Fabrice Lapierre started at Westfields in year 8 as an exceptionally talented 'all-rounder'. Having been trained by Fred O'Connor since he was very young he already had a good background in jumping.
Initially he excelled at Westfields in hurdling and it wasn't until the 2000 Australian All Schools in Adelaide that he came of age and discovered his niche. An incredible 7 medalsand a World Junior qualifier in 200 metres; all at the age of 17.
A year later Fabrice would be graduating and was selected in the Australian team for the 2002 World Junior Championships after winning the Australian U20 Long Jump title on his 6th and final jump. This would become a trademark of Fabrice when on numoerous occasions he would come from behind in major tournaments to snach victory with his 6th round attempt. The most memorable being taking the silver medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships by winning with his final leap.
While in Jamaica Fabrice was approached by numerous American University scouts. On returning to Australia, Fabricewas also approached by the AIS and offered a full scholarship. Fabrice chose the A&M University scholarship in Texas and has never looked back.
It is interesting to note that very few Australians have ever significantly improved their athletics career on such scholarships. Fabrice has been one of the few exceptions. His first significant success was to win the 'Big 12' tournament and the ring that accompanies it. For two years Fabrice had bad luck with fouls and windy jumps outdorrs,
but his indoor jumping was outstanding. Just recently leaping 7.99 indoors - a massive effort.
This season Fabrice became the most highly achieved male WAC athlete in history. In 2005 he won the NCAA Championship in the USA with a massive leap of 8.15 metres (wind assisted). It elevated him to stardom in the USA and meant the beginning of a new career. Fabrice is already contemplating remaining in the USA after he graduates from A&M University. It was the first time he had officially jumped the eight metre barrier. The road to making the Australian team for the Commonwealth Games would be difficult for Fabrice not being able to contest the Telstra 'A' series. He needed to win the National title with an 'A' qualifier to guarantee a spot; he achieved this with ease recording his first and best ever legal jump of 8.12 metres.
Then the Australian summer seasonwould end with the highlight of his career and that magnificent Bronze medal leap at the Melbourne Commonwealth games. This is Fabrice's 10th year with the club and he receives Life Membership.
Late Breaking News:
Touring Europe with a team of athletes from the A&M University, Fabrice has just leaped 8.19 metres in Italy. This is the best jump by an Australian since Jai Taurima's 8.49m leap at the 2000 Olympics. It elevates Fabrice to number 5 all-time Australian;
Kasaus, Lithuania 7.91 (1.3) 1st 1 July
Salamanca, Spain 7.78 (2.4) 4th 5 July
La Laguna, Spain 8.10 (1.8) 2nd 8 July
Nuoro, Italy 8.19 (0.5) 1st 12 July