Excerpt from The Weekly Times, Wednesday 7 November 2018
JACOB LEON of Concord has continued Ryde Athletics Club’s proud tradition of producing stellar middle distance runners.
At the age of 14 and under the tutelage of master coach Ross Forster, young Jacob has left his mark on the track with record breaking performances to earn a spot in NSW Junior Athletics teams.
From 2017 to 2018 the determined Leon sliced 12 seconds off his 800m; five seconds off his 1500m and 13 seconds off his 3000m times to prove himself a calm young athlete and superb first leg runner for both track and cross country relays.
He took up athletics at the age of 12 and just like his father—former Ryde middle distance runner Carl Leon—was an instant success, winning the Sydney North Region Boys 800m.
Jacob won silver in the NSW CHS 800m and followed that up with a fifth place in the 13 yrs 800m on debut at the NSW All Schools Carnival—achieving a national qualifying time.
In November 2017 Jacob spearheaded the U/14 Boys 4 x 1500m team to a silver medal at the Athletics NSW State Relays and again handed off the team a brilliant start the next day in the 4 x 800m where they brought home a bronze.
Early in 2018 Jacob took on the double of 3000m and 800m at the NSW Junior Track and Field Championships—clocking a time of 9m 33.39s in the 3000m to secure bronze which was almost 27 seconds under the national qualifying mark.
In the 800m, Jacob’s time of 2 min 06.78s earned him another bronze and a second qualifying event and spot on the NSW team for the Australian Junior Championships which was a remarkable feat for his first season.
At Little Athletics Jacob was also achieving excellent results.
He clean swept every event from 400m, 800m, 1500m and 3000m at the Zone Carnival before setting a new Region 800m record in 2m 06.83s.
Jacob won gold in the 1500m and 3000m, qualifying him for the NSW Little Athletics State Championships for all three events.
He placed third int he 1500m in a time of 4m 23.59s and won the 3000m State title with a PB 9 min 28.52—a clear winner by almost nine seconds.
Jacob’s performances at Little A and for Ryde Seniors saw him recognised at the 2017–2018 Presentation where he collected the Davis Lewis Trophy for Outstanding Middle Distance runner; Shannon Arnott Single Most Outstanding Performance Trophy and Outstanding Individual Performance in Middle Distance.
He sealed his credentials as a team player when he helped Ryde’s U/16 Boys x 3000m team win bronze at the NSW Cross Country Relay Championships.
At the Sydney North Region Cross Country Championships Jacob was first boy home in the 14 yrs 4000m and later won three titles at the Region Athletics Carnival—U/14s 800m and 1500m and the 12–15 yrs 3000m.
Jacob was in top form at the NSW CHS Carnival in September—snaring silver in the 14 yrs Boys 800m with a PB of 2 mins 06.66s and 1500m with a PB 4m 18.81s.
At the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships, Leon won silver in the Boys 3000m and picked up a bronze in the 14 yrs 1500m final with a super time of 4m 22.70s.
The versatile Concord High School student is also a talented boxer and a promising centre-back with Parramatta-Melita Eagles in the National Premier Soccer League.
After stints with Concord Juniors and Inter Lions, the gifted Leon was a standout in this year’s U/14 competition.