From race walking to hurdles, young athlete shines

No matter what athletics event he sets his sights on, Cooper Anderton ends up taking his place on the national stage amongst Australia’s best young talent.

Last year it was race walking that led him to the Australian Junior Athletics Championships where he earned fifth in the under-17 five kilometre walk. This year, he did one better in his new focus discipline of hurdles.

The change in focus paid off, with the teenager placing fourth in the under-18 400m hurdle event at the recent nationals event in Sydney.

“It was a whole new aspect for me this year because last year I was walking,” Anderton said.

“And this year, 400 hurdles – it’s a whole different atmosphere and attention on the event.”

Anderton, who has a track record for breaking club records, said he enjoyed the challenge that comes with hurdles.

“It’s an event like no other because you’re running and jumping at the same time,” Anderton said.

“A lot of people say with ‘long jump you do that’, but you land and that’s it.

“So, it’s a lot more challenging as well. And it really spices up the race because you might be good at running but you might not be good at hurdles or vice versa, so it opens it up to a lot of people.

“That’s what I like about it.”

Anderton is currently training as well as boundary umpiring for the South West Football League in the lead up to the athletics season getting underway later this year.