LAUNCESTON athlete Tyler Heron weathered what he called the toughest conditions of his career to record its biggest result.
The Western Suburbs runner landed a silver medal in the 110-metre hurdles at the Oceania Championships in Rarotonga on the Cook Islands, clocking a personal best time of 15.47 to finish behind Papua New Guinea's Commonwealth Games-bound Wala Gime (14.80).
``It was pretty wet and not as tropical as we would have liked but the competition was good,'' said Heron, the Australian team captain, who turns 22 next week.
``I've been doing athletics at a national level for five or six years and these were the worst conditions I've ever run in.
``We warmed up in sun and within half an hour, there were gale-force winds and torrential rain.''
``It was pretty rough so to get a PB in that with a headwind, so I can't be too disappointed.''
Heron, who was also in the Aussie team which came fourth in the open 4x100m, paid tribute to the standard of the competition.
``There were a couple of PNG athletes that were off to the Commonwealth Games so there were some good athletes there.
``I won this last year but the quality of competition this time makes it my best result.''
Coached by his dad Jim Heron and Peter Fortune, of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, the carpenter has temporarily relocated to Melbourne and is training with Frankston.
``It's only a short-term thing to gain more experience in not only running but also coaching as I want to go straight into that when I finish competing.
``Since moving to Melbourne I've concentrated on the 110 hurdles because it's more competitive over here.
``Like any athlete I'd like to make a Commonwealth Games, Olympics or world championship, but before then I need to just get back to the track and keep training.''
Tasmanian athletics is preparing for further international representation with Hobart sprinters Jacob Despard, Samantha Lind and Jesse Usoalii yesterday jetting off to the world junior championships in Oregon, US.