COLLINGWOOD draftee Jay Rantall has wasted no time in making a strong first impression, with the former basketballer winning the Magpies' 2km time trial on Monday morning.
The Pies' first pick at No.40 overall in last week's NAB AFL Draft, the non-stop midfielder upstaged the club's previous endurance king Tom Phillips in a thrilling head-to-head race to the finish line.
On the first day of training for Collingwood's full squad, Rantall once again demonstrated his superb running power on the Olympic Park track, where just two months ago he smashed the previous NAB AFL Draft Combine 2km time trial record by a whopping 14 seconds.
Jay Rantall ahead of Finn Maginness during the Combine's time trial. Picture: AFL Photos
This time the 18-year-old South Warrnambool product was pushed to the line by wingman Phillips before winning by about two metres.
Phillips, who joined training with the Woods' first-to-fourth-year players a fortnight ago, had won the previous four time trials he'd competed in since joining the club at the end of 2015.
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Rantall last year represented Australia at the under-17 basketball world cup in Argentina with Melbourne's No.3 pick Luke Jackson – the pair roomed together – and he continues to prove his decision to switch to football was a canny one.
Quickly establishing himself as a prolific midfielder in his first year of full footy focus, the hard-edged 184cm on-baller won the the Greater Western Victoria Rebels' best and fairest after averaging 25 possessions, 6.5 tackles and almost a goal a game in 12 NAB League games, and averaged 19 touches for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.