Four athletes from the Mid West Academy of Sport will represent the State at the Australian Cross Country Championships next week. Coming off the back of successful results at the recent State Cross Country Championships, Samaia Friesen, 17, Nicole Chamberlain, 15, Christi Bestry, 16, and Riley Heinrich, 16, will travel to Canberra next week to represent WA on the big stage. Their coach, former State marathon and cross-country champion Gary Clark, said the four athletes had worked hard to be selected for the State team. “The opportunity to compete against the best young athletes in Australia will hold them in good stead for their athletic journey,” he said. “Conditions are expected to be very cold, the course wet and slippery and it will be a challenge for all athletes to negotiate the tough terrain.” The four athletes were joined by Luke Graves, one of Australia’s top distance runners at their trainings during the week. Graves is in Geraldton completing a degree and spent some time talking to the young athletes about his training program during the winter and summer seasons, nutrition and pre-race meals as well as race tactics and tapering for big events. Clark said this competition would help the athletes prepare for the all-schools championships in December. “This national competition will assist in building a strong foundation for the summer track and field season for all four athletes who will also be competing in the 2000m steeple chase at the State All-Schools Championships and the Australian All Schools Championships.” The Australian Cross Country Championship will take place on Saturday, August 26 in Canberra.