SURF LIFESAVING: He's not quite the fastest man on sand just yet, but Met Caloundra's Alex Innes is closing the margin on his rivals every time he runs.
Innes won the under-17 beach sprint at Round 2 of the Fastest Man on Sand series at Mooloolaba earlier today, before running fourth in the open age division.
He replicated his results from Round 1 at Kurrawa last month, with Byron Bay's Bradley Hunt and fellow Met Caloundra athlete Jack Davies filling the minor placings.
The 16-year-old has been a member of Met Caloundra for the best part of a decade and last year received trophies for Most Outstanding Competitor and Best and Fairest competitor at the club, before running second in the under-19 beach spring at this year's World Youth Interclub Lifesaving Championships in The Netherlands.
"Second was nice, but a win is always good," he said.
There, he also managed a fourth in the under-19 beach flags.
"It's been a really great year," he told the Daily.
"The world titles was a great experience and it's been great for the club because we've got so many youngsters coming through.
"The last two Fastest Man on Sand competitons we only had one competitor. This year we've got about 20."
Innes said he enjoyed mentoring the under-11 sprinters at the club and believed the program run by Kerry Barlow and Glen Wilson was critical to improved numbers this season.
"We just keep it chilled so they still enjoy the sport," he said.
Innes believes he isn't far off getting to the top of the sprinting tree on sand, having won his heat and semi-final of the open division, before blaming a poor start in the final for his fourth.
The open event was taken out by Currumbin under-20s athlete Tim Delahunty.
"I let myself down at the start and that's all it takes sometimes," Innes said.
"They are bloody fast though."
He is again aiming to make next year's Australian team for the World Championships and will continue running on the athletics track, where he this year represented the region at the Queensland Championships.
Attempts have been made to contact Surf Life Saving Queensland for the rest of the day's results.
SOURCE: Sunshine Coast Daily, http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/alex-is-making-strides-on-the-sand/3111211/#/16