Speed courses through the Otto family’s blood
THE athleticism from the Otto family has moved from Murgon to their Bundaberg home.
Murray Otto's son, 14-year-old Matthew, finished first in the 2016 Queensland Junior Athletics Championships in Brisbane.
As a former sprinter, Murray said he was confident Matthew would be successful as a result of the family's 100m heritage.
"There's a line in the Otto family of sprinters that go right back to the 1920s," Murray said.
"The family were the first settlers."
Murray was a record-holder at the Murgon State High School, only to be beaten by former Brisbane Broncos player Steve Renouf.
Once Murray grew up and went to college, he moved to Bundaberg where his son Matthew was brought up.
And like Murray, he also showed potential on the track.
"His best time is 11.14sec," Murray said.
"He broke the record at the Bundaberg Little Athletics."
At the 2016 Queensland Junior Athletics Championships Matthew could not quite match his PB but still came first in the under-16 100m with a time of 11.62sec.
Matthew was surprised by his result after he thought he finished second.
"At the podium I was standing in second place and then I heard my name over the speaker for first place," Matthew said.
Focused on the finish line, Matthew pushed forward after his nearest competitor made his way into his peripheral.
"Joshua Cowley was gaining on me, I could see from the corner of my eye," he said.
"So I leaned forward, a lot more than I usually would, and I just lost control as I went over the line."
Matthew was just able to stay on his feet as he crossed the line but was left unsure where he finished.
It was only when the confirmation came through the speaker system Matthew knew for sure he had won.
What makes Matthew's accomplishment all the more rewarding is that the 14-year-old only began running competitively this year.
Murray said the win at the state titles made Matthew the fastest boy his age in Queensland and the third-fastest in Australia.
This show of talent was helped on by coach Robert Hooper, who discovered Matthew last year.
Hooper said Matthew's win at the state title could help him in the future.
"It brings a lot of rewards for him straight away, such as availability to different squads such as those squads put on by Athletics Australia and Queensland Academy of Sport," Hooper said.
Unfortunately Matthew's fall at the end of his race had him injure his hip flexor and ruled him out of the national titles.
His next aim will be the Queensland All School Championships in October.