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Author: Athletics NSW Administrator/Friday, 17 June 2011/Categories: News



In the lead up to the World Youth Championships, we will meet NSW members of the team. For them, this will be the biggest meet of their lives. Hurdler, Sarah Carli (Kembla Joggers) overcame significant competition to secure selection.


ANSW: How did you get involved in track and field? What events have you competed in? What have been your achievements?

Sarah Carli: I started doing Little Athletics when I was 8-eight-years-old in 2002 for Wollongong City after making my school’s regional championships for the 100m.  I started running longer distances and made it to nationals for the first time when I was 12 for cross country. I dabbled in hurdles in 2006 and made my first state final in the u12s at Little As for 60m hurdles. But I had to give it up as I got older due to the increase in the hurdle height which I struggled to get over.  In 2009 I started hurdling again for fun and after being selected in the ETS squad, it encourage me to find a hurdles coach. I started to compete in hurdles seriously in 2009 after meeting Mel (coach Melissa Logan) and won my first national individual medal at the Australian All Schools in the 200m hurdles where I placed third after six months hurdles training.


ANSW: Where there any family members who were athletes or other sports people?

Sarah Carli: My grandma was a good sprinter and my pop ran cross country for St George at Scarborough Park in Sydney when he was young.


ANSW: What clubs have you run for? What other sports have you played?

Sarah Carli: I have been a member of Wollongong City Little Athletics Club from U9 - U17. I first started with Kembla joggers in 2005 which I am still apart of now. I did dancing for 11 years and have played touch football.


ANSW: Where were you born and raised?

Sarah Carli: I was born at Wollongong Hospital and have lived in Wollongong my whole life.


ANSW: Congratulations on your tremendous 2010/11 season where you were in a five-way race for two selection positions. What were your thoughts going in to the trials? When you placed second, you were in a key position for selection for the World Juniors. What was the feeling like after the race?

Sarah Carli: Going into the trials there was a lot of pressure as our race was the race everyone was talking about. The 5 of us girls with world youth qualifiers, went away together three weeks before nationals so all being friends made it a lot easier in the call room. Being in lane 7 sort of threw me a bit but I was determined not to let it get to me. Going into the race I kept thinking I had to go out hard so I wouldn’t get left behind coming around the final bend.  After the race I felt mostly relived that it was all over. It was such a close race and I was so happy I had managed to get second.   I didn’t care about anything else only that I was still in with a chance of being selected in the World Youth team.


ANSW: Courtesy of your place in the trials, you were selected for the World Youth Championships. What was the feeling like to achieve what had been your goal?

Sarah Carli: It was the best feeling to have finally done what I had set out to do.  After having such a good summer and being the only one with a qualifier to then have four girls within a month get their qualifying times, I was so happy that I pulled through and to be given the chance to  represent Australia.


ANSW: You improved dramatically during summer. Why was that?

Sarah Carli: I’m not really sure why I improved so much. I think it was a mixture of a few things. I had my first winter of full hurdles training where I was able to build some hurdles fitness and gain some technique. Also I had enough time to sort out my stride pattern. I continued to do cross country and started going to the gym over the winter so I was really fit and strong coming into summer.  And I think most of all I was really enjoying running 400m hurdles.


ANSW: What are the goals for the World Youth Championships?

Sarah Carli: I would really like to make the final.  I am yet to find out if there is going to be semi so if there isn’t I would really like to be able to have two races over there. And of course a PB. I would really like to break the one minute mark.


ANSW: What are your longer term goals?

Sarah Carli: I haven’t really thought of my long term goals. World Juniors next year is something I would like to aim for. But after that I don’t really know.


ANSW: What are your hobbies and interests away from the track?

Sarah Carli: Hanging with my friends, going to the beach in summer, sleeping in, shopping , movies, watching Gossip Girl and of course Facebook.



Sarah Carli - Statistics

DOB:            5/9/94

Club:             Kembla Joggers

Coaches:      Paul Milcale, Melissa Logan

400m hurdles

Fastest times





Annual Progression

2009 N/A

2010 61.67

2011 60.03 at the moment



Fastest times




Annual Progression

2009 59.4

2010 56.3

2011 N/A


David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW

Image SarahCarli (courtesy of David Tarbotton)



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