about two hours a session, Warneke enjoys pushing her body to the limit to improve.
“I love it because it’s so satisfying after doing a hard session as it’s pushing you towards your goals.”
Warneke has a preference for individual sports “because you can focus on yourself”, but admitted there is additional pressure to perform having won at nationals three times.
“You’ve got to have a strong mindset as there are a lot of people who expect you to do well when you’ve already done it,” she said.
“I’ve just got to do my best because if people do better than my best I can’t really do anything about that.”
Warneke has qualified for the 800m and 400m at the All School athletics event later this year, which she is “looking forward to”. However, the teenager has loftier ambitions for the future.
“I’m looking for a sponsor so I can attend competitions overseas and get a wider range of running experiences,” she smiled.