It was almost the perfect comeback.
Falling behind the leader and eventual winner Daniel Kelly from the very start, Liam Hinchcliffe managed to catch up moments before the finish line before falling short by a solitary second.
The Moss Vale High School student finished second in the NSW short course cross country championships in Dapto on Sunday, July 19 and said he was happy with his performance over the four kilometres.
He explained how the race played out and how he felt overall.
"It was perfect conditions for racing," Liam said.
"The temperature was probably in the low 20s.
"We had a bit of rain, so it softened up the ground as the track is normally pretty hard.
"I usually get pretty sore running on that track.
"It was a pretty big group because they combined the boys and girls together.
"There was a racer who burst out of the blocks early on and everyone thought no one would catch him as he's a very strong runner.
"As we came through the first lap, he was about 100m ahead.
"I put a kick in and the rest of the boys followed me.
"At the end of the second lap, we almost got past him, but he had one last kick left in him and just beat me to the line."
The 17-year-old finished with a time of 12 minutes and 15 seconds.
Besides running, Liam also competes in triathlon.
He has a lot of potential and is regarded as one of the top talents in the region for his age, so his future goals don't come as any surprise.
"After high school, I'm hoping to do a bit of training and maybe make a World Championship or possibly an Olympics," he said.
COVID-19 hasn't made things easy, but Liam's character was on show during the tough times.
"It impacted in terms of training with other squad members," he said.
"I always push harder when I'm with the squad, so I couldn't do that.
"However, I still found the motivation training by myself at home.
"Sometimes I'd bring my parents to the track to help motivate me."
Next up for Liam Hinchcliffe is the NSW state cross country event in Nowra on Saturday, August 8.
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