Jacinta Beecher's eyes lit up in disbelief when told she had run a personal best in the 200 metre sprint on a soaking wet Canberra track.
"Wait, what was it?" She puffed.
The 22-year-old Queenslander ran short of an Olympic qualifying time with a personal best of 23.28 seconds at the Canberra Track Classic on Thursday night.
But Beecher wasn't surprised she ran that time in wet conditions. Nor because she only had two practice starts earlier this week.
It was her first race since a calf tear put her out of action for twelve months. Dropping a personal best and beating two in-form sprinters had her nearly lost for words.
"Honestly, I think this is the most nervous I've ever been running because it's been a full twelve months since I've raced," Beecher said.
"I knew I was training well but you never know, sometimes it's hard to do on the day. The nerves and adrenaline definitely helped."
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Beecher surged ahead on the bend to beat fellow Queenslander Riley Day and Victoria's Nana Owusu to the finish line at the AIS track.
The Olympic standard is 22.8 seconds for the women's 200 metre sprint and they have until late June to qualify.
"I've definitely got a bit of work to do, with the right conditions and a hot track anything can happen," Beecher said.
"Having such a great field of 200 metre sprinters coming through, we can push each other through good times and get three of us in the team.
"[The Olympics] has been a dream of mine for ages, so it would be really awesome to get closer to that qualifier and hopefully stay healthy."
Canberra athlete Lauren Boden won the 400 metre hurdles event in front of a home crowd but history almost came back to haunt the 31-year-old.
She burst ahead and held a strong lead until Sarah Carli caught up and threatened to overtake the Canberran on the final stride.
Boden held out to finish with a time of 55.98 seconds and says she has a bit more work to do before competing in the Australian championships in late March.
"I had no idea [she was there], it was the same as last year at the Track Classic," Boden said.
"I had no idea until the last stride before the line when she got me. So at that last hurdle I was thinking, 'please don't catch me, please don't catch me.'
"The winds conditions for me were the complete opposite of what I would like in an ideal race, so I probably paid the price at the end.
"I went out a bit harder at the start but at the same time, that's the kind of shape I'm in.
"Between now and nationals, if I can nail those last three hurdles - I've got that much fitness to go and that's exciting."
Boden is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which has a standard of 55.40 seconds for the women's 400 metre hurdles event.
She hopes to tick off that box during the domestic season, with her sights set on her third Olympic Games.
"It's funny, half a second is a few metres in our race. The promising thing is that I know I can do it and I've done it before," Boden said.
"So it's just really about executing the race. The stride pattern I ran [on Thursday] is the pattern I've been running at training, it was really just the wind that stopped a faster time from coming.
"I've only had three runs, two 55.9's and a 55.8's, so I know that big jump is to come. I've just got a bit of work to do before nationals."
Eleanor Patterson edged out Nicola McDermott on countback to win a top-quality women's high jump, equaling their personal bests of 1.96 metres.
Commonwealth Games gold medalist Brandon Stark won the men's event with 2.25 metres, ahead of fellow Australian Joel Baden and New Zealander Hamish Kerr (both 2.22m).