Adam Garganis claims the Victorian Schools Race Walking gold medal, writes James Sullivan.

Collingwood Harriers athlete Adam Garganis eased to victory this morning in the Under-18 5km walk at the Victorian Schools Race Walking Championships at Albert Park, Melbourne. The 15 year old, representing Thornbury High School took the gold with a clocking of 25:02, ahead of Lucas Taylor of Lilydale High School in second place, in bright pleasant conditions, with temperatures in excess of 15 degrees Celsius.

“It was a good race. It was a bit hard down there because I haven’t trained for a while.” remarked Garganis, who has recently become a member of the Australian Institute of Sport’s Under 17 development programme. “The first kilometre and a bit I felt really good and then I guess I just started to feel really flat, but thankfully I managed to get through.”

Adam Garganis

With Victorian and National titles to his name at junior level in the race walk discipline, Garganis holds a personal best over the 5km distance of 23:41. However, with his nearest challenger 1 minute 46 seconds adrift, the Thornbury student was slightly disappointed with today’s mark. “It was hard walking out there by myself. I would have liked to have had a couple of people to obviously push me along, but at the end of the day, a win is a win, and it’s a championship victory, and that’s all you need really so I’m happy.”

“My technique has been all over the place at the moment. Today I think it was right on average. It could have been better, I don’t think I was locking my knee straight enough, but that will change hopefully in time.”

Selected to represent Australia at last year’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, Garganis has his eyes on bigger fish over the coming year. “I just want to get some really solid 10km’s in because I am looking at qualifying for the Under 20 World Cup in China next year.”

In addition to his accolades on the junior race walking circuit, the Collingwood youngster has also excelled of late in the pole vault, with a PB of 4.01 metres and a gold medal at the 2013 Victorian Junior Championships to his name. “I’m going to really try to keep a balance” speaking about the upcoming track season. “I’ve got really specific set goals for both pole vault and walking. Walking, obviously with it being summer season I’ll give it a red hot shot, just going out nice and fast, but with pole vault I’m definitely trying to get all of my technique sorted now and then I should be fine come the summer.”

This morning’s championships were held in conjunction with the Victorian 20km Race Walk Championships along with various other race walking events. The meet was organised by the Victorian Race Walking Club, an affiliate of Athletics Victoria.

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