Only a year ago Camille Buscomb was a 5000 metres rookie, but now she is rapidly closing in on a Commonwealth Games qualifying time.
The Hamilton Hawks runner, who has previously concentrated more on the 1500m, clocked yet another personal best at the Auckland 5000m championships on Wednesday night with a time of 15mins 38.74secs - just 6.74secs off the qualifying mark for Glasgow.
She has clocked personal bests every time she has raced over the distance this year.
Today she was due to fly out to prepare for tomorrow night's Sydney Classic where she will again run the 5km distance with a view to getting even closer to the Games target.
This time last year Buscomb's best was about 1:12 away from the mark, but she has since made leaps and bounds on her best time after concentrating more on putting in the training mileage.
''I only started running the 5k seriously last year,'' said Buscomb. ''I ran the 5km cross country when I was living in America and did well but never converted that to the track.
''I didn't do the training mileage back then because I didn't want to do big mileage too soon when I was younger and lose my speed. But I think I do have more of an endurance make-up and the longer distances I train then the better I can hold my pace over the shorter distances.''
Buscomb, 23, said her latest times for the 5000m were very encouraging but she still had 6 secs to cut off them with the Sydney Classic and the New Zealand and Australian national championships still to come.
''I've just got to put a better race together than I did [on Wednesday night]. I think I need to be more even with my laps because I think I went a bit hard at the start and burnt myself out a bit at the end.
''So I just need to try and be a little bit more conservative so I'm stronger at the end.''
Buscomb said there was not the same level of competition in the 5000m in Australasia as there was in the United States and Europe but she could not afford to travel there at this stage. If the remaining meets did not bring the required time she would set up races with electronic timing, officials and pacemakers to try and make the grade, she said.
''I'm so close that I'm sure I'll be able to do it.''
She ran 15:39 at a club night two weeks ago so the consistency is coming.
''I'm getting better and I'm hoping with that consistency I'll be able to run even faster.''
Her relative lack of racing in the event means she is still learning how to race the 5000m and pinpoint the weaknesses she can work on in training.
After the Sydney visit she is likely to head to Melbourne next weekend to race the 1500m but she won't know until next week.
Other Waikato-Bay of Plenty athletes heading to the Sydney meet include Olympic javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar, 400m hurdlers Cameron French and Michael Cochrane, long jumper Mariah Ririnui and leading New Zealand sprinter Joseph Millar (100m/200m).
- Waikato Times
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