Brunswick residents may have spotted a young energetic boy doing laps of Brunswick Oval. His name is Thomas Cross and he is one of the best junior sprinters in Australia. At just 14, Thomas holds the national 800m title. He has also cleaned up in State competitions and has made a name for himself in the world of track and field. His list of achievements suggests years and years of dedication and training. However, the Brunswick young gun only started competing last year. “I was running pretty well so my dad encouraged me to try my luck at the State championships,” Thomas said. “I signed up for a few events and thought I’d just see how I go.” Thomas admitted to feeling intimidated by the State’s best athletes. “They were doing all these drills that I had never even seen before — you could tell they were well-trained,” he said. Despite his complete lack of training and experience, Thomas managed to snag two second-place finishes in the 400m and 800m sprints. “I was not expecting that at all — it definitely came by surprise” Thomas said. The running prodigy was quickly poached by some talented coaches and has been training six days a week ever since. When November rolled around, he won three gold medals in the State competition. He was no longer a stranger — his rivals now knew his name. Thomas went on to participate in the national competition under the watchful eye of his coach, Brad Scott. He won the 800m on the national stage and was even named junior captain for the West Australian team. “When you go to nationals, people specialise in just one event,” Thomas said. “I participated in a few so I chewed through a bit of energy in the heats. “But, representing WA was an experience I will never forget.” Along the way, Thomas secured the Bunbury Catholic College Junior Sports Star of the Year award and won four gold medals and four silvers at the State Country Championships earlier this year. He was also invited to be part of the prestigious Jandakot Airport Track Classic. Although Thomas has had a few exciting events culled from his action-packed calendar, he remains committed to reaching his goal — representing Australia on the world stage at the Olympics one day.