“My body was tight. My hamstring tore slightly and I had to take five weeks off,” James Guthrie-Croft laments of his experience at the National Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in December.
In the semi-finals of the 100m Guthrie-Croft ran a quicker time than eventual champion Nick Smith, but was forced to withdraw from the decider.
“It would have been an interesting race. Nick ran a great final so who knows if I would have won, but it was disappointing to miss out.” Guthrie-Croft admits.
The misfortune of Nationals has spurred Guthrie-Croft on to greater things. He set personal best times in the 100m (10.83s) and 200m (21.60s) and claimed the Porritt classic and National Under-18 club titles.
Last week Guthrie-Croft was selected in the New Zealand team for the Junior Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas in July. The games will feature up to 1300 athletes aged 14-18 representing 70 countries and vying for 94 medals in 11 different sports. At the last games in Samoa in 2015, New Zealand won 15 medals, five of each colour.
“I don’t know what to expect, but I know it will be hot in the Bahamas. My goal is to make the finals and take things from there.” Guthrie-Croft says.
Guthrie-Croft will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x400m mixed relay. The St. Peter’s College student burst on to the since at the Nationals in 2015 when he won the junior boys 100m, 200m and long jump titles at the New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Timaru.
Guthrie-Croft was diagnosed with dyspraxia – the condition which makes it hard to plan and co-ordinate physical movement – aged five. Despite the obstacles associated with the disability Guthrie-Croft trains six times a week, three times on the track and three times in the gym, and has a stubborn mindset for overcoming the impediment.
“I tell myself I don’t have it. I don’t think about it otherwise it becomes an excuse.” Guthrie-Croft concludes.
P.S. Guthrie-Croft running his best time of 10.83s at the Australian U18 Championships. Guthrie-Croft was second in the race.
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