WIMMERA athletes Anna Bush and Darcy Edgerton proved they were among the best in the country after claiming three medals at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney.
Bush picked up two individual bronze medals in the girls under-16 90-metre hurdles and triple jump, while Edgerton won gold as part of the Victorian boys under-14 four-by-100-metre relay team.
Bush's first event was the 90-metre hurdles on Friday.
She qualified fastest in her heat and second-fastest overall with a personal best time of 13.15 seconds to advance to the final.
Last year Bush just missed out on a medal with a fourth-placed finish, but went one better this year.
Her time of 13.26 seconds in the final was close to her new personal best and was good enough for bronze in a thrilling fight for second place.
Fellow Victorian Celeste Mucci easily won gold in 12.71 seconds.
Only 0.08 of a second separated second-place Kara Olsen from fourth-placed Courtney Cattell.
Bush was below her best in a sixth-placed finish in the long jump on Saturday, but rebounded well to claim another bronze in the triple jump yesterday.
Her bronze-medal jump was 11.6 metres, and all three of her attempts at the championships beat her previous personal best.
Edgerton contested the boys four-by-100-metre relay and under-14 javelin on Friday night.
He ran an excellent third leg for the Victorian boys' team in the relay.
He received the baton in clear second place but caught up to the race leader to even the field at the final change.
Victoria went on to win the race in exactly 48 seconds a stellar time for an under-14 event.
Competing in the javelin immediately after the relay, Edgerton threw well below his best to finish 12th.
Horsham athletics coach Ricky Price said the pair had plenty to be proud of.
"It is an awesome effort by both of them," he said.
"It's been a good meet with some top performances, so we're happy with how it's gone."
Bush said she was pleased with her form in the hurdles, which is normally her third-best event behind triple and long jump.
"I didn't think I was a chance to come first because I was quite
worried about the start, but in the heats I qualified second-fastest for the final and got a really big personal best so I was expecting something in the final then," she said.
"In the final I was a bit wobbly but still managed to pull out a bronze so I was happy with that. I ended up coming sixth in the long jump and I didn't jump as well as I'd hoped, but that was a good experience and I jumped over my personal best in triple jump and got bronze, so I was pretty happy."
Bush said she was also thrilled to meet her idol Sally Pearson, who was in Sydney for the Australian Athletics Tour.
She thanked her coach, family and training squad for helping her reach the national level.
Edgerton said he was also pleased with his efforts at the championships.
"Making the relay team was a bit of a surprise because I was concentrating more on javelin coming in," he said.
"It felt really good because it was my first nationals and I got a gold medal.
"In the javelin I didn't go as well as I usually do, but I think I was excited about the gold medal and really couldn't concentrate that much."
Edgerton said he would aim to qualify for nationals again.