By Ross Karl
Winning is in Julian Oakley's blood, even if the track isn't.
His talent for running was pointed out last year, and he's since embraced it.
“Last year, I got second in the 800m and fourth in the 1500. And from then on it’s just all I’ve been doing and I’ve just loved it,” he says.
The Tauranga Boys High student started the weekend looking for the 800/1500 double.
And while he settled for silver in the shorter distance, following it just over an hour later with the 1500 title impressed his mother, squash legend Dame Susan Devoy.
“He's got a big ticker and a big heart and he's trained for this and really deserves it,” Devoy says.
18-year-old Oakley will head to Rhode Island's Providence College next year, as he develops his Commonwealth and Olympic dreams.
“I think it'll definitely help being over there with the facilities, and just the ability of athletes over there will be great to race against,” he says.
Oakley's also good at the family game, captaining Tauranga Boys to second at the national squash champs, although there's something he'll pack before his racquet.
“I think the golf clubs are more likely to go in the bag than the squash racquet. He’s already sussing out golf courses nearby,” says father John Oakley.
But his focus is running, where he hopes to reach the top, like his mother did on the squash court.