Shortlist for the 2017 WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year Award Revealed

WAIS | Published: Thu 26 October 2017

The WAIS Junior Athlete of the Year award has received eight nominations for 2017 and will see a rich assortment of Western Australian talent vying for the prize.


Swim star Tamsin Cook has held the title for the past two years, but in 2017 a new name will be etched in WAIS history, with athletes from eight different sports earning selection on the shortlist.


World Championship medallists, burgeoning stars and young athletes who have broken through to the senior elite level over the past 12 months have all made an impact on the shortlist, with the award to be presented at next month’s WAIS Annual Awards at the Pan Pacific Perth.


The nominees for the 2017 WAIS Athlete of the Year are:


  • Sasha Zhoya (ATHLETICS)


Sasha Zhoya is a track and field athlete whose star is on the rise. Currently training with Alex Parnov and the WAIS pole vault program, Zhoya set a new world best height of 4.92m for U16 boys at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney earlier this year. Zhoya dominated the meet, collecting four gold medals in total, spread across; pole vault, long jump, 110m hurdles and the 200m sprint.


  • Matt Richardson (CYCLING)


Track cyclist Matt Richardson made his Junior World Championship debut in Italy in August, setting new personal best times for the flying lap in the individual sprint and in his opening lap as a member of the Australian team sprint. Richardson earned representative honours by winning the same events at the Australian Track titles back in March.


  • Nikita Hains (DIVING)


Nikita Hains evidenced her future star power at the 2017 Australian Diving Championships in Sydney where she finished sixth in the 10m Platform final against a field boasting Olympic medallists. Hains built on that performance with a silver medal at the Elite Junior Diving Championships in Perth last July at HBF Stadium.


  • Georgia Wilson (HOCKEY)


Having missed out on an opportunity to compete at the 2016 Junior World Cup through injury, Georgia Wilson responded in the best possible fashion to earn selection in the Australian women’s national squad, before going on to make her senior International debut for the Hockeyroos as Australia secured a 2018 World Cup spot at June’s World League Semi-Final in Belgium.


  • Annabelle McIntyre and Bronwyn Cox (ROWING)


Annabelle McIntyre and Bronwyn Cox enjoyed a dream debut at U23 level, when they combined to win a silver medal in the final of the Olympic-class women’s pair at the World Championships in Bulgaria. With McIntyre recently turning 21 and Cox still just 20 years of age, the pair represent an exciting future for Western Australian sweep rowing over the years ahead.


  • Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries (SAILING)


470 sailing duo Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries successfully rounded out their junior sailing days together with a silver medal effort at the Junior World Championships in Japan last September. The pair also made a strong impression in their early ventures into senior ranks, with the Fremantle Sailing Club members finishing a highly commendable 13th overall at the 470 World Championship in Greece last July.


  • Jemima Horwood (SWIMMING)

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Competing at 15 years of age, WA swimmer Jemima Horwood produced an excellent international debut at the FINA Junior World Championships in Indianapolis to swim the anchor leg of the Australian mixed 4x100m freestyle relay as the team secured a bronze medal. Horwood qualified for the team after winning gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle events at the Age National Championships in Brisbane.


  • Tim Putt (WATER POLO)


With Australia promoting youth at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Tim Putt seized his opportunity to represent Australia with a series of composed performances defying his tender years. The 18 year-old would go on to captain Australia’s junior team at the Junior World Championships in Serbia in August.