Two state medals
DYNAMIC all-rounder Jacob O'Shea performed brilliantly to claim silver and bronze at the Queensland Junior Championships on the Gold Coast.
The Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club young gun finished second behind Chance McKenna, of Nobby's Beach, in the under-13 male beach sprint and third behind Patrick Gelling (Noosa Heads) and Hayden Sargeant (Mermaid Beach) in beach flags, both on Saturday.
Water events are O'Shea's greatest forte, but illness took its toll as he placed ninth in his surf board semi-final, missing the final, and also forced him to withdraw from the surf race final and ironman heats on Sunday.
O'Shea's mother Tanya said he was “over the moon” with his beach medals but was very disappointed to not be able to have a shot at his main goals.
“Jacob focuses a lot of his training energy on swim and board training – he does at least six swimming sessions a week and trains for board two mornings plus Sundays,” Tanya said.
“He doesn't do training for flags and sprints but he had fairly high expectations in the water, especially after he came out second in the swim teams' event.”
O'Shea's only previous state life saving medal was in swim teams in 2009, but he did not compete at last year's titles due to their clash with a rugby league camp.
The 12-year-old had started the carnival on Friday by qualifying for the surf teams, board rescue and cameron, board and beach relay finals with various combinations of teammates including Joshua Finnis, Corey Findlay, Lachlan Wood, Darius Towner, Max Wright and Geoffrey Payne.
O'Shea, Finnis, Findlay and Wood were unlucky to be relegated to fourth on a countback in the surf teams after tying for third, while the pairings of O'Shea and Wood and Finnis and Findlay each reached the board rescue final.
O'Shea, who has excelled in many sports and is also a Queensland medallist and multiple-state representative in swimming, is certainly following in the foot-steps of his father Jason, a former multiple state surf board gold and silver medallist.
Wide Bay Capricorn Branch Regional Manager Craig Holden said other local stand-out competitors at the titles Moore Park's Martin Powell and Finnis.
“Martin finished seventh in the U-11 flags and Joshua finished in top 12 in both the U-13 surf race and ironman finals,” Holden said.
“Bundaberg also did well to be fourth in the march past and bragging rights over Moore Park who were just behind them in fifth.”