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 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 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.
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
- 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)
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.
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.